24h Week Month

Whangapoua Sled House

21.05.2012 | Architecture
feeldesain-Whangapoua-Sled-House-open

On the shore of an idyllic white sanded beach in New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula rests an elegant hut. Closed up, the rough macrocarpa-cladding blends into the landscape and perches quietly on the dunes, as passersby wonder how it could possibly function for a family of five. Designed to close up against the elements, the hut measures a mere 40 square metres and rests on two thick wooden ‘sleds’ that allow it to be shifted around the beach front section. This innovative portability is a response to the ever changing landscape that line the beachfront in this coastal erosion zone. Within the hut, the ingenuity reveals itself further as no nook or cranny is overlooked. Every available space has been utilised, right down to the secret individual cubby holes hidden in the children’s bunk room.

Project by: Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects

For these clients it was all about the real essence of the hut; small, simple and functional. The hut comes to life when the enormous shutter on the northeast façade winches open to form an awning, revealing two-storey high steel-framed glass doors that form the main entrance. The hut then transforms into a sun drenched haven, opening up to the views of the surf and the distant Mercury Islands.

The mezzanine bedroom is accessed by climbing a wall-mounted ladder through a closeable hatch, it shares the same view as downstairs through the huge glass doors. Climb the ladder again and you arrive on a roof terrace which catches rainwater for the gravity tanks behind.

From the industrial style fittings to the quirky furnishings, this whole structure plays with the idea of the most egalitarian of Kiwi recreations and embraces and challenges the image of the traditional ‘Kiwi bach’. Small, simply and elegantly self-contained, this tiny elegant hut strips holiday living right back to basics.

Photography by Jackie Meiring

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