Designed by Parsonson Architects, Shoal Bay Bach is a solitary dwelling located on the coast of southern Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. The rustic architecture of the building integrates the project in its environment and ensures a casual, holiday-like atmosphere for its inhabitants. This is the type of place where you kick off your shoes and don’t need to worry about walking sand through the house.
According to the official description provided by the architects, the bach (an iconic part of the culture of New Zealand) consists of “two slightly off-set pavilions, one housing the bedrooms and the other the main living space. Decks are located at each end of the living pavilion allowing the sun to be followed throughout the day. Sliding screens at the north-west end provide adjustable shelter for the different wind conditions, offer privacy from neighboring campers and act as walls for outside sleeping”. Wood is the defining element for the interior design scheme, often contrasted by splashes of color. As a result, this small home is a great example of indoor warmth and personality.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
An example of a huge success is Heneghan Peng Architects’ Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre in Antrim, Northern Ireland. Using the large difference in level across the site, the architects created two folds in the landscape. Bold, but not conflicting with the rather bleak natural environment, these folds draw all the man-made areas together and create one fitting man-made break in the natural landscape. In the words of the architects themselves, There is no longer a building and a landscape, but building becomes landscape and the landscape itself remains spectacular and iconic