Beach House

At the southern end of Tata Beach and almost on the beach stood an old bach built by the Windle family. A new garage had been added late last century and the old bach which had been built in stages no longer catered for the needs of the extended family.

Tata Beach is exposed to the westerly ripping across Golden Bay but at the same time has fantastic views in that direction. Close to a rocky headland the building site is tucked behind some large Norfolk Pines running along the end of the beach and the bush clad hill rising steeply behind.

The brief called for a new bach, that was both a memory of the good times already had and a promise of those to come. With a large extended family and many friends the new building needed to cater for the owners who live at the beach during the summer and also for the hoards at holiday times.

The solution was to retain the Garage and remove the rest. A new one bedroomed, large living area structure has been built at the southern end of the site. It maximises the envelope already allowed by the previous building. Like the old bach this is clad in dark stained weatherboards with white windows. It is angled to look up the beach and across the bay and has a porch on its northern end that can be totally closed with glass doors or conversely opened right up. In contrast to the dark stained exterior the inside framed and backside of the weatherboard walls of the porch are painted white, reflecting light back inside. The bedroom is on a split level behind and opens on to a private deck.

A separate red corrugated shed houses the first guests to arrive and the lawn takes the tents of the late comers. The 3 separate structures – Garage, Main Bach and Bedrooms are linked under one roof. This roof also covers the washing facilities, campground style so that the tent dwellers can easily access it. Because of the extreme winds that can occur at any time this roofed area is able to be closed off with glass sliding doors to the beach side and roller doors against the hill and across the carport.

This place is about having fun and the collaborative approach to the building process reinforces this. The sea faring kitchen began as an idea of the Windles, was developed by the architects and even further by the joiner. Timber collected over years, stone from the farm, wide wharf planking for the decks, the curved corrugated steel half wall hiding the basin, all were ideas developed and fine tuned during the building process with the builders.

Even though this bach is very close to the beach it is not until you are almost there that you see it. Sure its bigger and more comfortable than the bach of old but the essential elements of being able to easily move between beach and bach, relax with friends and family and most of all having fun are there stronger than ever.

Design: Min Hall
Arthouse Architecture team: Jon Fraser, Keni Duke Hetet, Caroline Marshall
Builders: Black Dog Builders
Kitchen Joinery: Chip Williams
Photographs: Elspeth Collier and Arthouse Architecture Ltd
Completed 2006