Sometimes, what you leave out says more than what you put in, and that could not be more true for Home of the Year 2018. If there’s a theme to this year, it’s that our finalists – and magnificent winner at Piha, Auckland, by Lance and Nicola Herbst – are all defined by restraint. Take our winning home, designed for an Auckland family as a beach house that will gradually transition to a more permanent residence. It has all the hallmarks of greatness: on an iconic beach, surrounded by ancient pōhutukawa, with a view over the dunes to the Tasman Sea. The sunsets are spectacular, and the water is just a short stroll down a meandering beach track. To make a house as good as this takes enormous skill, a sympathetic client and the guts to know what not to do. Ultimately, that involves taking things out. There are two modest bedrooms and a bunkroom, because that’s really all you need in a beach house. There’s no front deck: instead, the living room is effectively a covered area that opens to the elements and is complete with a steel handrail – perfect for balancing a glass of wine. There’s a sheltered courtyard in the middle. There’s no scullery, no media room, no double garage, no guest ‘powder room’. There is, though, a clerestory window on top of which sits a beautiful, folded ceiling and delightful forest views. It’s a nuanced, thoughtful resolution and one that makes for a particularly lovely place to be. That’s what makes Home of the Year so very exciting – it’s about the pure expression of very good ideas. We hope you enjoy it.
Top left Guy Tarrant puts a fresh new face on an old suburban street (p.82).
Above left The courtyard of the winning west-coast home by Herbst Architects (p.66). Top right A family holiday home by Cymon Allfrey comprises a campsite-like gathering of dwellings (p.138). Above right Braden Harford designs his own home with clarity and warmth (p.96).