Step Island Bach

Bay of Islands, New Zealand – Crosson, Clarke, Carnachan Architects

Year: 2005
Photography: Patrick Reynolds
This renovation and addition is on Motukawaiti, a privately owned island in the Cavalli group, just to the north of the New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands. The project included the restoration of an existing turn-of-the-century cottage and the addition of four pavilions to provide guest accommodation and spa/sauna facilities. With the island being 3 kilometres offshore, all materials had to be barged from the mainland.
From the architects:
Stage one was the restoration of the existing cottage: heritage colour schemes were adhered to throughout. The cottage remains largely internal, with the exception of two added sets of French doors to the veranda, taking in the view to the pier and the ocean beyond. In the new kitchen painted tongue-and-groove cabinetry sits beneath solid American oak shelving and concrete bench tops that relate to the living-area fireplace hearth and contrast the old and the new.

Stage two was the provision of an underground cellar and four distinct pavilions: additional bedrooms off the cottage, an open summer pavilion, a gymnasium and a spa room. Subtle gestures of building orientation and fenestration direct the occupants’ views and movements through the site. The pavilions are closely located, providing privacy and framing spectacular views, with the angular roof planes and canted placement a response to the rugged faceted coastline.

The central summer pavilion epitomises indoor/outdoor living: walls of glass louvres provide a seamless connection with the decks, pool and beach; a foldaway bed beneath a glazed roof allows sleeping under the stars; the free-standing bath is open to the outside; and generous overhangs allow for increased shading.

The pavilions use a restrained palette of natural materials. Stained bevel-back cedar weatherboards with stainless-steel fixings reinterpret the cladding of the cottage. The weatherboard cladding carries through to clear finished interior hoop-pine plywood linings. Darker solid-oak cabinetry contrasts this and binds the exterior tones to the interior. Tongue-and-groove flooring flows into the external decking. Saligna structural members, stained cedar joinery and corrugated metal roofing complete the exterior. All materials were sustainably sourced – timber is either plantation-grown or from renewable sources.

The project provides an elegant dichotomy, the protected internal nature of the harmoniously renovated cottage contrasting with the exposed and dramatic pavilion elements. Simplicity of form and finish allow all buildings to blend into their setting.

Click on any image to start lightbox display. Use your Esc key to close the lightbox.

Another bach by the same architects is Coromandel Container




Global Site Search


Our Deal For Today!

Your details will never be shared with any third party. Unsubscribe at any time with a single click.

The posts on this site sometimes contain an affiliate link or links to Amazon or other marketplaces. An affiliate link means that this business may earn advertising or referral fees if you make a purchase through those links.