PHOTO: Omata Beach House in Northland by Herbst Architects won the Sir Ian Athfield Award for Housing.
The jury citation highlights the following aspects: “Situated with care amidst established pōhutukawa, this residence is characterized by its all-encompassing accessibility and circular design. The living zones showcase a notable contrast between openness and functionality, while the bedroom wing exudes warmth and enclosure. Spatial decisions and material choices contribute to the distinctive atmosphere of each area.
Despite its overall size, the dwelling maintains a sense of domesticity and comfortable inhabitation, thanks to the modest scale of rooms and courtyard spaces. Attention to detail is evident at every scale, from the curved belly ceiling in the living spaces to the rich timbered interior of the bedroom wing. Additionally, operable exterior cabinetry, concealing a barbecue and firewood pile, exemplifies the architects’ meticulous consideration of functionality. The architects demonstrate a profound appreciation for materials, their interplay, and the experiential aspects for those occupying the spaces.