The Beaches: First House off the Block

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The first home in a subdivision with views out to sea called for a design that would future-proof for privacy.

Building on the first site in a new subdivision is always a challenge. You don’t know what is going to be built next door—and how that might impact on your privacy and outlook.

Such was the case for a prime site in Papamoa, which takes in stunning views of the sand dunes and sea and has a 180-degree sight line out to Whakatane and back towards Mount Maunganui.

With such an exceptional location, it was important that the design kept the focus on the views, rather than be distracted by any future neighbours.

This challenge was taken up by Thorne Group Architecture principal Jon McAlpine and the parameters of the brief were used to refine a very simple, yet sophisticated design for the client’s new bach.

“Challenges with this site included very stringent rules on the look of the building and daylighting considerations, as well as height-to-boundary challenges and, of course, privacy.”

The form of the house was conceived within these parameters, with a simple, low-pitched roof and a large amount of glazing at the front of the house, so that all rooms take in the view and so that you can sit anywhere in the home and look out to the water.

Upstairs consists of the living spaces and master bedroom, while downstairs there are additional bedrooms, a separate rumpus and storage for beach equipment. The generous living spaces both up and down mean that two groups of guests can stay at once, with some separation between them.

On the interior, simple white walls and an engineered timber floor are both unfussy, light and robust, and a simple negative detail on the skirting and the wall junctions elevate the space.

In keeping with the minimalist design, all the window blinds are tucked away in pelmets, further enhancing the clean aesthetic.

The materiality of the exterior of the building echoes bach typology: simple, low-maintenance and unfussy. Black aluminium joinery and cedar ply and shiplap weatherboards fulfil the brief.

“The form of the building is really simple,” says McAlpine. “The detailing of the materials elevates the design.”

One particular detail that gives the building a dynamic energy, is the cedar “eyebrows” that wrap around the eaves of the house.

“They create shadow lines and interest—it changes the look of the building throughout the day as the shadows move around the building.”

Seafront houses, typically, have a direct interface with the elements and this beachfront site was no different. To mitigate the occupants’ experience of the sometimes harsh elements of wind, sun and salt air, the deck wraps around the house to give shelter from the sun and wind. This means there is flexibility for outdoor living throughout the day.

The monopitch roof aids with shelter, as it extends over both the upstairs and downstairs exterior living spaces.

For McAlpine the highlight of the project is the building’s minimalist composition and scale.

“I like the overall form of the bach, it’s a really simple building with special details.”

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The Beaches: First House off the Block

The first home in a subdivision with views out to sea called for a design that would future-proof for privacy.

Building on the first site in a new subdivision is always a challenge. You don’t know what is going to be built next door—and how that might impact on your privacy and outlook.

Such was the case for a prime site in Papamoa, which takes in stunning views of the sand dunes and sea and has a 180-degree sight line out to Whakatane and back towards Mount Maunganui.

With such an exceptional location, it was important that the design kept the focus on the views, rather than be distracted by any future neighbours.

This challenge was taken up by Thorne Group Architecture principal Jon McAlpine and the parameters of the brief were used to refine a very simple, yet sophisticated design for the client’s new bach.

“Challenges with this site included very stringent rules on the look of the building and daylighting considerations, as well as height-to-boundary challenges and, of course, privacy.”

The form of the house was conceived within these parameters, with a simple, low-pitched roof and a large amount of glazing at the front of the house, so that all rooms take in the view and so that you can sit anywhere in the home and look out to the water.

Upstairs consists of the living spaces and master bedroom, while downstairs there are additional bedrooms, a separate rumpus and storage for beach equipment. The generous living spaces both up and down mean that two groups of guests can stay at once, with some separation between them.

On the interior, simple white walls and an engineered timber floor are both unfussy, light and robust, and a simple negative detail on the skirting and the wall junctions elevate the space.

In keeping with the minimalist design, all the window blinds are tucked away in pelmets, further enhancing the clean aesthetic.

The materiality of the exterior of the building echoes bach typology: simple, low-maintenance and unfussy. Black aluminium joinery and cedar ply and shiplap weatherboards fulfil the brief.

“The form of the building is really simple,” says McAlpine. “The detailing of the materials elevates the design.”

One particular detail that gives the building a dynamic energy, is the cedar “eyebrows” that wrap around the eaves of the house.

“They create shadow lines and interest—it changes the look of the building throughout the day as the shadows move around the building.”

Seafront houses, typically, have a direct interface with the elements and this beachfront site was no different. To mitigate the occupants’ experience of the sometimes harsh elements of wind, sun and salt air, the deck wraps around the house to give shelter from the sun and wind. This means there is flexibility for outdoor living throughout the day.

The monopitch roof aids with shelter, as it extends over both the upstairs and downstairs exterior living spaces.

For McAlpine the highlight of the project is the building’s minimalist composition and scale.

“I like the overall form of the bach, it’s a really simple building with special details.”

Visit professional's website
Enquire about the process / fees
Contact details

Professionals used on this project

Also from Thorne Group Architecture

Done tagging
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The Beaches: First House off the Block

The first home in a subdivision with views out to sea called for a design that would future-proof for privacy.

Building on the first site in a new subdivision is always a challenge. You don’t know what is going to be built next door—and how that might impact on your privacy and outlook.

Such was the case for a prime site in Papamoa, which takes in stunning views of the sand dunes and sea and has a 180-degree sight line out to Whakatane and back towards Mount Maunganui.

With such an exceptional location, it was important that the design kept the focus on the views, rather than be distracted by any future neighbours.

This challenge was taken up by Thorne Group Architecture principal Jon McAlpine and the parameters of the brief were used to refine a very simple, yet sophisticated design for the client’s new bach.

“Challenges with this site included very stringent rules on the look of the building and daylighting considerations, as well as height-to-boundary challenges and, of course, privacy.”

The form of the house was conceived within these parameters, with a simple, low-pitched roof and a large amount of glazing at the front of the house, so that all rooms take in the view and so that you can sit anywhere in the home and look out to the water.

Upstairs consists of the living spaces and master bedroom, while downstairs there are additional bedrooms, a separate rumpus and storage for beach equipment. The generous living spaces both up and down mean that two groups of guests can stay at once, with some separation between them.

On the interior, simple white walls and an engineered timber floor are both unfussy, light and robust, and a simple negative detail on the skirting and the wall junctions elevate the space.

In keeping with the minimalist design, all the window blinds are tucked away in pelmets, further enhancing the clean aesthetic.

The materiality of the exterior of the building echoes bach typology: simple, low-maintenance and unfussy. Black aluminium joinery and cedar ply and shiplap weatherboards fulfil the brief.

“The form of the building is really simple,” says McAlpine. “The detailing of the materials elevates the design.”

One particular detail that gives the building a dynamic energy, is the cedar “eyebrows” that wrap around the eaves of the house.

“They create shadow lines and interest—it changes the look of the building throughout the day as the shadows move around the building.”

Seafront houses, typically, have a direct interface with the elements and this beachfront site was no different. To mitigate the occupants’ experience of the sometimes harsh elements of wind, sun and salt air, the deck wraps around the house to give shelter from the sun and wind. This means there is flexibility for outdoor living throughout the day.

The monopitch roof aids with shelter, as it extends over both the upstairs and downstairs exterior living spaces.

For McAlpine the highlight of the project is the building’s minimalist composition and scale.

“I like the overall form of the bach, it’s a really simple building with special details.”

Visit professional's website
Enquire about the process / fees
Contact details

Professionals used on this project

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