Where old world meets new world

Where old world meets new world add

When Jonathan Ambler of AD Architecture was approached by a dynamic husband and wife duo, Tristen and Rachel Saunders, about their adventurous ambitions for a holiday home, a fascinating journey lay ahead.

Ambler was engaged by the couple based on previous successful projects he had spearheaded. They were confident he had the expertise to deliver the new project, which commanded a unique set of skills. The objective? To let past and present meet somewhere in the middle to create a bach that boasts the character and charm of yesteryear with contemporary trimmings afforded by the 21st century.

The now complete property is located in Waikanae Beach, Kapiti Coast, and such was the success of its delivery, that Ambler received a highly commended in the regional competition of the 2017 ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards.

Ambler talks to the journey that led to this impressive accolade: “Tristen and Rachel approached me to have a look at the property after they bought it and wanted my input. From there, they engaged me to bring it all to life.

“The brief was to take an old, run-down, ‘Kiwi Bach’ and modernise it - it was important to them to keep the essence of the bach. They talked about classic Kiwi summers with lawn cricket and were very much wanting to create that sort of environment for their teenage boys.”

Reconciling past with present was no mean feat given the original bach was not to be significantly altered, which required work to be undertaken around the existing structure to create additional spaces that would fit with the original aesthetics.

“The majority of the existing structure was kept intact and there were challenges associated with this given we were working with a circa 1950 asbestos clad bach in desperate need of work.

“The goal was to make it more useful for the client’s current situation. We added on a rumpus room/multi-room space which opens out onto the cricket area. We also added on another simple structure - a boat shed - which is very functional and in keeping with the rest of the property.”

The final configuration accommodates a master bedroom with ensuite, bunk room, the rumpus room and a sleepout which has been renovated and turned into a small guest bedroom.

The magic of the final result is palpable, and clearly infectious with the design resonating with ADNZ judges - something that Ambler is justly proud of.

“It’s always nice to be recognised in the award programmes - the ADNZ programme is very robust so you don’t get acknowledged without genuinely deserving it. That’s an encouraging thought. It’s quite amazing the number of people who have seen the award and contacted me.”

Photography by Jason Mann