Omaha Beach House

Located in the rapidly expanding eastern end of Omaha Beach, one row of sections back from the sand dunes, this house is an exercise in symmetry modulated to suit the site. In order to sit calmly in the somewhat jumbled context, it has clear formal structure: two symmetrical plywood-clad boxes float over pre-cast concrete panels and present a strong elevation to the street, symmetrical above and modified below to provide a welcoming entry sequence. The formality becomes frayed with an incised terrace and horizontal planes of louvred sunscreens to the sea and sun on the north. This format offers privacy from the street and a more relaxed relationship between the interior spaces and the lawn with beach beyond.

Materials were chosen to offer a sense of directness: concrete floor, pre-cast concrete wall panels, anodized aluminium joinery and louvres, and stained plywood panels. The way natural light enters the house becomes important to enliven the materials and spaces, whether directly through the large upper level glazing, dappled by the adjustable louvres or timber screen, or through the milky white translucent glass around the dining area. A heightened awareness of shifting weather patterns arises from the play of light and cloud shadow on the interior surfaces.


  • NZ Institute of Architects Colour Award 2004
  • NZ Institute of Architects Local Award 2004