The New Zealand House Built on a Sled

This charming two-story beach house is simple, functional, and can be towed to any beach or barge
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In an ideal world, your dream getaway has the following:

A) Rainwater showerhead, or B) Secret cubbies in the kids’ bunks, or C) A sweet location on a white sand beach.

Check all of the above? Yeah, us too. Such a place already exists, as it turns out: the Whangapoua Sled House. Oh, and did we mention that it’s portable? 

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Designed by Crosson Clarke Carnachon Architects, the Sled House is built on a coastal erosion zone on New Zealand’s pristine Coromandel Peninsula. Since everything on these dunes has to be removable, CCCA built the house on, well, two thick wooden sleds, making sure that the 495 square foot structure can be moved on and off the beach and even onto a barge should the occasion call for it.

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The owners, an Auckland family, were looking for a vacation getaway that was small, simple, and functional — and the Sled House is designed for just that, while connecting daily activities like cooking, sleeping, and showering to the outdoors and the amazing beachfront views. The Sled House is two stories tall, and the wide front shutter that forms the structure’s facade opens to form an awning, letting the interior steel-framed glass doors open out and the light and salty sea air in.

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A family of five sleeps soundly inside. Downstairs, you can cook and relax in the living room and climb the ladder up to the sleeping quarters. Since extra space is scarce, every nook of the Sled House is put to good use with cubbies and shelves. 

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And don’t forget the green factor. The Sled House is constructed primarily of sustainable timber, and out back you’ll find separate tanks for the worm waste system and the potable grey water.

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No time for a beach holiday for a couple months? Shutter the whole structure up and slide it back against the protection of the dunes. The beachfront McMansion is a thing of the past; welcome to the era of the Sled House. [H]

Originally Published at

Photos by Jackie Meiring. 

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