Muted Abode – Mount Beach House by Neu Architecture
Mount Maunhanui, NZ
Reimagining the coastal home that originally occupied the site, Mount Beach House is an expression of the client’s inherent love of surfing and nature. Neu Architecture has proposed an aesthetic that sympathetically merges with its surroundings.
Located in Mount Maunganui, along the east coast of the north island of New Zealand, Mount Beach House was conceived as the replacement for its predecessor, a coastal home in dire need of repair and, eventually, demolition. Immersed in its unique sand dune milieu, the home sits sympathetic to its landscape, embracing the naturally occurring surrounding colour palette. The utilisation of timbers that will grey over time further emphasises this immersion, and, by requiring minimal maintenance, is appropriate for an occasional home that its owners can safely lock and leave. Neu Architecture has created a minimal and refined resulting form, focusing on the careful reduction of its materials palette and reinforcing a sense of simplicity throughout.
Referencing its relaxed beach town location, the overall volume, the resulting detailing and restriction of a complex palette are in direct connection. The house’s idyllic position, perched atop the undulating sand dunes, allows for optimised views. Utilising the site that housed the previous dwelling, the home sits on its own cleared landing amongst the dunes. The private and direct approach to the beach also reinforces the building’s purpose, and the 3-metre cross-falling slope across the site allows for both the basement and ground floor to have individual beach access.
Mount Beach House was conceived as the replacement for its predecessor, a coastal home in dire need of repair and, eventually, demolition.
Spread over its three levels, Mount Beach House comprises five bedrooms in just under 300 square metres. As an extension of the surrounding colour palette and toughened finish from the coastal conditions, the formal approach is quite restrained, and the details are equally as uncomplicated. Almost in contrast to its relaxed nature, the design approach speaks to a refinement not expected of its location, through the advanced detailing, expansive glass openings and clear continuance of contemporary convenience. The internal combined minimal reductionism with the warmth of timber, which all come together under the same veil of a muted and calming refuge.
The house’s idyllic position, perched atop the undulating sand dunes, allows for optimised views.
With a sunken lounge to embrace the views to the west and bi-folding operable doors that expand the length of the beach-facing façade, this home is one that encourages engagement with its surroundings. A play on contrasts, and one where the owners can be both exposed to the coastal elements and privately protected to the rear, there is a blurring between thresholds inside and outside. This deliberate delineation allows for a traditional boundary and invites a true absorption into the landscape.