Architects: Geoff Fletcher Architects
Location: Kapiti, New Zealand
Structural engineer: Dunning Thornton Ltd.
Builder: Haarlem Developments Ltd.
Project area: 70 sqm + decks
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Ashley Cox
The clients were clear in their brief: to create a discreet and private low-rise small beach house, (additional to the existing cottage on site), which maximized great views, sun and outdoor living with entertainment of guests as a priority.
The concept was a glass and cedar enclosure revealing only a shuttered box to the coast to take in views and weather storms. The concealed and very private entry has a welcoming residential feel achieved using an inverse hip roof, glazed entry porch and ply bathroom box. The house is a carefully crafted intervention designed to silver off to blend with dunes, planting and flaxes. It offers a sense of retreat no matter what the weather.
The solution was to remove and preserve existing vegetation for reinstatement, and nestle the house in by removing the top of the dune thus allowing sun to continue to reach the cottage behind. The house was sited as far west as possible on the “no-build line”, with west glazing protected by sliding cedar shutters. North glazing opens to unite the kitchen and dining with the outdoor entertainment area and fireplace.
The new house was designed to go with the old by creating a garden entry between the two with sheltered outdoor deck areas linked by matching steps. Trees onsite were preserved.
Entry is through the existing garage to maintain privacy from the street and to surprise guests with the new beach house. The interior is quiet and calm, a foil to the view. Timber technology has been used to achieve a biscuit slim floor and roof with no under beams for a floating appearance. Double glu-lam beams cantilever to structure the entry and span over all the major openings.