An architect’s own sleek-but-simple holiday getaway

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An architect’s own sleek-but-simple holiday getaway

Evelyn McNamara‘s holiday home on Waiheke Island is something of a statement, and we’re not just talking about its bold black-and-white colour palette.

Evelyn McNamara designed her own holiday getaway on Waiheke Island. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

McNamara believes many New Zealand holiday homes have gotten a bit too big, abandoning their bach origins and forgetting a few things about summer simplicity. So she designed this 72-square-metre home to show that contemporary baches could be simple and sleek.

The home's dark cedar tones in with the punga ferns on the site. Bifold doors by Altherm Window Systems stack back to open the living areas to the view. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

McNamara isn’t intending this home, located just a few minutes’ walk from Oneroa village, to be the only one of its kind. She set herself the challenge of designing a modular plan that could be easily located on a wide range of sites.

The idea is to make the design available as a cost-effective solution for clients, as the home needs little adaptation to make it suit different locations. That makes this house something of a prototype, as McNamara hopes that it is a winning formula that will end up popping up on sites all over New Zealand.

The home features glass bifolds by Altherm Window Systems on both sides, allowing the design to be adapted to a wide range of sites. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

Simplicity was key in the design of the home, not only in the colour palette, but in the arrangement of rooms. The home’s dark cedar cladding also runs along the back wall of the bedrooms and open-plan living area.

McNamara says keeping the living room simply furnished enhances the sense of space. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

The symmetrical placement of glass bifolds doors by Altherm Window Systems on each side allows views to the south and draws sun in from the north. McNamara says she chose bifolds rather than sliders because she likes the way the vertical lines give the rooms a sense of enclosure and containment when the doors are closed. The bifolds stack neatly away at the edges of the deck when they’re open, making the living space feel like a real indoor-outdoor space.

The black-and-white kitchen also features a movable table adjacent to the island. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

In the kitchen, McNamara chose black strandboard as a cost-effective cabinetry solution, while a ‘Pi’ table by Roderick Fry for Moaroom acts as an extension of the kitchen island and a movable dining table. She teamed black Corian benchtops with appliances by Fisher & Paykel. The floor is white-painted plywood.

This view of the kitchen shows a glimpse of the home's guest bedroom. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

The home has its bathroom and laundry located in a central service core – another cost-efficient measure which means all the plumbing services are located close to each other). Because the bathroom doesn’t have an external window, McNamara installed an opening ThermalHEART skylight for light and ventilation. She kept the colour palette similarly simple in the bathroom, with dark tiles, timber cabinetry and white walls and floors.

The home's compact bathroom is located in its central service core. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

The bedrooms are as simple as the rest of the house, with compact wardrobes, a dark cedar back wall and bifolds opening onto the deck.

The guest bedroom opens onto the rear deck of the home. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

McNamara intends to rent the home out as a holiday rental, but likes it so much she’s had trouble doing so since its completion in September. She’s holing up there for Christmas and New Year herself before putting it onto a holiday rentals website.

A view of the home from the recently planted garden on the back of the site. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

A view through the home's bifold doors from the back yard to the living area. Photograph by Jeremy Toth.

Photography by: Jeremy Toth.

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