The brief for this home from a busy professional Auckland couple was to create a stylish, practical, modern beach house that would deliver privacy from neighbours, views of the sea, and an alternative home for both to work from when needed.
The site has a wide street frontage that narrows and elevates towards the rear. It is also surrounded on three sides by other dwellings and is in a designated floodplain; therefore, the house's size, shape, and position on the site was crucial to delivering a satisfactory outcome for the clients.
Other homes on the street all have balconies facing the sea, which is obvious and understandable, but they face east, which is not the most practical place to have an outdoor living space.
To solve this issue, the architect designed an L-shaped pavilion, with the living part of the L facing the beach. He also elevated the front of the site two metres, allowing better views of the beach and giving his clients privacy from the road and passers-by. The living pavilion has a large, full-length deck on the beachside, with full-height glass sliding doors on both sides – thus, the view is carried through to the rear of the property.
The second part of the L pavilion contains three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the home office. It also creates the second side of a courtyard and screens off the neighbours. The third side of the courtyard is created by a large fireplace 'box' at the rear of the section, which effectively shields the courtyard from an adjacent two-storey home. Inside, the home's décor is styled on a contemporary minimalist look. The clients wanted a good kitchen, so specified an Archlinea design from Matisse, matched with stylish Italian furniture from the same supplier.
The exterior materials are hardy and low maintenance – ideal for a maritime environment. A complete set of aluminium shutters allows the entire home to be safely and securely closed up when the clients are down in Auckland but quickly and easily opened up when they arrive.
The clients also understood the value of having good landscaping. An in-situ concrete wall at the front of the property anchors the whole house nicely. There is also provision for a raised lap pool to be installed along the entire length of the front of the house – ideal for this particular location, as the tide takes the sea well out, so the beach is not always the best place to take a dip.
When asked about the result, the clients replied that they were 'over the moon’.