A maker mentality

A maker mentality add

Having King Country Highland to roam around and build underground huts and tree houses is a fitting introduction to architecture, or so it would seem. It’s certainly true in Will Tatton’s case.

Tatton, of Will Tatton Architecture, has coveted a “maker mentality” his whole life. Growing up, he lived for the outdoors and loved to get his hands dirty building in his “1000 acre living room” . It was against the rugged rural backdrop he called home in his early years that he refined his trade.

Will’s journey since then has been more traditional - his imagination, however, doesn’t play by the rules, and this is well evidenced by his compelling portfolio. The common denominator between each of his projects is a sense of adventure. “I believe passionately in designing and making and bringing both together, which is something we do in our practice.”

Will’s love of both is captured in a downtown Mount Maunganui Urban Beach Retreat. An urban beach retreat sounds like an oxymoron at face value, but Will has made it a reality. It is certainly a house that has achieved the best of both worlds - privacy and accessibility to the urban environment, without one benefit eclipsing the other.

A clever buying decision set the wheels in motion with the owners purchasing the neighbours back garden adjoining their existing house to create a new 45 metre long site. Native trees take pride of place as a unique and rare addition to the lush green lawn that surrounds the home. A large Pohutukawa welcomes visitors at the entry.

In a vigorous nod to sustainability, the property’s pared back but striking good looks owe to the use of Lawson Cypress, brick and Macrocarpa trim. “The Lawson Cypress is milled locally and very fragrant. It is not processed or treated and in this way it speaks to our focus on sustainability.”

The honest, down-to-earth character of the home continues throughout without detracting from a sense of understated luxury as well, courtesy of some special features set amongst the four bedrooms including three elegant bathrooms and a windowless media room, which has been set up as a music room. The master bedroom is an oasis with large doors and a balustrade that create a private dayroom with a deck feel.

The staircase marries elegant form and function playfully connecting the Pohutukawa tree to the home, which adds to the effect created by large glazing. The stair position leads almost into the branches on ascending and descending.

“In the garage, they have forgone car space in favour of room for surfboards.” It’s no surprise given the Mount is world famous for its glorious stretch of golden sand; the ideal place to surf, swim, sunbathe - and live.