Channeling the kiwi bach, architect Daniel Smith creates an address where a casual attitude—even in a sharp-edge structure—reigns supreme.
Architect Daniel Smith had always envisioned building his own home. As an associate at Edwards White Architects, he had seen this dream come true for plenty of others, but it hadn’t happened yet for him.
Housing costs in Auckland, New Zealand, where he and his wife Sam were based, were expensive. And they didn’t necessarily want to raise their son Grayson amid chaotic city life, either.
“We both resonated with the summer lifestyle of a holiday home, known in New Zealand as a ‘kiwi bach,’” Daniel says. “It’s a casual and informal place for laid-back living, where spaces are not defined and the outside landscape is an extension of the home.”
So the family took off toward this dream, landing about an hour south of Auckland in the regional township of Taupiri, where the population stands at about 450 residents. Once they’d arrived, Daniel found what he calls a “long, skinny site” overlooking the Waikato River and Hakarimata mountains. This setting was where Daniel’s dream of building his family’s home would happen. The next step was, of course, construction.
Daniel wanted this stage to be something he could “get stuck into,” which meant that he sought to be as involved with the process as possible. He, Sam, and the builder agreed that the best home for laid-back living would be one that had a small footprint, and that option would also be in line with their equally modest budget. They eventually determined that the home would be 1,065 square feet on the ground floor and about 270 square feet on its second level. Two bedrooms and a bathroom would split the downstairs floor plan with the common areas, while the master suite would have the privacy above.
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