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A home for all seasons

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Classic and modern materials are combined in this seaside home designed for year-round enjoyment on all fronts

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Traditionally, the seaside home was all about maximising the scenery and the summer sunshine. However, today's getaway residence is being designed for year-round comfort.

The brief handed to architect Lindy Leuschke for this project was to design a holiday home that would be an inviting place to be even as the seasons turn.

"The clients' previous home on the same site had been a little forlorn in winter," she says. "While the new home is built within the same footprint, the strategic use of materials and architectural features increases its year-round liveability."

As with the original home, the three-bedroom residence is oriented to the views, with two expansive living areas fronting the ocean side of the home.

"Over summer, adjustable louvres and roof overhangs make this south face comfortable even under strong midday sun," says Leuschke.

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Floor-to-ceiling retractable glass doors and generous decks make the most of the connection between home and beach during these warmer months.

"During winter, however, the louvres are adjustable to admit a milder sun," says the architect. "Double glazing on windows and the sliding doors ensures the home remains snug even in cooler temperatures."

On the sunnier, northern side of the home, the outlook is less scenic. Here, an insulated translucent plastic product, Danpalon, was introduced.

Leuschke says the material has the advantage of filtering out the view while still admitting diffused sunlight, and the sounds of wind and rain.

"On the west side of the home we designed a kitchen to open out to a private courtyard. This area attracts the evening sun, but also gusty winds."

On windless days, floor-to-ceiling glass doors are drawn back, turning the kitchen into one continuous indoor to outdoor space. An island bench runs from the kitchen directly out into the courtyard. A niche cut right through the island allows the glass doors to meet in the middle, bisecting the elongated counter.

Danpalon is also used in the courtyard area – this time in the form of screens that keep the winds at bay. These are retracted on windless days to access views in this direction.

"While Danpalon is a contemporary, functional material, the owners had also wanted the material palette to reflect the simple, natural environment," says the architect. "To achieve this, easy-to-maintain, durable materials such as concrete, wood, and glass predominate."

The home's entrance offers first evidence of the use of earthy materials. Here, a slatted wood facade incorporates the garage door and front door.

A clear glass roof floods the entranceway with natural light and beyond this, in the main living areas, concrete walls and basalt flooring are used. Band-sawn, white-painted wood forms a bank of panelling above the large concrete fireplace. This raw, textured material is re-peated in the kitchen cabinetry faces off to the left.

"Despite a sleek Japanese appearance, there is still a traditional beach house mind-set prevailing," Leuschke says.

First published date: 31 March 2007

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Credit List

Architect Lindy Leuschke, Leuschke Group Architects (Auckland)
Interior designer Lindy Leuschke
Main contractor Lindesay Construction
Kitchen designer Leuschke Group Architects
Doors and windows APL Vantage
Window and door hardware Halliday & Baillie
Cladding Stevensons concrete block; timber slats; Danpalon
Roofing Hitchens membrane; clear glass entry roof with aluminium frame
Tiling European Ceramics
Paints Resene
Lighting ECC
Kitchen cabinetry Band-sawn cedar
Benchtops Absola
Taps Paini from Metrix
Oven, cooktop, refrigerator, dishwasher, waste disposal Fisher & Paykel
Ventilation Smeg
Microwave Panasonic
Bathroom vanity Absola benchtop
Basin and shower fittings Robertson Agencies
Shower enclosure Metro Frameless
Floor and wall tiles Basalt from European Ceramics
Toilet Keramag Visit
Outdoor paving Basalt from European Ceramics
Decking Vitex timber