Supported and expressed by the timber that members comprising its structure, Coromandel Bach sits both boldly and subtly on its coastal landing. Crosson Architects combines a raw robust quality together with a sharp geometry to create an occasional home that innovative yet responsive to its context.
Located in the same-named coastal milieu, Coromandel Bach is an exercise in contrasts. The container-shaped form offers a rigidity and sharpness amongst its natural and dynamic coastal surrounding conditions and yet sits comfortably because of its contextual references. Clad in and comprised of timber, each member is both supportive and expressive, with nothing concealed. This deliberate approach by Crosson Architects is intended to epitomise the crafting of timber objects, the layers of structure imbedded within them and the usually hidden network of parts. Instead of concealing these elements, they adorn the otherwise raw and untouched timber box.
At just under 130sqm, Coromandel Bach sits on 10.5 hectares of land, overlooking its enviable and soothing coastal expanse. Acting as an interpretation of the traditional New Zealand ‘bach’, the use of timber (as a found material in coastal areas) helps create a textural and naturally suitable dwelling in its location. Formally, the home is enclosed within one volume and opens at its heart to allow a visual and ventilated connection between the structure and the site. The nearby ‘rafter’ or ‘trip’ style dams constructed at the turn of the last century play an influential role in the expression of the heavy vertical structural members, offering a connection to the area and its architectural vernacular.
Opening up upon arrival, the deck to both sides acts as an extension of the living space, and the absence of a visible threshold means the transition is perceptibly seamless. Sitting length-ways facing the coast on a flat landing, the home aims to maximise views within each of the internal zones. Facing north, the central open living area is flanked either side by private and more passive retreat zones, referencing the typical arrangement while camping or within a tent. Likewise, the outdoor bathroom and movable bath encourage an engagement with nature through these daily rituals and the large fireplace warms the volume.
Coromandel Bach sees the sustainable and raw nature of timber become a tool of expression. The direct and indirect connection to the nature it is immersed in and the contextual built form it is a contributor to are both considered and celebrated. Crosson Architects has created a place of protection that is simple, and yet refined. Its location and uncomplicated approach beautifully capture the New Zealand spirit and approach to architecture.