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Call of the sea – beachside home

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Beach house inspired by traditional boat sheds

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Even seaside villages can be built up, just like residential suburbs in the city. But the likelihood of obtaining a water view means there is always an added incentive for architectural innovation.

Maximising the view and providing privacy from neighbouring houses were key design drivers for this new beachside house. Designed by architectural designer Chris Tate for owners Andrew and Katie Graham, the house was built by the family's own company, ADG Builders.

"Essentially, the site dictated the form of the building," Tate says. "Setting the house as far back as possible was a way to avoid overlooking other properties. And this allowed plenty of space on the north side for a large, sunny terrace."

Privacy is also created by two large gabled forms on the east and west side of the house, which semi-enclose the terrace. The gables, which are reminiscent of traditional boatsheds, have fully glazed ends and are connected by a single-level pavilion-style element. This houses the kitchen-dining area.

Additional interest is provided by the visual tension of the flat versus steeply pitched rooflines, and by the black and white colour palette.


"The two-storey gable ends are clad in black-painted cedar with black joinery, while the low pavilion features white-painted cedar shiplap and white joinery," says Tate. "This combination continues on the interior. The kitchen, for example,features a 4m-long, white stone island and matching stools, while the cabinets at the rear are in matt black."

To accommodate the slope of the site, the house is built over four levels, with garaging and an office on the lower level. Above these rooms on the western gable are two symmetrical bedrooms for the children, and a small mezzanine living area. The kitchen is also on this mid level.

The main living room within the east wing is several steps lower, and the master suite is above this room beneath the pitched roof.

"The ceilings in the bedrooms feature painted grooved plywood sheeting that is another reference to the boatshed look," says Tate.

Textural detailing is also provided by a natural timber batten screen beside the stairs. This adds visual warmth, which helps balance the crisp, polished concrete floor and steel staircase.

Louvre windows ensure there is plenty of cross ventilation to keep the house at a comfortable temperature all year round.

First published date: 28 December 2012

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Credit List

Architectural designer Chris Tate, Chris Tate Architecture (Auckland)
Interior designer Katie Graham
Builder Andrew Graham, ADG Builders
Kitchen design and manufacture Silverdale Kitchens
Construction Impact steel and timber framing
Cladding Cedar; Hermpac painted weatherboard
Roofing Longrun ColorSteel in Ebony from Rodney Roofing
Flooring American white oak by Hermpac, finished with black Osmo oil by Floor Finishers
Paints and varnishes Resene CoolColours in Black
Tiling Tile New Zealand
Lighting Douglas + Bec; Beacon Lighting Australia
Heating Daikin heat pump from Thermal Solutions
Doors and windows Windowmakers
Skylights Velux
Window and door hardware Assa Abbloy
Curtains Freedom Furniture decorating service
Hand rails National Glass
Fireplace Fires By Design
Home automation Adam Barber Electrical
Kitchen cabinets White lacquer; matt black
Benchtops Composite stone from Silverdale Kitchens
Sink Foraze
Taps Aquatica
Oven, ventilation and dishwasher Smeg