Sunrise to sunset

With its large wrap-around decks and open-air pavilion, this Matapouri beach house is open to the sun and the views
A view of a home by Creative Architecture. apartment, estate, leisure, outdoor furniture, penthouse apartment, property, real estate, resort, sea, sky, sunlounger, swimming pool, vacation, villa, gray
A view of a home by Creative Architecture.

It has been said that it's hard to improve on nature but good architecture can make it easier to appreciate its beauty. This holiday home in Matapouri Bay, Northland, has been designed to maximise the spectacular coastal views from a steep site, while providing an innovative, contemporary living environment.

Architectural designer Mark McLeay of Creative Arch says rather than trying to tame the site, he chose to work with the contours of the land, wrapping the front of the property with a long wall. A central tower creates a visual break in the wall and defines the entrance to the house.

"The wall provides privacy from the common right-of-way, and hides what lies beyond," McLeay says. "This creates an element of surprise when you walk through the door into a large open-ended pavilion. The full impact of the view is gradually revealed as you move into the house."


A view of a home by Creative Architecture. ceiling, daylighting, interior design, property, real estate, window, gray
A view of a home by Creative Architecture.

McLeay says the steep site meant there were limited areas for outdoor living so several large decks have been incorporated, beginning with the pavilion. This indoor-outdoor living area has two large, electronically controlled panels of louvres in the roof to allow for either maximum sun or shade, with protection from the wind and rain.

Bifold doors at the northern end of this space open directly to an elevated pool area. The 10m x 4m pool tucks into one corner of the front wall and lies partly beneath the shade of a roof overhang.

Exposed structural steel beams in the pavilion highlight the contemporary nature of the house design, a look further reinforced by the interior. Here, expansive living areas have a spacious, uncluttered feel, with 4m-high commercial-grade windows maximising the view. To create a focal point, the dining room is cantilevered so it appears to float 9m above the hill.

A view of a home by Creative Architecture. ceiling, daylighting, interior design, property, real estate, window, gray
A view of a home by Creative Architecture.

Other features of the interior include a large, European Poggenpohl kitchen with a 4m stainless steel island benchtop, an automatic gas fire, underfloor heating and a family room with home theatre. There is also a separate lounge/kitchenette/dining area servicing two downstairs bedrooms.

Creative Arch has won numerous ADNZ awards over the past few years. The company specialises in both residential and commercial architecture, and has designed many coastal homes. It also undertakes bungalow and villa renovations.

For details, contact Creative Arch, PO Box 78-282, Grey Lynn, Auckland, phone 0800 2 Inspire (246 774). Website: www.creativearch.co.nz.

Mar 31, 2007
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