House of the week: Kina Bay

Last updated 05:00 03/07/2013

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Give up the day jobs, head for the sun and build a home of bed and breakfast proportions: this was the retirement scheme for Dunedin couple Stan and Jenny Whitty. 

They had no thoughts of small, compact and single level, so when they commissioned local Nelson architect David Jerram they requested something to accommodate numbers on their plot of land near Motueka. That said, they also wanted a build that could become a comfortable family home: it needed to ease seamlessly into its Kina Bay environment, be contemporary and fit to a tight budget.

Architect Jerram describes the build as "a one-room wide linear plan that steps along the ridge and presents views of the Mt Arthur range to all rooms.

"The guest rooms are at one end with a guest dining room and entrance. The family spaces are separated from these, with bedrooms upstairs. Each of the guest rooms has its own veranda and outdoor terrace, and at the other end there are outdoor spaces for the family."

The 295 square metres of house initially had five bedrooms, but early on a guest bedroom was converted to create a separate guest lounge.

Jerram says "the design is reminiscent of agricultural buildings, reflecting the rural aspect of the site. The form is hard-edged and crisp, balanced with several sheltered veranda spaces for external living, especially to the west. These provide detail and shadow to the main forms, shelter from the sun and privacy for the guest areas. In addition, a large pergola delineates the main outdoor space."

Black was chosen as the external colour to emphasise the crisp architectural form, yet also because it would blend into the rural environment.Jerram says, surprisingly, that black is a much less noticeable colour in the environment than the traditional greens and browns.

The house was completed within the strict budget, costing about $1750/m2 which the architect says is very economical considering the extensive external wall area with linear configuration.

The Whittys are delighted with the build. Having a separate guest wing enables them to shut down half the house in the winter when guests are few. The extensive surrounds have been developed to include a lap pool, pizza oven and pockets of planted interest with varying views, each creating interest and varying colour. A lavender garden is the most recent addition, with seating overlooking the picturesque Kina Bay estuary.

It is a build with function, now as a bed and breakfast business, and when the couple take one step deeper into retirement, they know it will make the perfect family home.


Build cost: Under $500,000

Architect: David Jerram, Jerram Tocker Barron Architects Ltd, Nelson

Build Size: 295 sq m floor area

Materials: Shadowclad Ply exterior with Resene Cool Cote Stain, Colorsteel roof, Aluminium windows. Exposed aggregate concrete paving.

Energy efficiency: Solar water heating, higher levels of insulation and a limit to the extent of windows to the southeast and southwest sides of the house. Solid fuel burner in living area for heating. 

Ad Feedback

Done right: We wanted a property with potential for a B&B with our own living, but which could ultimately be an entire house, that’s been delivered. The open-plan living makes you feel like you are living outside and it’s so easy to keep.

Done wrong: We would like a bigger pantry, my fault, I thought the planned pantry would be sufficient.

Unexpected: The views from every room, and on both sides of the house, and the sun from morning to sundown. Six years on I still feel as though I’m on holiday living here.

Recommend: Using David Jerram as an architect. 

Next Time: I’d have a bigger dining room for the guests and instead of five bedrooms have four bedrooms and one larger guest room with sitting room attached.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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