Context & Design
This small project is unique in many ways, including the project team consisting of Dave Strachan in conjunction with 16 third year architecture students, John Cocks and Marshall Cook. This team not only design the Onemana bach, they built it.

Located in the coastal town of Onemana this small project is more than meets the eye. Whilst it was small in both budget and footprint, clever thinking and innovative solutions have produced a bach which ticks all the boxes; the clients "couldn't be happier." They did not want a large, elaborate beach house, nor would their budget allow; they wanted a well designed, compact, stylish yet simple easy care place to go with their two girls.

With a total footprint of only 100m2 (75m2 interior + 25m2 decks) Onemana bach offers a master bedroom with private deck, bunkroom, bathroom/ laundry with both interior and exterior access, kitchen, living, dining with decks to both the East and West and built in furniture and storage throughout.

A number of design decisions have elevated a simple building to a project which is full of interest and rich in character; a key move is the timber slatted breezeway which penetrates the high performance thermal envelope, running NorthEast-SouthWest, this assists the natural cross ventilation and highlights the play of light with the late afternoon sun filtering through the trees and timber slatting.

The building also includes a take on traditional board and batten, offering rhythm and relief; a double floor step work with the natural contours of the site and the monopitch roof which wraps the building to the South; the NorthEastern corner hovers above the slope with large timber doors peeling back to open the corner; and the material palette is locally sourced, boasting timber throughout including decking inside and out, slatted ceilings and privacy screens and plywood on both walls and ceilings.

Simon Devitt

"Adventurous clients have benefitted from a programme set up to teach Unitec architecture students practical skills. Student teams designed and built the elegant, two-bedroom bach on campus, and then assembled it on the site for which it was intended. A success in itself, the project has also provided the participating students with a valuable introduction to New Zealand's timber design and construction tradition." (Jury Citation)

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About the

Strachan Group Architects is a multiple award-winning Auckland practice. Grounded in a specific and detailed first-hand knowledge of construction the team brings a highly developed sense of craft to the task of creating sustainable buildings with precision and elegance.

The keen sense of attention that the practice brings to the interpretation of a client’s brief is equalled by a rich and complex understanding of how to respond to the subtleties of site, the impacts of the natural environment, and the many contexts within which a building must operate. To these qualities SGA adds a precise understanding of the requirements of construction, with an advanced level of experience of prefabrication and the use of digitally controlled machinery in the fabrication of building elements under tightly controlled conditions.

SGA takes pride in it's ability to communicate ideas about building as they develop in conversation with clients, consultants and contractors. This skill has been honed in the extensive involvement the practice has had in education, where it has delivered a number of design/build projects with architecture students that have been recognised by the New Zealand Institute of Architects by a series of Awards.

Recognised by their peers as an innovative and exciting practice, SGA consists of a group of highly skilled people with a diverse range of complimentary skills. This flexible team is highly attuned to new developments in the building industry, appreciated by their many clients and capable of undertaking work at any scale.