A LIGHT TOUCH
Architect Ken Crosson examines and reinvents the essence of bach living for a contemporary approach on the coast.
We might be getting used to denser ways of living in our cities, but until now that approach hasn’t been applied to the coast. At Boathouse Bay, just north of Auckland at the northern end of Snells Beach on the Mahurangi Peninsula, architect Ken Crosson has designed a 33-home development – a new style of coastal living. “It’s a contemporary take on the traditional New Zealand bach,” says Crosson. “It’s examining the essence of bach living. We looked at what you actually need in an environment like this – and, of course, it comes down to quality not quantity.” Crosson’s design is deliberately modest in scale, inspired by traditional boat sheds that dot our coastlines. The homes are clustered, with careful consideration given to views, light and outdoor living. Instead of single dwellings hogging the beach front, the development is a collection of white, pitched-roof houses that are contemporary, yet sympathetic to the coastal vernacular. Clad in crisp white standing-seam aluminium specific to the coastal environment, kitted out with Arclinea kitchens from Matisse and lined with touches of timber, these are up-to-theminute homes that are both warm and contemporary. To preserve the open nature of the coastal site, the dunes are being re-established, planted with native dune grasses and low-growing ground cover to a design by Boffa Miskell’s Rachel de Lambert. This planting will flow around beachside homes, with denser planting applied to those built on the hill behind. A public walkway, meanwhile, is planned for the dunes, while a shared space for cars and pedestrians is designed to encourage community and interaction. “It’s something I totally believe in,” says Crosson. “We should be getting more people on our coast and making it more modest, so that more people can actually achieve this kind of living.”
A new typology is applied to coastal living at Boathouse Bay.