Whitianga House

Materiality of place

  • Location
  • Whitianga, NZ
  • Architect
  • Pacific Environments Architects
  • Photography
  • Erica Kurth Photography

This honest stripped back home by Pacific Environments Architects has a seamless blend of practicality and aesthetics. It was a design focused around client lifestyle, materiality of place while trying to incorporate elements of historical context of place.

Throughout his life our client had developed a passion for aeronautics, in particular – Helicopters. This interest birthed an interesting industrial hanger like theme and materiality throughout the interior and exterior of the home.

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This exterior took on an industrial aesthetic with predominantly vertical black and stone coloured stria cladding echoing the look of a traditional helicopter hangers. The dwelling took on sharp and simple forms and comprised of “blocked” rectangular clusters resembling multiple hangars like bodies coming into one large amalgamated form.

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The location of this home is the country’s first manmade island that creates a unique juxtaposition between manmade and natural which was an important contrasting aesthetic we wanted to focus on and incorporate into our design. Historically, Whitianga has been a well-regarded hub for industries such as boat building, gold mining and kauri milling. This organically evolved the natural material selection into one that began to focus primarily on stone and timber.

The same stone that borders the edge of the manmade island has been incorporated throughout the landscaping, exterior and interior of the home. Large stone walls now act as features and visual resting points amongst the raw industrial look.

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Soft light timber and clear coated ply was used throughout for the flooring, walls, feature stairs, coffered ceilings and other feature details give the home a warmth that may have been lacking otherwise.

The “moire speed-up pattern” effect like illusions are prevalent all throughout the home – some more obvious such as the ceiling fans but also others in a more subtle manner such as timber slatted features, David Trubridge “ribbed” Navicula light and in particular through the staircase that was selected as a feature piece in this large open space. Aligned, repeating timber slats, tread and end capping on the stairs was carefully chosen to create an illusion of an infinitely repeating pattern similarly to the ones observed with rotating helicopter blades – the use of lighting and shadows further accentuates this.

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Architecture: Pacific Environments Architects
Interior Design: [Pacific Environments]
Photography: Erica Kurth
Creator: Cove Construction

Products used

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