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Urban Beach House - Novak/Williams

The clients’ section although being in a suburban area, feels incredibly open as it borders a public Reserve area. The site is slightly elevated, with views over the reserve to the beautiful Kapiti coastline and some attractive native planting to the north and west perimeter. The project brief was to design a house that would take advantage of those views, as well fitting in with the coastal environment.

The clients also desired to avoid the popular mono‐pitch buildings of recent times, as well as standard brick & tile "spec" houses and earlier 80’s mock Mediterranean homes, all of which feature in the surrounding neighbourhood. That said, the clients also didn’t envision a “modern statement” house with unnecessary and expensive features, but were very keen on a thermally efficient urban beach home, with accessible outdoor living areas and with abundant natural light throughout the interior.

Design Features and Creative Solutions 

The design inspiration came from an amalgamation of Cape Cod style with pitched roofs and gables, boat houses for a coastal feel, Danish long rooms with open‐plan but distinctive areas, and rural farm buildings for material selection and exterior features.

The house is clad in dark stained cedar weatherboards which vividly contrasts the vegetation, coast and skyline. Copper spouting and soakers, a coloured entry door and a feature timber truss complete a striking building form. On the other hand, an overall neutral colour scheme was chosen for the interior with the subtle use of bolder colours and some “statement” wallpaper, which enhances the light, open, and airy feel of the design. Grooved linings feature on the pitched ceilings and extend to the outdoor soffits. The lightly coloured timber flooring adds to the warm and beachy atmosphere.

A two‐storey design allowed the upper floor to be the primary living space where the clients wanted to enjoy the best of the site, sun and views. The open plan living, dining and kitchen feature a pitched ceiling longitudinally with an opposing gable providing shelter over the Al‐Fresco dining deck, a magical spot to enjoy the Kapiti Coast. The Master bedroom benefits from morning sun, with a delightful bush outlook and views to the distant Akatarawa Ranges. A small office area off the stair landing is functional and accessible.

The Living area opens onto a deck at the rear which provides another outdoor space with shelter from the sun and wind and with views to the reserve. This deck connects both levels with clever integration of the sloping topography.

The thermal envelope included additional thickness insulation in the walls (140 framing) and above the ceilings, along with thermally broken Low‐E argon filled double glazed aluminium windows enabling the house to be highly thermally efficient.

Rain water is collected in an underground storage tank and used for irrigation purposes, and supplies the hose taps and toilet cisterns.

Location: Kapiti Coast

Builder: Superb Construction Ltd

Photographer: Paddy Riley

But don't just take our word for it...

Peter Williams and Helen Novak said:
“ We have been in our new home for just over a year and what a pleasure it has been. Our new house is the second house we have built that has been designed by Peter Davis and he is involved in a new project with us at the moment. Why do we keep going back to him? Because he has a knack of being able to understand our ideas and requirements and translate these into workable but very desirable designs. The design captures the views and sun, and provides wonderful spaces for living in. Not only do we love the house but so does every one visiting the property. ”
Matuku 13 Edit

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