Palm Beach House | Vaughn McQuarrie
Lush vegetation surrounds this small house on New Zealand’s Waiheke Island. Entry to the home is via a wooden drawbridge that takes you from the forest floor to an elevated deck with breathtaking views over the treetops. Besides providing views and outdoor living space, this central deck also serves as the main circulation space for the rest of the house. To move between rooms, the owners actually have to step outside, giving the home a very informal feel.
Faced with a steep building site and difficult access, architect Vaughn Mcquarrie broke the 100 m2 (1,076 ft2) house into two smaller buildings that step down the hill. The central deck joins them, spanning from the lower floor of the uphill section to the upper floor of the downhill section. The uphill building has the master bedroom at the deck level with a studio space above, accessed by an external stair. The main living space is across the deck in the other building. Off to the side is a semi-enclosed translucent stair tower with a spiral stair that leads down to two more bedrooms on the lowest level.
The main living space consists of an eat-in kitchen open to the living room. Two glass walls fold completely out of the way, allowing the living space to easily expand out to the decks. The house is finished inside and out with sheet goods. The architect designed the house around the standard sheet sizes so they could be carried in and installed with very little on-site cutting or waste.
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