New Zealand Home & Building, October-November 1998
Ship Shape — A Seafront Guest House Offers Auckland Architect Simon Carnachan the Chance to Indulge in Some Nautical Whimsy
A Seafront Guest House Offers Auckland Architect Simon Carnachan the Chance to Indulge in Some Nautical Whimsy.
Architect Simon Carnachan is a firm believer that you don't need a lot of space to live well.
Though the homes he designs are generally substantial, his personal preference is for a living environment on a modest scale.
Imagine his delight, then, when asked to design a diminutive guest house for an Auckland couple that could serve as temporary accommodation while their new home, also designed by him, was built next door.
With a site fronting a seaside promenade, the opportunity was presented to indulge in some nautical whimsy. On a trip to the US, the owners had admired the architecture around Cape Cod and so the idea of a Nantucket-style boathouse was born. "What I really enjoy is that it's a bit of fun and people genuinely like it," says Carnachan.
The building has been christened "the yacht club" by local residents and the boathouse theme is carried through in every detail. Portholes puncture two cedar garage doors and a flag-pole rises from a prow-shaped deck enclosed by stainless steel railings - "we were under budget until we put those on," the owner laughs.
A Fritz Hansen dining table and chairs complement the nautical look of the interior.
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In order to make what is essentially two small rooms serve initially as a fully-functioning home, a lot of thought went into the practical details. In the upstairs living space, open shelves were carefully proportioned to accommodate a television and stereo, for example, while the compact kitchen was designed to fit an oven, dishwasher, fridge and microwave. Downstairs, a full-sized wardrobe is effectively concealed in a narrow space behind the bed and a tiny ensuite bathroom slots between the bedroom and stairs.
With bi-folding doors opened to the deck, the living area effectively doubles in size. But thanks to the generous harbour views on three sides, even with the hatches battened in a storm the compact interior manages to feel surprisingly spacious.
"We thought we'd be living on takeaways," says the owner. "But we've had plenty of dinner parties." In fact, after almost a year living in tight quarters, they can't quite imagine having 200m2 of space to play with in their new home. HBpage break