Architects: Bonnifait + Giesen
Location: Kapiti, Wellington, New Zealand
Main Contractor: Duncan Construction Ltd.
Property Owners: Heather and Trevor Lloyd
Area: 140 sqm
Photographs: John Girdlestone
The site is part of the coastal sand dunes of the extended Kapiti sea front. It contained an existing 1950′s bach on an elevated platform surrounded by dense bush. Whilst it had a single view overlooking Kapiti Island it did not take advantage of the Eastern vistas, especially the spectacle of the ever-changing light of Paekakariki Hill. Additionally, the bach could no longer host the multiple generations of family that converge on it during holiday season. Atelierworkshop had several priorities when developing this project.
- To keep the site untouched from excavation.
- To retain the mature trees that border the edge of the building platform.
- To set up foreground views of the surrounding bush.
- To create a continuous volume in which the greater family could congregate yet also closes down into separate ‘glades’ for moments of privacy.
With these priorities in mind Bonnifait+Giesen created a simple volume oriented to the North, which sits upon an elevated platform similar to that of the previous bach. ‘Nicks’ were removed from the regular rectangular shape of the plan to accommodate the mature trees that have helped define the site for so long. A enclosed verandah space was created which purpose was two fold: firstly, to act as a passive solar collector for the main indoor living space of the bach – a contemporary interpretation of the traditional sun room. Secondly as a volume for family congregation that, conversely may shut down to create private spaces for quieter times. This in between space also serves to set up a middle ground between the distant scene of Kapiti Island and the main living area.
A raw palette of materials is used that create a bach that sits discreetly within the bush, retaining the sense of isolation for the family within this delightful site.