Amazing Spaces checks out the best Kiwi bach on the Coromandel gallery video

TVNZ

Amazing Spaces' presenter George Clarke checks out Ken Crosson's family bach on the Coromandel peninsula.

One of New Zealand's most-lauded holiday homes has made a star appearance on the first episode of a new series of George Clarke's Amazing Spaces.

The Coromandel bach, designed by architect Ken Crosson for his own family, almost rendered Clarke speechless. So much so, he asked if he could be adopted.

But, let's face it, what's not to love about this place? The architect says the bach was conceived as a container that sits lightly on the land – like a timber crate waiting to be unpacked.

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Architect Ken Crosson's bach on the Coromandel peninsula has won numerous design awards since it was built in 2002, including an NZIA Architecture Award.

The timber walls of the house can be lowered to open up the house to the view. They also create large decks in the front and back.

A woodburner keeps the house warm right through winter.

When no-one is home, the bach is completely closed up, like a timber crate waiting to be unpacked. Crosson says the vertical timber structural members on the exterior are reminiscent of the old 'trip' dams that once dotted the Coromandel region.

And this is how the bach looks when it's occupied.

Both the design and the view wowed George Clarke of Amazing Spaces.

Crafted timber also lines the interior.

Shutters close up the windows when the house is empty and provide shade during the summer.

The bach also features a mobile bathtub that can be wheeled out onto the deck for the ultimate bathing spot.

Even the shower affords a view.

Timber cabinetry is unobtrusive and visually calming.

Simple and unadorned, the bach is as practical as it is beautiful.

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And that's where the magic happens. At the push of a button, the huge timber walls are lowered to become platforms, or decks, shutters are raised and the view is brought right into the house.

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* A Coromandel bach that was meant to be

 
Both the design and the view wowed George Clarke of Amazing Spaces.
PATRICK REYNOLDS

Both the design and the view wowed George Clarke of Amazing Spaces.

Clarke's introduction to this project is enough to get anyone excited – and this is a pretty good advertisement for New Zealand.

"With 8000 miles of breathtaking coastline, Kiwis are so obsessed with wonderful coastal properties, they've even got their own name for them – baches. And the bach I am about to see today is nothing short of incredible."

​Clarke meets Crosson on site. And it's funny how they look like twins, clad head to toe in a black shirt and jeans architect's uniform. But they do cut a fine silhouette out on that deck.

Clarke gets the house tour, and he gets to try out the tub on wheels that can be moved onto the deck to 'soak' in the view. He's right, of course. This bach is nothing short of incredible.

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It's not a mansion; it didn't cost the earth to build; it's simple, comfortable, practical and seriously cool, despite being built 15 years ago.

If there's a single home that typifies great, enduring Kiwi architecture, this has to be it.

Amazing Spaces screens on TVNZ 1 on Thursdays at 7.30pm.

 - Stuff

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