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This Mount Maunganui home shares the spirit of the quintessential Kiwi bach

Article by Home Magazine

Evan Mayo of Architecture Bureau discusses making way for the new while still retaining enchanting elements of this once classic-Kiwi holiday home

This Mount Maunganui home shares the spirit of a quintessential Kiwi bach

Were you surprised when Mark and Heather decided to remove the original cottage?
When we designed the rear house, the understanding was that, at some stage, the question of their use of the original cottage would need to be addressed. But it was clear the occupation of the overall site would be key to understanding what to do with the original cottage.

Mark and Heather planned to use the new building as their permanent home, whereas the rear house was meant for more casual occupation. How did this affect your design?
The rear house was designed primarily for summer holiday use, and it became clear that it was unsuited to the demands of year-round living, while the original cottage turned out to be unsuitable as a work environment or overflow accommodation for guests. So the front house has been carefully designed to address these issues.

There was quite a bit of consternation in the community at the loss of the old place.
We were very conscious of this. We felt a subconscious pressure about the community’s attachment to the original cottage and the pohutukawa tree – because in tandem, they are reminiscent of our quintessential memories of an old-fashioned bach holiday, and how Mt Maunganui used to be.

What has the new building done for the first building you designed for them?
Mark and Heather’s brief was very clear – that the front house was to enhance and add to the experience of the rear house. There was a lot of dialogue about what the experience of the rear house was (positive and negative), how the new front house may affect this experience and how these affects could be mitigated and the overall experience of the rear house could be improved.

Key to this was managing the scale of the front house, and opening new view shafts, retaining the existing pohutukawa tree, using a greenwall to reinstate the green outlook of the rear house, and developing a shared central courtyard between the two.

Words by: Aimie Cronin. Photography by: Simon Devitt.

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