Bach to the Beach

written by:
photos by:
May 16, 2011

With authenticity and simplicity as their rallying cry, a Kiwi architect and his wife have built a modern beach house that puts a fresh spin on the local vernacular.

Read Full Article
  • 
  Bach to the BeachWith authenticity and simplicity as their rallying cry, a Kiwi architect and his wife have built a modern beach house that puts a fresh spin on the local vernacular.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Bach to the Beach

    With authenticity and simplicity as their rallying cry, a Kiwi architect and his wife have built a modern beach house that puts a fresh spin on the local vernacular.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The bach’s beachfront site is nestled behind sand dunes with views toward Kapiti Island, a nature sanctuary.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The bach’s beachfront site is nestled behind sand dunes with views toward Kapiti Island, a nature sanctuary.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The bach was designed with a combined open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining area, for which Gerald designed a dining table that seats ten. Bare bulbs, open shelves, and bright orange MDF cabinets in the kitchen maintain the low-key vibe.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The bach was designed with a combined open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining area, for which Gerald designed a dining table that seats ten. Bare bulbs, open shelves, and bright orange MDF cabinets in the kitchen maintain the low-key vibe.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Gerald designed the bach to feel as casual as possible, hence the lack of a paved driveway and garage.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Gerald designed the bach to feel as casual as possible, hence the lack of a paved driveway and garage.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The view of Kapiti Island is fully revealed from the tower.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The view of Kapiti Island is fully revealed from the tower.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Gerald wanted the siting of the buildings to appear loose, like a campsite. The gap between the living room and the bedroom wing accommodates a washing line.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Gerald wanted the siting of the buildings to appear loose, like a campsite. The gap between the living room and the bedroom wing accommodates a washing line.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The site includes a boat shed and a tractor the family uses to pull their boat to and from the ramp.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The site includes a boat shed and a tractor the family uses to pull their boat to and from the ramp.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Will relaxes on the sofa Gerald designed, below a painting by Gary Freemantle.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Will relaxes on the sofa Gerald designed, below a painting by Gary Freemantle.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  A bathroom with corrugated steel walls opens directly to the outdoors, making it easy to shower post-beach.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    A bathroom with corrugated steel walls opens directly to the outdoors, making it easy to shower post-beach.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  With no television in the bach, reading books and playing board games are favorite activities.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    With no television in the bach, reading books and playing board games are favorite activities.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Kate and Gerald relax in the living room.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Kate and Gerald relax in the living room.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Kate’s father predicted they would never use the crow’s nest–like tower, which is reached by climbing a narrow staircase.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Kate’s father predicted they would never use the crow’s nest–like tower, which is reached by climbing a narrow staircase.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Kate and Gerald enjoy the view up there most nights. The chair was salvaged from the original bach on site and reupholstered.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Kate and Gerald enjoy the view up there most nights. The chair was salvaged from the original bach on site and reupholstered.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Kayak in hand, Tom and Will make a break for the beach.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Kayak in hand, Tom and Will make a break for the beach.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The family spends summers and school vacations at the bach. New Zealand's relatively mild winters mean they use the house year-round.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The family spends summers and school vacations at the bach. New Zealand's relatively mild winters mean they use the house year-round.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The glassy pavilion containing kitchen, dining, and living areas is elevated three feet off the ground on posts so it appears to hover among the dunes.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The glassy pavilion containing kitchen, dining, and living areas is elevated three feet off the ground on posts so it appears to hover among the dunes.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The orange-painted MDF cabinets add a pop of color to the sun-washed kitchen.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The orange-painted MDF cabinets add a pop of color to the sun-washed kitchen.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The kitchen in action!  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The kitchen in action!

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Stainless steel countertops are easy to clean and weightless-looking, helping bounce light around the kitchen.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Stainless steel countertops are easy to clean and weightless-looking, helping bounce light around the kitchen.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  In the boys' room, a rolling ladder provides access to the top bunk.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    In the boys' room, a rolling ladder provides access to the top bunk.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Will and Tom enjoy their other bedroom essential: a foosball table.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Will and Tom enjoy their other bedroom essential: a foosball table.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The Parsonsons' dog takes a breather.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The Parsonsons' dog takes a breather.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  There are plenty of places to sprawl in the living room, including an Eames lounger and a custom-made orange chair.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    There are plenty of places to sprawl in the living room, including an Eames lounger and a custom-made orange chair.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The guest room cleverly shoehorns four bunks into a small footprint.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The guest room cleverly shoehorns four bunks into a small footprint.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Another guestroom, with a bit more space.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Another guestroom, with a bit more space.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  There's plenty of beach reading on hand.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    There's plenty of beach reading on hand.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  A topographic map of Kapiti Island hangs in the tower.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    A topographic map of Kapiti Island hangs in the tower.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  The view as you head downstairs from the crow's nest tower.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    The view as you head downstairs from the crow's nest tower.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  Will demonstrates the post-beach shower ritual.  Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    Will demonstrates the post-beach shower ritual.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

  • 
  A view into the house from the porch.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!   Photo by: Matthew WilliamsCourtesy of: matthew williams
    A view into the house from the porch.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

    Courtesy of: matthew williams

@current / @total

Read Full Article

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...