Modern Houses: Purotu Bach
The new addition to the modern houses section, comes from “down-under”, from the bay of Many Coves, New Zealand, with the breathtaking house called Purotu Bach, a project by Studio MWA. I believe that NZ is already a beautiful place, a house like this, in a place like that, just makes me pack up and move to “middle-earth”. The Purotu Bach house is amazing, given its remote location is super private which counts for jaw-dropping landscapes. Definitely a great place to live.
Description from the architects: PUROTU – “Beautiful” – Bach (holiday home) in New Zealand’s Marlborough Sounds at Bay of Many Coves Quite often at the start of the Design process, after we have had a chance to talk to the client and experience the site for the first time, you ask yourself should we do anything to the existing site, or should the beautiful natural environment remain as it is? At the Bay of Many Coves, one of the many Marlborough Sound jewels, our clients, when they introduced us to the Project, already had on the site quite an old cottage which was not in very good condition. The client very much loved it and it was quite a difficult decision we together did to actually remove it from the site and design something new in its place. While it was emotionally a difficult decision it was a logical, more sustainable and cost effective solution, particularly with the knowledge of the remoteness of the site and the logistical requirements of any long term maintenance. Picton and Blenheim are the closest towns and the only practical way to reach the site is actually by boat, barge or by helicopter. Weather permitting it takes about 45 minutes to reach site via boat. So logistically this was obviously one of the main constraints on this project.
Our Wellington and Brisbane studios tradition is at the start of every project to actually spend some time together with the clients and if possible, to do so on the future site. There are many reasons for this and included is to help us better understand the client’s needs, wants, preferences, requirements, any special spots and views and to visualize and experience the site’s constraints including access, orientation, context, services, topography and vegetation and any obstructions, or in simple wording the pluses and minuses we have to work with. Design team had the amazing experience of spending one weekend with our clients on the future site in the old cottage and by talking, walking, eating, drinking, fishing, photographing, sketching, measuring we tried to live as the clients do to be as familiar as much possible with the site and to try and understand our clients brief which we together developed even further.
From the first initial sketches we did with our clients during our first site visit, it was obvious that we all had the same goal – to nicely settle the building in the existing environment, without competing or contrasting with the surroundings but to simply blend it into the natural environment.
Structurally, the Bach is a single story steel and timber framed structure with skillion roofs, seated at the front on timber piles and at the back on a 1 meter high concrete retaining wall and footing along the entire length. Top quality thermal performances of the building are as always one of imperatives in our designs and we incorporated all this into project. Sustainability is recognizable through every step working on this project, from quality position and orientation of building, usage of material and local resources, as much as possible nature protection, energy efficiency and allocation for further future improvement (solar panels for hot water and power), etc.
Check out the Photo Gallery for all the images of this beautiful home.