A party cabana and sculptural pool fence to envy on summer days

A dated outdoor area received an elegant makeover. Now with a striking shelter, sculptural fence and outdoor speakers it’s the ultimate entertaining space

A party cabana and sculptural pool fence to envy on summer days

Project: Party cabana and pool

Architects: Rogan Nash

Location: Cox’s Bay, Auckland

Brief: To rethink a dated outdoor space for owners who love to entertain, and that will endure for their children.

A makeshift beach shack on the back lawn – “like something from the Bahamas” – greeted architects Eva Nash and Kate Rogan on their first visit to a 1930s family home in need of a renovation. Their clients, who work in creative industries, were about to throw a party and had gone the extra mile to transport their guests to the tropics from Cox’s Bay, Auckland. “It showed you the cool parties they have and the extent to which they entertain,” says Rogan. “They wanted to go to that extra level – they really wanted that showstopper.”

It seems fitting that the duo’s design goes the extra distance, too, to create a crowd-pleasing folly at the back of a newly levelled lawn. Faceted walls of glassfibre-reinforced concrete panels float above the pool like a carefully crafted iceberg – their reflection in the water doubling the impact. When the pool’s not in use, the panels act as both sculpture and light source in, bouncing light across the lawn.

The pool and cedar-lined cabana sit across the lawn from the home’s covered deck – a lazy holler from someone making drinks in the kitchen. “We’ve really defined the space and made it feel like they’ve taken ownership of the entire back lawn. Rather than staying close to the house, they’ve really spread out,” says Nash.

Shelter comes from black powder-coated aluminium Louvretec pergola, slim legs anchoring it to the Vitex deck. Light and shade thread through the louvres, which can close completely. With a shower, lighting and surround speakers, the space works hard at all hours. “It’s always a good time at the pool cabana,” says Rogan.

“You really want to go out there and be on the sun lounger,” says Rogan of the appeal. “You really want to invite people over for a martini – and you really want to have a party on the lawn.”

Words by: Jessica-Belle Greer. Photography by: Simon Devitt.

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