Compact house designed as a primary residence for the owners on top of a hill above Peka Peka Beach

Architects: Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects
Location: Peka Peka, New Zealand
Year: 2015
Area: 1.894 ft²/ 176 m²
Photo courtesy: Jason Mann

“On top of a hill above Peka Peka Beach sit three simple boxes with expansive views across to Kapiti Island and inland towards pine forest plantation and agricultural farmland. There are two black-stained cedar boxes positioned to create a sheltered courtyard: one box is dedicated to living functions, the other to sleeping. The third box, clad in profiled polycarbonate, contains the garage and workshop: at night it glows when lit from within. Combined, they form a compact house designed as a primary residence for the owners.

The design is a response to both views and climate; the latter a particularly important consideration for year-round living in such an exposed location. The North-facing courtyard is protected from coastal winds, yet still enjoys views right through the living room towards the sea. Timber decking surrounds the house and provides a variety of scenarios to seek shelter depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

As requested by our knowledgeable clients, the house promotes some eco values in the form of a combination of PV and solar hot water panels and above code insulation. Their long-term ambition is to go off-grid. LED lighting throughout and exposed and insulated concrete slab as a heat store helps reduce power consumption. Natural ventilation picks up the consistent afternoon sea breezes.”

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