Located on Warlike Island, a 19km ferry journey from down-town Auckland, the Handshake Bay house hunkers-down below a ridge line at the head of a gully. Slowing to the pace of “island life”, the house turns its back on the city to engage the view east over the outer islands of the Murasaki Gulf.
Designed for a semi-retired couple, ease of movement and single level accessibility were requirements that set challenges for design on a site with a significant natural slope.Broken into three narrow pavilions, the arrangement of the house “bends” to follow the natural contours, allowing ease of movement through the landscape and minimal excavation of the landforms. The house becomes a place to pause, and to look out.
A play on the traditional NZ villa veranda, the notion was further extended to explore the idea of “living on the veranda” in a sub-tropical climate. Banks of eastern flap windows on gas struts open leaving only “veranda posts” intact as occupants engage with the landscape under the shelter and shade of the “veranda” roof.
As in the natural environment where folds in the landforms often contain watercourses, the two wedges of space between the three pavilions become spaces for the gathering of water, points of cleansing. These two linkages contain 2 bath-houses, one the main en suite and the other a plunge pool/spa.
In these spaces the boundaries between interior and exterior are further broken down with the east/west walls constructed of fully glazed louver banks and exterior materials used on the floor, wall & ceiling. A translucent polycarbonate roof allows filtered natural light into the spaces.
A semi-screened outdoor room to the west of the main living space is bounded by water, with reflection pools at both ends. This space is set into the landforms to provide both shelter and access to seasonal afternoon sun and has an outdoor fireplace for warmth and ambiance in the cooler months.
There are 5 photos in this whanake Bay House by Strachan Group content. Follow the thumbnail below to view all 5 high-res photos.
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