Matapouri Bay House I

This house was constructed in 2006 at Matapouri Bay in Northland. The site was previously occupied by an old bach which our client had owned for some years. The new house was intended, eventually, to provide a simple retirement residence for our client and her elderly mother, whilst not losing the simple bach-quality that they had enjoyed previously. The total floor area is 173m2 excluding deck.

The site is dead flat and although close to the beach has no sea view. A single level plan was laid out along a central “spine” that runs the length of the house and forms two semi-enclosed courtyard spaces that catch sun at different times of the day. An open plan kitchen-dining-living space is placed to receive all day sun and allow views up and down the street. A small lounge or den flows from this area to provide a more intimate space for watching TV by the fire.

Bedrooms have been designed with flexibility in mind and to avoid the feeling of small cell-like rooms. Hence the two smaller bedrooms feature large cavity slider doors which allow them to open into the corridor space and the deck beyond; these rooms can double as a study or sitting areas when only one occupant is in the house.

The roof profile reflects the “shed roof” (mono-pitch) form of many neighbouring baches but is inverted to allow a series of high level clerestorey windows to most rooms. On the west these windows have cedar-slatted sunshades to control afternoon sun. The roofs slope to a large central box gutter that collects rainwater for storage. Walls are a combination of unpainted concrete block and natural cedar weatherboard with silver aluminium windows to create a low-maintenance exterior with a weathered appearance based on various shades of grey.