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Hut on Sleds, Whangapoua, New Zealand by Crosson Clarke Carnachan Architects

AR House 2012 Commended: Resembling a modern beach hut, this compact holiday retreat can be moved with the shifting dune landscape


This modern version of a traditional seaside hut sits on the edge of a beach on the Coromandel Peninsula, on New Zealand’s North Island. As the site lies within a coastal erosion zone, all buildings and structures must be removable. The house/hut sits on a pair of thick timber sleds to enable it to be towed back up the site or across the beach.


Long section

The simple form and raw materials recall beachside artefacts such as a lifeguard observation tower or fishing hut. Mechanisms and fittings are unapologetically industrial, the structure gutsy and exposed. The holiday retreat, which can accommodate a family of five, is like a large cabinet, designed to close up against the elements when not in use. When shuttered, the rough macrocarpa cladding blends into the landscape.

The rear is clad in ‘flat sheet’, a cheap metal cladding used in local holiday homes. a double-height shutter winches up like a concertina to form an awning, shading the efficiently planned interior. The jury liked the project’s modesty, economy and response to context.


Steel-framed doors open up to the landscape, connecting the rituals of everyday life with nature


Architects: Crosson Clarke, Carnachan Architects
Kitchen: Customtone Kitchens
Door closers: Dorma
Photographs: Jackie Meiring




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