Text description provided by the architects. In the tradition of a Pacific a fale or simple whare occupying a coastal site, this concept draws its form from a simple pitched roof sheltering an open living pavilion. However, from the water or the beach, its silhouette is evocative of a harbor marker, upright on the dune, guiding its seafaring client’s home. Its owners asked for this whare to be a modestly scaled holiday bach with 3 bedrooms and social family gatherings space. The waterfront site occupies the land by the side of the road where ocean views are obstructed by the foredune – a common constraint of Midland’s Beach.
Our solution was to connect living with the land and sleeping with the sky. Unlike a fale we have placed bedrooms in the ‘attic’, connecting each respective sleeping zone with either the ocean’s horizon or the bush. This released the entire ground floor for flexible, communal living. A boat is tucked below the floorboards as the descending topography allowed.
The whare’s public and immediate location to the road edge dictated screens at both levels to moderate privacy and sun. Lower-level screens slide away while upper screens pivot forward like the wings of a bird or kites in the sky.
Sustainability - The primary consideration to sustainability resides in the small house’s footprint – 110msq. While the sandy substrate below the house dictated concrete foundations and some steel frame to resist our shaky isles, the balance of the house is timber driven to lower the embodied carbon as much as possible. The house is entirely off-grid; with solar power, rainwater collection, onsite stormwater disposal, passive solar control, and naturally ventilated.