Bay House

SGA (Strachan Group Architects) as Architects

This three level home on Auckland’s North Shore consists of three stacked box forms, staggered to supress the bulk of the house, coloured to recede into the landscape. A glass roofed atrium fractures the deep basement level allowing sun and natural light to permeate all living spaces despite being recessed into the hillside.This double height entry space leads up to open onto the living areas which in turn flow out to a generous north facing terrace. Timber flooring outlines the circulation routes and references the quintissential seaside boardwalk, whilst providing demarcation to different spaces. The third level is comprised of a timber lined master suite with exceptional views of the surrounding beaches and bathed in light due to it’s elevation.


The clients wanted a generous home with natural materials taking advantage of the views, solar gain and natural light. The elevated south facing site proved challenging due to a shared driveway and the desire to capitalise on the southerly sea views. Large areas of southward glazing mean that the views are accessed from a majority of interior spaces and visible from the sheltered outdoor terrace due to the tilting roofs which allow for optimal sun exposure. Passive solar design elements include insulated thermal mass concrete floors, aptly paced overhangs to shade only in summer, and natural ventilation through considered placement of windows throughout the design.


The main elements of the constrained but varied materials palette are concrete, black stained cedar, yellow cedar and black steel. All linings, finishes and landscaping are coherent with this pallet, ensuring consistiency whilst utlising a range of materials and textures. The contrast of natural yellow cedar screens and black stained cedar weather boards, vertical and horizontal creates visual tension and interest whilst the yellow cedar screens function as a privacy and filtering device in this compact suburban location.The homes’ horizontally striated exterior cladding is a direct reference to the sandstone rock strata in the cliffs that flank either side of the small bay.


Something more concise:
Located at Castor Bay on Auckland’s North Shore, the dark boxlike forms of Bay House stretch and weave along this elevated south facing site. Recessed into the bank, the concrete basement is fractured by a glass roofed atirum space. Guests are welcomed into this atrium space by the sound of the cascading pond in the garden above, circulating up through the atrium a timber bridge leads into the living areas beyond.


The living area frames an expansive seascape view, connected to a north facing rear terrace, here the cladding of the black boxes appears to deconstruct to make way for the vareid and extensive north glazing. Roofs are tilted and lifted, reaching for the sun. Pohukawas overhang and silhouette against the sky.

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