Headland House, Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Stevens Lawson Architects

The house sits on a headland above Onetangi Beach on Waiheke Island. The site slopes away steeply to the rocky coastline below. Our clients asked for an informal house with a beach side atmosphere which was sensitive to the landscape and did not dominate the ridge line.

Our thinking for this project was based around a loose interpretation a fortified Maori Pa (traditional settlement) forms historically found on prominent headlands around New Zealand, coupled with ideas based on collections and clusters of stones, driftwood or shells often found on coastlines.

This thinking led us to create an open, organic plan that explores the idea of fluid space ‘held’ between more solid forms. The design offers an open, flowing & boundary-less living space contrasted with more enclosed cave-like retreats for lounge and bedroom areas. These solid forms or ‘pods’ frame distinct views of coastline and seascape providing a specific focus within the 270 degree view the headland offers. The atmospheres of the design stay true to the concept with a flowing, minimal interstitial space contrasted with the textured, woody pod forms to create a home offering both intimacy and openness.

The design of the house as an organic collection of smaller forms, shows a sensitivity to the prominence of this headland and empathy with the scale and form of the traditional beach houses on the island. In response to this outstanding landscape we have referenced local history and tradition to imbue our architecture with a distinct sense of place.

Headland House completed in July 2012

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