This Waiheke holiday home creates a balance between public and private living. John Irving of Studio John Irving discusses the inspiration for the design
The inspiration for this Waiheke bach comes from an unlikely source
Is the gabled roof really a nod to the nearby public toilet block?
Yes. It’s a great toilet block: the roof is an amazing structure.
You describe the owners as “serial offenders”. Does that make them easier to work with?
Oh God, it’s so much easier – they are now your friends and they give you the most important thing that an architect needs from a client: trust.
The family had holidayed on this spot for a couple of years before building – what drew them to the property, and how did their insights affect the build?
It’s always really helpful if the clients know the site’s year-round subtleties. The main thing that came out of it was the need to capture as much of the afternoon sun as possible before it disappears over the hill, and an awareness that at times in summer the beach can turn into Waikiki at the drop of a hat.
How did you strike the balance between privacy and engagement with this house?
There was a fair bit of wandering up and down the park and plotting out view angles. We wanted to have the handrail across the front lower than the main indoor and outdoor living areas so you can see the horizon, since you don’t have a bloody handrail in the way. It also provides a lower deck area, which we set up with barstools – it’s a great show with the summer hordes.
Words by: Penny Lewis. Photography by: Simon Wilson.