Malcolm Taylor and Associates

Omaha Beach House

Omaha
Residential – 2006

Sited on a flat expansive lot at the back corner of the new (south) Omaha beach, this building was conceived with an adjoining neighbour on a cross lease site. Both Houses are placed to the west and east corners of... Read more


Sited on a flat expansive lot at the back corner of the new (south) Omaha beach, this building was conceived with an adjoining neighbour on a cross lease site. Both Houses are placed to the west and east corners of a common lawn, and is positioned on the fringe of a rural marshland, lagoon and private farm. With the knowledge of the exposed flat terrain of Omaha, the house is organised as an encampment of three buildings. The Living, Sleeping and Utility buildings are unified by a 3.4m high floating roof to enclose a central courtyard.

The courtyard becomes the central social space, with outdoor lounge furniture, large dinning table and fireplace to allow for extended hours of outdoor living.
Large rolling polycarbonate screens to the west control the courtyard sense of enclosure. These screens open to the common lawn or can be closed to shut off the prevailing wind. The automated opening louvre roof moderates the sun and rain.
Rough sawn timber wall and ceiling claddings, onduline, polycarbonate and polished concrete floors all add to a rich textured palette, with a range of colours to reinforce the design elements yet creates a casual environment for holiday living.

The dominant gesture of this house is the long horizontal roof form, which turns down the north end of the Living building to form privacy and a sunscreen, as well as defining the north end of the courtyard. This "wrapping" of the roof, is repeated on the upper floor main bedroom, which is perched above the Bedroom building below. This room turns away from the main courtyard below and the isolation and wrapping form of the South wall also reinforces the cocoon-like experience of this space, which has a strong visual connection to the rural landscape.
The organisation and hierarchy of the spaces are such that the Bedroom and Utility buildings, designed with a 2.6m high space, "serve" the large 3.4m space of the courtyard and Living buildings.

Awards

  • 2006 – NZIA Resene Local Award for Architecture