Castle Rock House - Herbst Architects | ArchiPro

Castle Rock House

Our insatiable appetites for the drama of reinvention and the refreshment of change means we often ignore the merits of determined focus, of constantly looking for new answers to the same question. It could be said that Auckland-based architects Lance and Nicola Herbst have, for most of the past 15 years, been asking themselves this: what’s the best way to live in and feel connected to the New Zealand landscape and climate? The application of their abundant skill has resulted in a diverse range of responses, from their own bare-bones beach shack on Great Barrier Island to the glassy, ethereal house in a pohutukawa grove beside Piha Beach that won the 2012 Home of the Year prize.

More recently, the husband-and-wife team posed this question on a different, show-stopping site near the Whangarei Heads, on a ridge line below the precipitous bluff of Castle Rock and just a few steps above a gorgeous pohutukawa-shrouded beach. It is not accurate to say Herbsts’ work is improving from project to project because their mastery has been evident for years. But it is fascinating to see the different ways they apply their architectural vocabulary to a variety of sites and conditions.

Here at Castle Rock they were asked to design a holiday home for a family of four from Auckland. The site, as you can see from the photographs, was gorgeous, but came with a number of challenges. The building platform on top of the ridge was already prescribed by the rules of the subdivision, and was exposed to wind from every direction. The views out to sea and to the Whangarei Heads were to the south, but the views north to the top of Castle Rock were, in their own ways, just as worthy of contemplation.

There was an existing path on the site that the couple decided to utilise in their design. They decided to terminate the driveway about 70 metres from the house, necessitating a walk along the ridge line to the deck that also serves as a casual entry point to the home. The journey through the home from this point is a rectilinear continuation of this path to the beach, as it turns right and drops down from the arrival area into a narrow staircase, through a gabion retaining wall and the bedroom wing, and onwards down to the shore......

For the full article on Castle Rock House, including Q + A with Lance and Nicola of Herbst Architects. 

- Written by Jeremy Hansen of HOME MAGAZINE -

PHOTOS BY: Patrick Reynolds

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