Nestled in behind the sand dunes and bounded by a forest of ancient kānuka is an award-winning house positioned to favour privacy and shelter over views of the sea. Designed by John Melhuish, a director at Herriot + Melhuish Architecture (HMA), the house at Peka Peka Beach on the Kapiti Coast won a housing award at the 2016 NZIA Wellington Architecture Awards and was a finalist in the 2016 NZIA New Zealand Architecture Awards. A beach house unlike any other the almost-20 year old practice has designed before, to make your way onto this Peka Peka property you must first gently push your way past the native bush to get to the front door. The owners intentionally made it this way: you move, the native bush stays where it is. The native bush was an important starting point for this house, the KCDC district plan ensures that the ancient kānuka along the road frontage remains protected for future owners to enjoy. This guardianship made construction of the house slightly more challenging for contractors with a stipulation that all work would be carried out in respectful deference to the trees.
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