Bream Tail House Mangawhai Heads - SGA | ArchiPro

Bream Tail House Mangawhai Heads

Bream Tail farm is a subdivision of an archaeologically and geographically sensitive coastal site that seeks to provide a custodial ownership of land without restricting public access and amenity.

The farm continues to operate and a public coastal walkway is maintained as part of the development.

The site, a series of terraces just above the mouth of a natural water-course, is very exposed on the seaward side to the east and on-shore winds funnel up the valley.

Early Maori occupation of the terraces is evident on an adjacent escarpment and middens are clearly visible from the house site.

Reminiscent of a bird having landed on the grassed and gravel terrace, this single level, low-slung building straddles the existing "modified" land of a gravel farm track. The roof folds down forming the head and beak to the north-east, with a translucent, rear "tail" flicking up to catch the last of the afternoon light.

Weathered zinc roofing merges with the often overcast sky, and the roof edges are "frayed" with outrigged purlins, and custom-made stainless steel gutters.

Black-stained, banded textured plywood claddings have their counterpart in the black-green of the Puriri in shadow on the north-west ridge.

The southern "outdoor" room and garaging walls are heavier, stack-bonded natural blockwork, clear-finished to emulate the fractured layering of the sand and shell of the archaeological middens nearby.

Garage and carport walls are partially excavated into the shaded toe of the north-west ridge. Above the blockwork, translucent and battened cedar upper walls lift the roof off the heavier base - raising the "tail from the body".

To the north-east, a terrace floats away from the surface of the land as it folds into a small gully and banks of flap windows on gas struts open the building to the beach providing a sense of variation and movement to the building skin during occupancy.

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