The brief was for a primary residence for a couple without children with provision for occasionally used guest accommodation for friends visiting from overseas. The site as presented was a steep slope with magnificent sea and coastal views to the east into which a building platform had already been cut, with its associated timber pile retaining wall. 

Our primary response was to separate the building into two components, a lower level accommodating the permanently used portion of the house and an upper level for the guest accommodation. We stretched the living functions and main bedroom along the contour of the land projecting forward and leaving the previously cut platform open to set up the primary outdoor area which is sheltered from the prevailing katabatic winds and orientated to North and west for afternoon and evening sun. 

The view face is articulated as a continuous window seat which crops the landscape view and facilities a view down to the coast below. The upper level of guest accommodation is set at right angles to the lower pavilion and sets up a third edge to the courtyard as well as articulating a covered entrance sequence. 

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About the

Herbst Architects Ltd is a New Zealand Institute of Architects registered practice, established in 2000 by principals Lance and Nicola Herbst. The practice has completed a wide range of works in the fields of residential, commercial and education, for which they have been the recipient of multiple awards for architecture, including 14 NZIA awards and the 2012 Home of the Year award. Their works have been widely published, both locally and internationally.

The practice maintains a small office in Auckland that strives to make a positive and meaningful contribution to the built environment through excellence in architecture.