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Awards 2004 NZIA Supreme Award for Architecture 2003 NZIA Local Award for Architecture 2003 NZ Home & Entertaining Home of the Year Winner NZ Home & Entertaining Home of the Decade Winner 1996-2005 2003 Origin Timber Design Award for Architectural Excellence 2006 World Architecture News Finalist – Top 6 Houses worldwide
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— World Architecture News Finalist / Top 6 Houses worldwide 2006 — NZ Home & Entertaining / Home of the Decade Winner 1996 – 2005 — NZIA Award 2003 / Award for Architecture 2003 — Origin Timber Design Award / Architectural Excellence 2003 — NZ Home & Entertaining / Home of the Year Winner 2003
This 134m2 Kiwi “Bach” – or vacation home – was conceived as a simple timber container that could be closed off when vacated. Two large doors on either side can be lowered to open the home and provide a direct connection to the outdoors. Designed by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, this unique holiday home can be easily boxed up when not in use. A simple mechanism opens the deck upon arrival.
The house has a simple rectangular plan that sits across the contour in a patch of cleared bush in the manner of the rural shed, facing north and the view . The living room is open to the outside and the sun, a metaphorical tent or campsite, while the bunkrooms are enclosed and cool. The large fireplace allows winter occupation and the open bathroom and movable bath allows the rituals of showering and bathing to become and experience connected to nature. This bach is an attempt to provide an environment to capture the essential spirit of the New Zealand holiday in the New Zealand landscape.
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Located in the North Island of New Zealand, this stunning home known as the Coromandel Bach Container Home captures the beautiful simplicity of living with nature.
Conceived as a container sitting lightly on the land, this long rectangular house sits halfway up a north-facing manuka-clad hill north of Whitianga, looking like a timber crate ready to be unpacked. On arrival all that is required is to winch down the sides to form the decks and provide a stage for living, which then appears to float above the ground as if ready to be folded up and moved to another location. On departure the crate is packed up again for protection from the elements.
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The house offers a reinterpretation of the New Zealand building tradition – the crafting of wood – with structure, cladding (weathered Lawson’s cypress) and joinery expressed in a raw and unique way. With heavy vertical structural members supporting horizontal boarding, the construction is reminiscent of the “trip” dams common in the Coromandel region at the turn of last century. The thick cypress boards are left unlined inside; interior walls are hoop pine plywood; ceiling panels are also of hoop pine.
3 | Sustainable, natural timber runs the length of the box-like structure, supported by sturdy struts, which makes the construction appear reminiscent of the rafter dams that were popular in this region at the turn of the last century.
The boarded box opens up to reveal a simple interior layout, where the living room is free to soak up the sun and take in the tranquil location, a patch of cleared bush with an ocean view, where it takes on a campsite ambience.
The central living room, open to the outside and the sun, is a metaphorical tent or campsite, while the children’s bunkrooms at one end are enclosed and cool. Bi-fold glass doors can be drawn back so the living room becomes a veranda providing shade. A large fireplace allows winter occupation; the open bathroom with slatted timber floor and the movable bath on wheels allow the rituals of showering and bathing to become an experience connected to nature. In this way the bach attempts to capture the essential spirit of the New Zealand holiday in the landscape.
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This unusual holiday home belonging to the Crosson Family, and built by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects, resides in Coromandel, New Zealand; the bach was “conceived as a container sitting lightly on the land for habitation or the dream of habitation”, with the intention of the final outcome being to “reinterpret the New Zealand building tradition – the crafting of wood – the expression of structure, cladding, lining and joinery in a raw and unique way.”
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6 | The bedrooms are separate and enclosed in order to stay cool in the summer, and an open bathroom option, complete with movable bathtub, means that the family can remain close to nature even when bathing; on the opposite end of the scale, the installation of a generous fireplace also allows the place to be transformed into a cozy wintertime getaway.
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