Home features

A coastal home in Thames offers a secret sanctuary

Article by Home Magazine

Adam Mercer of Mercer and Mercer Architects takes inspiration from the intensity of the landscape and dramatic sweeping sea views

A coastal home in Thames offers a secret sanctuary

What were the most challenging aspects of designing this home?
The power and drama of this site is immense, the challenge was to do it justice.

Now that’s it’s finished, what do you enjoy most about the design?
The random photos that Kirsty and Viv send me from time to time – so beautiful.

The wind and other elements can really kick up a fuss here, how does the house manage?
Like all of us in a crisis, she gets a bit moody, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

While living in their tiny New York apartment, Kirsty and Viv decided that they had to get back to New Zealand and move forward with the plans. Did this come as a surprise and did things move quickly from that phone call?
Kirsty and Viv are full of surprises. What was really cool is the strong feeling they had from our drawings. And, yep, together with builder Doug Fleming, who built the ‘K Valley’ house by Herbst Architects [which won Home of the Year 2016] we hauled ass on this project.

Are there lessons here in how to maximise living in a relatively small space?
Absolutely – just go to New York!

The house has gone from bach to permanent home and with it a shift in the arrangement of guest accommodation to become an office. How does this serve the owners and their guests?
This was always the plan. The trick is to allow small spaces to be flexible and allow your guests to drink more than they should.

Words by: Delaney Mes. Photography by: Simon Devitt.

FEATURED