Long line living

Long line living add

From just the two of them, to filled with family, this elegant beach house fits with its owners and the dramatic landscape of Whangamatā Harbour.

Situated on a flat narrow low-lying site, the simple timber framed structure is mostly single room deep. Brendon Gordon of Brendon Gordon Architects says this allows plenty of light into the home as well as making the most of passive solar energy.

'And because we have such a dramatic landscape here, it was really nice to be able to respond architecturally to the surroundings,' Brendon says.

The elevations of the home are long and linear. The ground floor living pavilion is elevated to create street privacy while also maximising views of the harbour.

The treatment and separation of public and private spaces was central to the design. It was also about framing the view, creating privacy by cutting out the spectators and claiming the space.

'The louvres work really well in this respect,' adds Brendon, 'and so does the cedar screen to the west façade, which also serves to create drama and provide shade from the afternoon summer sun'.

Sun bleached shiplap cedar cladding is also used in the interior linings which adds texture and visually links interior and outdoor spaces.

Sheltered from sea breezes and prevailing winds, covered decks to the east, north and west accommodate breakfast dining and long summer evenings outside in the salt laced air.

The steel-clad galley kitchen was recognised as the hub of the home and so the design brings it to the forefront - to accommodate and embrace the hustle and bustle of guests.

To provide quiet spaces at busy times, the main entrance and stairwells separate the public living from private rooms, dividing the house both horizontally and vertically.

Private bedrooms are sectioned off both upstairs and downstairs. The lounge, master bedroom dressing and en-suite are private spaces above the living pavilion which exploit all day sun, and harbour views.

'The clients are farmers originally, from Taranaki, and they wanted a relaxed and inspiring beach house to live in permanently. So, the home is designed to work well just for the two of them - but also in summer months when an enormous number of family come to stay. And that's why we have carpeted and insulated the garage so it can be quickly converted to accommodate all the teenagers and their friends.'

Brendon laughs - 'they can go from two to about 15 family members and friends. And that's what you want in a beach house. That's what it's all about.'

To see more inspiring designs from Brendon Gordon Architects click here