Above a private bay on the shores of Banks Peninsula – on New Zealand’s South Island – sits an exposed rocky escarpment, formed out of the remnants of an ancient volcano. In this wild idyllic setting Patterson Associates has created Seascape, a luxurious shelter from the realities of everyday life.
The cabin consists of three rooms – a lobby, combined living and sleeping space, and a bathroom. These spaces use interlocking geometries to take advantage of two view windows – one towards the private cove and the other looking outwards to a double rock arch formation known as The Comb.
With a palpable sense of purpose, the architecture seeks to deepen the connection between human beings and the earth by creating a place to be at one with nature. The material palette, which emphasises the local and the natural, reflects this intention. Rocks excavated from the site create both interior and exterior walls. Macrocarpa timber lines the remaining walls and ceiling. This same timber is used for much of the furniture and cabinetry, generating a warm glow inside.
With careful consideration of the environment in which it rests, the cabin is self-sustainable in terms of water harvesting and waste water. The building is also highly earthquake resistant, important for this area of New Zealand. Extensive revegetation on site was undertaken post construction to restore the landscape, and now the turfed roof helps the building merge with the hillside while also helping it become an embedded part of the ecosystem.
Whiling away the hours relaxing on the deck, gazing out to the horizon, wandering the driftwood-laden beach, contemplating the lapping waves coming in to the private bay, curling up beside the fire – the experience of utmost luxury, absolute seclusion and connection to a virtually untouched landscape is one guests will be sure to carry with them long after they leave.