The Bach

This Waikawa bach, which recently won NZIA Resene Local Award for Architecture - Residential Category, began with a clear and concise brief and a lot of nostalgic stories from various sources, which began the fabrication of a history that eventually crystallised into the bach as it stands. An obvious direction that meant we could accommodate fairly much all of (owners) Beverley and Fred's concerns in what we lovingly called briefing issues, specifically those relating to the history of the place and the connection with the land.

There was, in some part of the history of the site a caravan, a boat, a local shop and beach bach objects. The original access to the site was also clouded by some interesting bureaucratic privilege providing the first sealed road trial....not to mention sand and sun and an old house that had seen many years of fun and enjoyment and is now a garage and an all important shed.

The plan was developed from these ideas of a street/gallery intersecting a village/house. It meant we could work confidently on the spatial flow and forms that were initially derived loosely on the notion of cupped hands holding precious objects. Now, in hindsight, they draw more strongly from references to objects that were prevalent on and around the site.

The street, symbolically, begins at the highway and ends at the beach, passing through the village (house) on its way. Board walks of layered floating decks at either end of the ‘street” merge landscape with house, using 'found' objects as steps and a proposed pergola frame that will transit the walker from outside to in and out again.

On one side of the boardwalk is the long form, or boat, with three sleeping rooms with private addresses, and on the other side of the street is the caravan, housing living and utility rooms with public addresses.

It is a wonderfully pleasant home to be in; spacious with vaulting curved ceilings and a strangely private feeling while still remaining very open. 

Landscaping has predominantly been undertaken by Beverley and Fred and will, as with most baches, be an ongoing pursuit.

Clients: Beverley and Fred Teague

Architect: Michael Melville
John Mills Architects Ltd.
P.O.Box 9933 Wellington
Telephone: 04 473 6111                                                                       

Contractor: Daniel Melville
Engineer: Spencer Holmes
Roofing: Corrugate Colorcote ® ARX
Manufacturer: Steel and Tube Roofing
Telephone: 09 273 7628
External cladding:
Hardies Titan Sheet
Ceilings: Rolled plywood - stained and sealed
Electrician: Chris Duncan
Plumber: Star Plumbing
Structural steel: Matai Kelly
Photography: Simon Devitt