A Place to Stand

written by:
photos by:
June 20, 2011
Originally published in A New Slant on Family Fun

Designed for her parents and generations to come, Amanda Yates's seaside New Zealand house is "somewhere between architecture and landscape" but firmly rooted in family life.

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  • 
  The house Amanda Yates (with her partner, Adam Rose, and their baby, Awa) designed for her parents, David and Christine, occupies a hillside site with views over Maramaratotara Bay.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The house Amanda Yates (with her partner, Adam Rose, and their baby, Awa) designed for her parents, David and Christine, occupies a hillside site with views over Maramaratotara Bay. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A short walk down the road, a ferry service carries passengers on the two-minute journey across the channel to the small town of Whitianga.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A short walk down the road, a ferry service carries passengers on the two-minute journey across the channel to the small town of Whitianga. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A short road leads to Maramaratotara Bay.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A short road leads to Maramaratotara Bay. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The concrete wall mimics the slope of the hill outside as a reference to early Maori structures that were dug into the land. The simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The ceramic works on the built-in seat at right are by Raewyn Atkinson and Robyn Lewis.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The concrete wall mimics the slope of the hill outside as a reference to early Maori structures that were dug into the land. The simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The ceramic works on the built-in seat at right are by Raewyn Atkinson and Robyn Lewis. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The north-facing doors slide completely away to open the house to the outdoors, offering an uninterrupted view of the water. The pendant lights over the table are from Iko Iko.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The north-facing doors slide completely away to open the house to the outdoors, offering an uninterrupted view of the water. The pendant lights over the table are from Iko Iko. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A pop of color in the kitchen cabinets refers to the native greenery outside.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A pop of color in the kitchen cabinets refers to the native greenery outside. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The home’s sliding doors blur the boundaries between inside and out.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The home’s sliding doors blur the boundaries between inside and out. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  In the living area, the wooden bench is part of a set Amanda designed for a 1995 play. The Miss M sofa is by New Zealand designer Simon James.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    In the living area, the wooden bench is part of a set Amanda designed for a 1995 play. The Miss M sofa is by New Zealand designer Simon James. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  An almost-concealed door designed as a part of the kitchen cabinetry leads to the main bedroom and en-suite bath.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    An almost-concealed door designed as a part of the kitchen cabinetry leads to the main bedroom and en-suite bath. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Christine (at left), and Amanda (at right) chat with David’s sister Aroha Yates-Smith (center) in the kitchen.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Christine (at left), and Amanda (at right) chat with David’s sister Aroha Yates-Smith (center) in the kitchen. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Builder Ross Percival helped finesse the finely tuned detailing that separates the internal slope from the rock outside (opposite). The Pedro wire stool is by Craig Bond for Candywhistle.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Builder Ross Percival helped finesse the finely tuned detailing that separates the internal slope from the rock outside (opposite). The Pedro wire stool is by Craig Bond for Candywhistle. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  For now, one-year-old Awa is small enough to sleep in the hammock that hangs from the ceiling.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    For now, one-year-old Awa is small enough to sleep in the hammock that hangs from the ceiling. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The shower provides a glimpse of the outdoors.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The shower provides a glimpse of the outdoors. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Amanda designed the upstairs studio with its own entrance and a small kitchen and bathroom for when she, Adam, and Awa come to visit.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Amanda designed the upstairs studio with its own entrance and a small kitchen and bathroom for when she, Adam, and Awa come to visit. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Living so near the water the views, especially through these louvered windows, out to Maramaratotara Bay are spectacular.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Living so near the water the views, especially through these louvered windows, out to Maramaratotara Bay are spectacular. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Yates used the same medium density fiberboard on this bookshelf as she did on the wall in the kitchen.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Yates used the same medium density fiberboard on this bookshelf as she did on the wall in the kitchen. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The concrete bench in the living area just past the kitchen is built into the sloping wall. The Pedro wire stool is by Craig Bond for Candywhistle.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The concrete bench in the living area just past the kitchen is built into the sloping wall. The Pedro wire stool is by Craig Bond for Candywhistle. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  No better way to test paint colors than to simply apply them.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    No better way to test paint colors than to simply apply them. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  Beneath the house, Adam and Awa find ample space to hand the laundry to dry.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Beneath the house, Adam and Awa find ample space to hand the laundry to dry. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The planks inside the house blend into those on the small porch just outside. It's a nice touch that helps marry the outdoors with the home's interior.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The planks inside the house blend into those on the small porch just outside. It's a nice touch that helps marry the outdoors with the home's interior. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The hanging Iko Iko pendants in the kitchen add a vertical touch to a space and help frame the views outside.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The hanging Iko Iko pendants in the kitchen add a vertical touch to a space and help frame the views outside. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  A small space for laundry.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    A small space for laundry. Courtesy of matthew williams.
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  The rock slope just outside is in clear sympathy with the concrete cant inside—nature right alongside architecture.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The rock slope just outside is in clear sympathy with the concrete cant inside—nature right alongside architecture. Courtesy of matthew williams.
  • 
  Here's a glimpse of how easy the pull-out shelves function in the kitchen. Again, medium density fiberboard is the material Yates chose.  Courtesy of matthew williams.
    Here's a glimpse of how easy the pull-out shelves function in the kitchen. Again, medium density fiberboard is the material Yates chose. Courtesy of matthew williams.
  • 
  The beach is never far off, and the path to get there is about as appealing as the water itself.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!   Courtesy of matthew williams.
    The beach is never far off, and the path to get there is about as appealing as the water itself.

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

    Courtesy of matthew williams.
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