Two Peaks - First Light Studio Ltd | ArchiPro

Two Peaks

The quintessential kiwi beach break becomes iconic in an expat’s mind, often far from their homeland in both distance and feeling. Such was the case for New Plymouth born-and-bred clients who found themselves abroad for work. Holding the Taranaki paradigm close, their express desire was to experience, celebrate, and live this kiwi ideal to the most when on return visits to the homeland. Coming home means togetherness, family, gatherings of friends and relatives alike, BBQs surfboards, sandy feet… basically stocking up on everything awesomely NZ that is missed while away.

When the clients secured a section in the well-established beachside suburb of Strandon, a stone’s throw from the warm waves of East End Beach, the design brief was exactly that. With an existing house sitting on the back half of the property, the large front lawn was to make way for a second home which would complement the first and extend the accommodation and entertainment capacity over the two dwellings.

The main bulk of the new house sits along the street edge, in keeping with the neighbourhood context, protecting and privatising the open space to the northwest, between the two dwellings. Dark horizontal cedar weatherboards wrap the ground floor, public activity zones and ground the house in its site. Then, in reference to the region’s iconic mountain – visible from the deck – bright, vertical cedar rises up to clad the two-storeyed gable containing bedrooms. (The building’s two other gables, lower and darker over garage and living, are subtle acknowledgements of the Fanthams and Pouakai peaks, eclipsed by the impressiveness of Taranaki itself but which together make up the mountain cluster.)

Entertainment is prioritised with ground floor spaces opening up to a large semi-covered deck drenched in all-day sun. The main gable is expressed on the inside, lined with unfinished plywood. This, along with an exposed concrete floor, generous openings to the north and west, and light, reflective walls lend an airy, relaxed feel to the interior.  In typical bach style, rooms are designed to multifunction according to the season and number of inhabitants; the second lounge can function as a fourth bedroom, and a mezzanine loft provides a fun break out space which can sleep extras.

Photography by Andy Spain Photography

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