The Eastern Bays House

Fancy a dip?

Box™ architect Tim Dorrington tells us about this Maraetai beauty that drinks in the views all the way to Rangitoto – and provides holiday-style living year round.

Q: Who were the clients?
A: A young family who liked the look of what we do and also the fact that we were both registered architects and master builders – in other words, the end-to-end service.

Q: The site is rather long and narrow. What challenges did this present?
A: There were both good features and challenging aspects of the section. There was a bit of a cross slope to deal with, but on the plus side, this meant the existing house in front of this property was a fair bit lower than our site. The best views were accessed from high up on the site – an almost 180˚ panorama out over pohutukawa trees to the sea. The narrow shape allowed us to provide a private decent-sized back yard, in which the pool and decking is located.

Q: What is the overall architectural idea?
A: We wanted to make use of the available views so designed a top floor where the main living and master bedroom is located to take best advantage of this it.

Q: It looks like a fantastic summer home. Tell me about the outdoor spaces?
A: It is! But we had to make a good connection between the main living area with the outdoors so that you could flow naturally from lounge to pool area (the previous house on the site was a little fenced off). So we designed a large set of wide hardwood stairs (that happen to also be good for sitting on) as a direct link. We also added an outdoor covered deck/room to the top floor for an even easier connection to the outside. This is intended for day-to-day living, eating and entertaining in all weather (whilst watching the boaties go by). The lap pool in the back yard also makes the most of all day sun, and has a peek of view to the sea.

Q: Tell me about the ways you framed up the views?
A: It’s a careful balancing act to provide good openings to the view while maintaining privacy. Fortunately in this location all of the views are out to the front, and the house immediately in front has followed the same idea, so there weren’t many issues.

Q: Any learnings from this home that you will re-use in other Box™ designs?
A: The defining Box™ elements are consistent with all of our projects and include full-height windows, sharp architectural lines, and an easy flow between indoors and out and around the house. However there were a couple of architectural add-ons that, while not typical of the Box™ style, were very successful. These were the timber screens over the windows to the stairwell, the outdoor covered room on the top floor, which in turn makes an interesting entry courtyard, the subtle setback of the bottom floor to the top floor to give relief to the elevations and the grandstand stairs. Budget and project permitting, it would be great to employ some of these architectural features on future homes too.

FLOOR AREA HOUSE:

190 square metres (including Garage)

DECKING:

40 square metres

BEDROOMS

3

BATHROOMS:

2

CLADDING:

Shadowclad Ply (painted in Resene, Bokara Grey)

Cedar Ply (stained in Drydens Oil, Elm)

FLOORING:

Polished Concrete (Medium Grind) / Engineered Timber (American Oak)

ROOFING:

Coloursteel (Flaxpod)

KITCHEN BENCH:

Brushed Stainless Steel

KITCHEN CABINETRY:

Arctic White Melamine (Velvet Finish) and Gaboon Plywood

BATHROOM CABINETRY:

Gaboon Plywood

BATHROOM FLOORING:

Urban Concrete Night (600×600)

Arch Bianco White Gloss (100×300)

DECKING:

Vitex