Herne Bay

Simon Devitt

The house in Herne Bay is on a north facing slope, looking out over Herne Bay towards the Waitemata harbour. The site is zoned ‘Residential 2’, which recognises the significant heritage and character of the area. An empty site presented a rare opportunity for a contemporary re-conception of the Villa archetype which typifies the surrounds. The house in Herne Bay integrates contemporary New Zealand ideals, design and construction, whilst maintaining much of the language and posture of the well mannered Villa.

This contemporary concrete construct is sculpturally formed over three levels: the garaging is excavated below; the upper level sits recessively beneath a hipped roof; the mid level is boldly expressed by the horizontal composition of weatherboard impressed concrete fins. The fins abstract the traditional street verandah whilst controlling privacy and filtering light into the spaces within.

Programme is arranged about a central northern positioned exterior core. This strategy orientates the house towards the sun, provides outdoor living, a view of the Waitemata beyond and creates a vertical link between all levels of the dwelling. Whilst the living spaces are open to the exterior core, bespoke cabinetry and fireplaces create a variety of interior spaces. Living spaces are both grandeur yet intimate, much like the street facing rooms of the traditional Villa.

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