Bowentown Bach

A cost-effective build and ease of maintenance were a critical part of the brief when mod Architecture was commissioned to design a bach in the Bay of Plenty beachside community of Bowentown.
mod Architecture Director Andrew Ward says his clients wanted a bach that was “essentially a box” for ease and economy of build and one that had robust materials so that maintenance wasn’t an issue.

Andrew says, “The clients would mainly be spending weekends there and would not be there much in winter so they wanted a bach that didn’t require a lot of looking after if they were using the place intermittently.”

They also wanted to make the most of the sea views so the two-storey home is designed with the main living areas upstairs.

Andrew says while the brief was for a boxy form that would be easy and cost-effective to build, he says he made it more dynamic by “wrapping it in dark ColorSteel and then cutting that out to reveal the timber elements”.

He says, “Doing it like this helps to break up the form, contrast the materials and create visual interest with what is essentially a box.”

He adds, “The ColorSteel fits the client brief really well because it doesn’t need a lot of maintenance or repainting for quite a long time and it gives the building some real grunt.”

The Hiland Tray cladding also has strong lines that contrast with the softer look of the timber, which is used to connect the dwelling to the beach and the colours of the driftwood on the foreshore.
The timber cladding used is an Abodo product, sustainable plantation pine that is heat-treated so it doesn’t need any chemical treatment for longevity. The product is given a finish that resists the elements but will blonde off over time.

The home has also been future-proofed against climate change and rising sea levels – designed so it can be removed from the site if necessary.

“The site is located in an erosion zone that the council has mapped out over a 25-50-year period,” says Andrew. “So you need to construct a building that can be detached from its foundations and put on a truck. 

“It sits 600mm off the ground so there’s enough room for a crawlspace and ventilation, and it’s on a simple pile system and can be unscrewed from it and transported. We made sure the house was the right size so it could go on a truck and that there is adequate access through the neighbouring council reserve to move it. So there is that ability to remove it if it really becomes necessary.”

The main aspect of the house is northeast – facing out to sea.

Andrew says, “It is a really nice aspect with the morning light, and means the house doesn’t get hammered by the afternoon sun in summer.”

Entry to the home is from the southwest, and this side of building has few windows plus a timber privacy screen over the window of the upstairs master bedroom en suite.
“There’s a full window in the en suite so we used the fixed timber screen so there is no line of sight from down below.”
The downstairs has three bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry, and a central lounge that opens to a deck spanning the entire seaward face of the house. The upstairs deck provides cover for this outdoor living space, which flows out to a lawn.

Upstairs there is a master bedroom and en suite that sits beside a large open plan kitchen, living and dining space that opens to another deck spanning the seaward side of the house. This deck is partially covered and has wide sea views. 

Andrew says the design exemplifies mod Architecture’s philosophy that good design can be achieved with clever detailing of simple materials.
“Using the black steel as the building’s ‘skin’ helps to emphasise the timber elements but it also gives the building a sense of structural integrity.”

mod Architecture 

Andrew Ward has over 20 years of experience both in New Zealand and abroad and has worked on all genres of architecture including residential, multi-storey, mixed use, hospitality, education, office fit-out and government departments. 
In 2008, Andrew founded mod Architecture as a boutique architectural design company based in Tauranga.

As the company has grown it has begun specialising in contemporary, modern, bespoke residential architecture. A key focus on the old adage ‘form follows function’ is evident in its designs. 

mod Architecture is dedicated to simple and honest architecture. Through clever detailing and material choice this does not need to be expensive – elegance and economy can co-exist. 

The firm follows these principles: design for the client and the landscape, produce timeless design that comes from simplicity and proportion, and be innovative – architecturally, structurally and functionally
Roofing and cladding:
Hiland Tray 0.55 Colorsteel Maxx in ‘Flax Pod’, 0.55 Colorsteel flashings. 

Roofing and cladding supplier:
Stratco NZ, 
Telephone 021 499 134

Roofing and cladding installer:
Adco Roofing Ltd, Tauranga 
Telephone 07 552 0377

Main contractor:
AHS Group
Telephone 0800 888 785