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Strachan Group Architects
Whangapoua, New Zealand

Drawing aesthetic inspiration from the vernacular red shed across the adjacent banks of the Pungapunga river, Waipapa provides a family beach retreat that sits peacefully within its rural landscape. Westerly aspects over the river to rolling green hills are a rich contrast to the white sand and surf of Whangapoua beach, a short walk to the north.

The site is subject to strong prevailing north-easterlies and south-westerlies that sweep across the paddocks. In summer the sun can be harsh and relentless. Two distinct zones are brought together under the split gable roof – living to the north and sleeping to the south. The living wing is intricately clad in dark stained cedar, a retreat for the eyes, whilst the sleeping quarters offer respite from the heat of the day, cloaked in a rich scoria-red corrugate. The internal environment responds to the various climatic conditions, large overhangs, cedar under-slatted roofing and electronic actuator screens help to naturally cool, protect and expand the living quarters and offer windward and leeward outdoor living options.

The continuity of materiality from exterior to interior further blurs the boundary between outside and in. A serene palette of kwila flooring, meranti and dark stained cedar soar to lofty heights in the living zones. Extensive built in cabinetry offers a multitude of spots to read a book and slip into an afternoon snooze or act as overflow sleeping beyond the four bedrooms and rumpus when the need arises. Quintessentially, the sheltered outdoor room with integrated BBQ and black steel-formed fireplace can be enjoyed all year round, a place to gather and enjoy our kiwi lifestyle throughout the seasons.

NZIA Awards Jury Citation: “This home speaks to the vernacular of its surroundings, with scoria-red corrugated iron and walnut-stained cedar cladding recalling the classic Kiwi farm shed. The house nestles into its location next to the Pungapunga river and responds sympathetically to the landscape beyond. Everything is considered, from exceptional detailing to spaces that are both functional and inviting; from multi-use bedrooms to an open-plan entertaining area. Outdoor rooms with screen actuators mimic the ritualistic aspects of camping while retaining access to the comforts of modern living.”

NZIA Local Award Winner - 2021 - Housing

Timber cladding

Outdoor fireplace

Timber cladding

Red corrugate

Red corrugate

Cedar Cladding

Cedar kitchen

Stained Cedar cladding

Dining table

Living room

Stained Cedar cladding

Stained Cedar cladding

Red corrugate

Dark stained Cedar cladding


Cedar cladding

Beach house

Modern Bathroom

Whangapoua Beach

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