Memory Rock House / JCA Studio

This unique beach house was thoughtfully inspired by Medlands Beach where it is situated on Aotea (Great Barrier Island).

The long curving shoreline is punctuated by a large, weathered rock to its centre. This informed the architectural composition with a low, long, horizontal form complemented by a taller, denser, two-level element to the centre. It is a confident design with a direct relationship to the site and context.

Architects: Jeremy Chapman / JCA Studio
Location: Great Barrier Island, New Zealand
Photography: Carol Comer

This metaphorical design response flowed through to the materials, with textured, “sandy” plaster and light-coloured timber for the interior walls, textured bronze fixtures (cast in sand) and vertical cedar cladding, mimicking the bullrush reeds in the adjacent wetland.

The arrangement of spaces captures surrounding views; from the wetland and mountainous hills to the north-west, the stand of large Pohutukawa to the south-east and the framed view of the ocean from the second-level master bedroom.

Timber floors, ceilings and decks further provide a warm, relaxed feel to the interior and exterior spaces that can be enjoyed all year round.

Deep eaves shelter the decks from sun and rain while large expanses of sliding glazing form wide openings that dissolve the line between interior and exterior.

The immediate planting and landscaping anchor the architectural volumes to the site. Like the tide and surf eddy around the rock on the beach so too does the movement of the landscape planting eddy around the building and decks.

This unique home effortlessly draws in the surrounding landscape and nature without compromising on its livability.