- Project Architect: Andre Fourie
- Text By: Claire McCall. Urbis Issue 108
- City: Tutukaka
- Country: New Zealand
Text description provided by the architects. Focusing on the view, which stretches from the sloping section on a ridgeline across to the Poor Knights Islands, was a priority for Lance and Nicky Herbst of Herbst Architects. The spiral staircase that leads from the parking deck to the main body of the home acts as a telephoto lens. “It’s trained perfectly onto a pool of blue water that swishes into a rocky outcrop from the sea,” says Nicky.
Lance calls this journey to the view a “classic sequence”. It begins with a carport that has an agrarian feel (where the owners’ beloved campervan has its berth), continues between two block walls that solidly channel the arrival, and on down along rain-screened walkways and across a glass-walled bridge that links to the heart of the home, set on a perpendicular plane.
The Herbsts see this room (with kitchen, dining, and living) as a viewing platform. And, of course, their customary blurring of boundaries is here – all huge sliding windows that open one half to the elements and structural ledges, which become casual seats that float above the land.
“We like to feather the zone between inside and out,” says Nicky, “so we’ve included a battened eyebrow with stays to support it as cover overhead, which emphasizes this architectural transition.” She likens the steel struts to branches of a pohutukawa. “It’s the notion of looking through trees,” adds Lance. “By putting something man-made in the foreground of a huge natural panorama, you actually enhance the view – it relates back to the building.”