Vive la vacation


Sun, sea and big-sky views towards the Hen & Chickens islands are the elements of nature the owners of this Mangawhai holiday home wanted to capitalise on. They wanted a relaxed escape where the children could run free and a home that worked seamlessly in all seasons.

The cedar-clad dwelling constructed using the post-and-beam structural system was the answer on this exposed site where the wind blows more days than not. A sawtooth roof, favoured for its strength, and An L-shaped footprint provided shelter for all-important outdoor entertaining. There’s also a fire-pit with built-in bench seating, sunken into the ground, that’s a natural place to gather over a glass of wine and a tall story.

For very cold nights, a concrete fireplace within the main living zone becomes a drawcard. Exposed trusses here, lend a lofty, rustic look appropriate to this rural environment. The interiors are lined with birch ply to continue – hardwearing and humble – to continue the informal feel.

Boasting wraparound vistas, the living room has 360-degree glazing to become a see-through box where the spectacle of the view is an everyday hero.

This family, who emigrated from France and now run a travel business marketing New Zealand to a European audience, have found their Kiwi paradise right here.