Castle Rock Beach House

Specifically conceived by Herbst Architects for the summer months, this house on the Whangarei Heads, New Zealand, feels like a light, wooden, living pavilion.

Herbst Architects, Castle Rock Beach House, Castle Rock, Whangarei Heads, New Zealand
Located on the crest of the seaside knoll, the Castle Rock Beach House is a continuation of Herbst Architects’ exploration in a genre of building that is specifically design for occupation in the summer months.
In the design process the architects attempt to challenge the boundaries between the built form and nature to heighten the experience of immersion in nature. They challenge also the accepted levels of comfort and utility for the same reason and attempt to reference the nostalgia surrounding the “Kiwi bach” by manipulating scale, form, relationships, materiality and limitation of amenity.
Herbst Architects, Castle Rock Beach House, Castle Rock, Whangarei Heads, New Zealand
Herbst Architects, Castle Rock Beach House, Castle Rock, Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

The building is broke into two primary components in order to reduce the scale and to allow the bach to follow the contour of the land. A single cut in the knoll, retained with a gabion wall, sets up a spine around which the components can be ordered. The functions are separated by a full level to allow a panoramic view from the living level and to step the house down towards the beach.

The living pavilion is articulated as a series of four spaces in a pinwheel arrangement; a kitchen, a lounge and two covered decks. The kitchen aspects towards both the north and south deck depending on the prevailing wind conditions by manipulating a series of doors and shutters. A stair drops to the lower level and penetrates the gabion wall, a covered outside walkway running along the gabion wall connects to the bedroom spaces. The stair continues on axis with a powerful rock formation at the base of the slope to make the connection to the beach.


Castle Rock Beach House, Castle Rock, Whangarei Heads, New Zealand
Program : summer house
Architects : Herbst Architects
Contractor : Lindesay Construction
Completion : 2014

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