The fact that some Golden Bay locals are unaware of this secluded, sheltered family home shows just how well it fulfils the owners' wish that it merge into the environment.
The family, who had long holidayed in the area, jumped at the chance to buy land overlooking Tata Beach but wanted to preserve the area's relaxed feel.
They commissioned West Coast architect Gary Hopkinson to create a low maintenance, single storey house at the top of a paddock, under the backdrop of a pine forest.
Hopkinson designed two distinct pavillions, one for the growing trio of children and one for the parents, separated by an enclosed deck that also serves as the entry deck.
"Approaching the house from the highway, the views are screened until the 'front door' is opened to reveal the stunning seascape," he says.
"Linear views are defined by extended wing walls and careful window detailing dissolves junctions between the ceiling, walls and sky."
A sheltered living deck separates the living and bunkrooms and a large garage, enclosing an entry courtyard, sits behind the house.
The house which was constructed and project managed by local craftsmen, was recognised by Hopkinson's peers when it won an architecture award. Judges praised the house's "theatrical entry" and its use of hardwearing materials.
After a decade of use and enjoyment the family confirm the build has fulfilled their aspirations to have a warm, light and relaxed place they can come and go from at all times of the year.
The house, which is painted in tones that ensure its discreet presence. remains hard to spot from Tata Beach.
A front of house deck has been added enabling family and friends to enjoy the inspiring views and Golden Bay sun.
The main pavilion with open plan living, dining and kitchen, has proved a wonderful gathering point. It's spacious enough for a gathering of family and friends, but nearly doubles in size when the doors to the deck are open.
The second pavilion of bedrooms for children and guests can remain shut up when the owners are there alone, yet provides private and sizeable bedroom space.
Perhaps the biggest change has been outdoors, where the land has been transported from uncared-for, gorse-plagued paddocks to an expanse of lush pasture with native plantings, a productive vegetable garden and fruit trees.
Cost: Under $500,000
Architect: Gary Hopkinson, Team Architects, Greymouth.
Size: 175 square metres.
Materials: Timber frame, concrete floor/ chipboard floor, long run on the horizontal.
Energy efficiency: Under floor heating, wood fire, insulation.
Done right: Easy house to live in and visit.
Done wrong: Nothing!
Unexpected: How secluded and sheltered it is.
Recommend: Having a simple design.
Next time: Would do it all again but away from the big pine trees which, at the moment, hide our early morning sun.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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