Ngataringa House

The site for the project is a long narrow site that runs down to the harbour’s edge. The programme for the house required considerable floor area that dictated a linear building. The suburban context was something the brief wished to deny by requesting something of an institutional scale in direct contrast with the surroundings. The combination of these concerns along with the relationship with the sea drew us to the Ralph Hotere / Bill Culbert ‘Pathway to the Sea’, which seemed to resonate with the linearity of the site, the contrast between the built form and natural setting, and the bipolar nature of something artificial and structured balanced with organic natural shapes.These ideas manifested themselves in the final form of the dwelling that has an absolute rectilinear wall form, a long thin black blade, adze or sea wall, 5.5m wide 80m long. But within this form exist the contrasting curvilinear forms of a spiral stair excavated into the hip of the site connecting the top & bottom structures, and a lap pool set on the roof of the lower structure that presents it’s curved underbelly as a ceiling to the spaces below. A waka beached at the water’s edge.

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