Castle Rock House is a spectacular summer house on New Zealand’s east coast, between the beaches of Whangarei Heads and the mountain, where Herbst Architects makes the most of the hillside terrain, blending the architecture with the landscape.
The house, intended for a family who loves sailing, goes from a boathouse of the initial order to a holiday home with capacity for 4 adults and 4 children, located on a hill ridge, under the cliff of Castle Rock steps from the covered beach of Pohutukawa.
The architects make the most of the views of the sea and the mountains by dividing the housing plan into 2, arranging the main daytime spaces on an upper platform that thus has 4 facades.
The body that acts as a warehouse for boats and as a garage is separated from the house, connected to it by a path that extends in a corridor between both areas of the house.
The unevenness of the terrain between the lower and upper platforms is overcome with a retaining wall of natural stone, while the lower plane flies over the slope, supporting it with wooden pillars.
The day areas occupy an almost square floor plan, divided into 4 spaces of similar size, articulated with large sliding windows that close or open them to the outside at the whim of the inhabitants.
It has a kitchen and a living room, with two terraces that act as a dining room, with two wooden tables and different views offered by the different orientations of the house, protected by roofs of wooden slats.
The kitchen and living room also enjoy the surrounding natural landscape through large windows, from floor to ceiling in the case of the kitchen, or as a horizontal rip in the case of the living room, framing the views.
A staircase leads to the lower level, extending beyond, crossing the prism that houses the bedrooms, to continue its descent to the beach, taking advantage of a pre-existing path in the place.
In this way, the master bedroom, located in the corner, enjoying the best views and its own bathroom, becomes independent from the other bedroom, which includes a double room for guests and a large room for children, with capacity for 4 single beds.
In the body of the bedrooms, there are vertical cut windows that are integrated into the skin of vertical wooden slats, covered by practicable elements integrated into it to give the interior spaces greater privacy and protection against the wind.
Gallery of Castle Rock House
Photography: Patrick Reynolds