Herriot + Melhuish Update the New Zealand Bach for Climate Change
In New Zealand there are now rules against building too close to sea level. So Herriot + Melhuish designed the lowland bach to be transportable.
Rather than root it in place with concrete, the house is actually designed to be easily split up and moved to higher ground as needed. The cladding of natural oiled cedar weatherboards conceals the transport-sized modules that the living room and studio section of the house can be broken down to on the road.
Along the side, lightweight weathered zinc sheets make up the shed-style bedrooms – based on traditional New Zealand ‘shearers’ quarters.’ It is a lightweight and transportable house, and the winner of a New Zealand Architecture Award.
Sheltered from the harsh coastal winds, the swimming pool is in the back – capturing the sunshine from the North, and providing outdoor family space – strongly connected to the house and sheltered from the afternoon sea breezes.
Unlike most New Zealand coastal baches, this one is designed for year-round living, so it is fully insulated and finished. Above this family area in the main house is a studio and a study.
As the world turns, New Zealand’s North Island is the recipient of the first rays of each new day’s morning sun. The front of the house in Waimarama faces East to the coast of Hawke’s Bay on the North Island.
This bach is the first to face a new day in another way too, in being designed to cope with the big climate changes to come, later in this century and in those that follow.