On New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island, a petite holiday home takes care of its own water, electricity, and sewage needs. The cedar-clad home designed by Herbst Architects faces the Pacific Ocean, tucked behind sand dunes from the sparsely populated Medlands Beach. The covered deck was intended to encourage outdoor living in the island’s temperate climate.
“Bach” is local shorthand in New Zealand for a rudimentary beachside cabin. This one, located on a remote island 62 miles from the coast of Auckland and off the electricity grid, is designed around the rituals of communal food preparation, dining and sleeping, and to be occupied for short periods of time. The structure consists of two cedar-clad pavilions, connected by a walkway that is permeable to the elements. Its focal point is a covered deck with an outdoor fireplace for cooking and heat.
On the shores of New Zealand’s Lake Wakatipu, architects Bronwen Kerr and Pete Ritchie designed a relaxed family home that reclines into its spectacular landscape. The 3,000-square-foot home is divided into two parts, linked by an open-air breezeway. To the right, the passage leads to the rear of the home, with a guest bedroom and bathroom and the studio where Kerr and Ritchie base their practice. To the left are the family quarters, including a large combined kitchen, dining, and living area with a small cedar-lined deck stretching northward to the lake.
Every summer for over a decade, Andrew and Shiree Morrison have journeyed to Onemana, a coastal town on New Zealand’s North Island. After fantasizing about building a house on their sloping plot of land for many years, the Morrison family taps into the creative capital of architecture students to make their dream home a reality. Modest in size and visually distinctive from the many surrounding prefabs, the Morrison's prefab home is elevated on piers and features yellow cedar decks flanking both the kitchen and dining room.
Becca and Doug Worple, a Cincinnati couple who spend summer vacations in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario, decided to build a house not just on the water but actually in the water. Architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample designed a waterborne two-story building supported by massive pontoons, in addition to a cabin on the land. The modest cabin has a gabled roof and a cladding of untreated cedar, a material that shows up on docks and homes along Georgian Bay. The boathouse and floating deck is clad in the same raw cedar as the cabin.
Emerging gracefully from an overgrown meadow on Chappaquiddick Island near Edgartown, Massachusetts, a family vacation home by Peter Rose + Partners is bound to the local flora and fauna through smart design decisions. The 6,000-square-foot main residence is the focal point of the site plan, which also includes a 630-square-foot-garage, 130-square-foot boat shed and 270-square-foot storage shed, all of which blend seamlessly into the site and offer views of Nantucket and Cape Pogue Bay to the east. The home is clad in a sealed, unpainted western red cedar to mirror the colors of the site’s tawny meadows.