The Haven is a compact new four-bedroom home located north-west of Auckland City in the established suburb of Beach Haven. Originally populated as a summer holiday destination, remnants of a relaxed seaside lifestyle remain despite the areas rapid growth and gentrification over recent years. The clients, nearing retirement, have an enduring connection to the site that has been subdivided from an existing family property. The challenge lay in creating a quality infill development, employing passive solar design principles and a high performing building envelope, whilst responding to existing conditions of privacy and outlook at higher density.
With a modest budget in place, the clients desired a home to compliment and enrich their creative lifestyle, but to also accommodate their growing family when need be. Another key consideration was to future proof the dwelling as they grow older, incorporating level thresholds, a secondary master bedroom on the ground floor and the implementation of design solutions to reduce daily running costs and increase thermal comfort.
The building form responds to the contour of the land, projecting down towards southwest views to the Waitemata Harbour and distant Waitakere Ranges, protecting interior spaces from the harsh summer setting sun. The exposed concrete slab is blackened to increase thermal mass performance, combined with precisely positioned sunshading and natural ventilation to passively heat and cool the home.
The dark exterior makes a striking contrast to the Pohutakawa on site, whilst the rhythmic battening of the cladding and interior cabinetry and stair resonates the stratification of the cliffs and pier of Island Bay directly below.
Photography by © David Straight