Three Sixty Architecture 9 Whitecaps House

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Chris Prebble
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Nick Wortelboer
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Robert Smart
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Haidee Woods - Interior Design
  • Client
    Alister Mcglaughlin / Ruth Burry

This project is based in a small fishing community of Motunau, approximately one hour north of Christchurch City. The site is situated above cliff faces of Motunau Beach Coastal Reserve and has vast views over Motunau Island and the Pacific Ocean.
Orientation of the site runs in a North-South direction with the southern aspect being where the primary views are to the Ocean. The site rises to its highest point in the centre and falls away to the south where at the edge of the property boundary becomes sheer cliff face with Motunau Beach below.
Our clients engaged us to create a weekend retreat that could support family gatherings and as an easy-care holiday space. Their brief included four bedrooms, open plan living, maximising ocean views and connection to exterior living
The development of a central courtyard in the heart of the floor plan is a critical element to the programming of the architectural response. This space allows maximum use when the views and solar gains of the site are in opposing orientations. Glazing both sides of the central living / dining space connects the occupants to what is happening within the house and to the wider context.
The sheltered courtyard and its connection to the interior allows for larger groups to occupy the space without feeling crowded. We saw the courtyard as being so critical that having a formal entry would have detracted from this space and has therefore been omitted from the plan.