Amanda Yates’s seaside New Zealand family house. It was designed by their architect daughter, Amanda, for their retirement, with the knowledge that future generations of the extended family—including Amanda, her partner, Adam Rose, and their one-year-old son, Awa—will see it as their place now and for decades down the line.
Inspired by her academic research into precolonial Maori structures that were partly dug into the land, Amanda, who is also a lecturer at Wellington’s Massey University, set out to create a building “somewhere between architecture and landscape.” This may not sound like your average retirement pad, but David and Christine were willing guinea pigs in their daughter’s architectural experiment. In fact, after the trio purchased the land and set the budget for the house (about US $330,000), David and Christine let Amanda call the shots entirely.
The concrete wall mimics the slope of the hill outside as a reference to early Maori structures that were dug into the land. The simple kitchen has strandboard cabinetry and an MDF island that conceals a fireplace at one end. The ceramic works on the built-in seat at right are by Raewyn Atkinson and Robyn Lewis
The hanging Iko Iko pendants in the kitchen add a vertical touch to a space and help frame the views outside.
The north-facing doors slide completely away to open the house to the outdoors, offering an uninterrupted view of the water.
The home’s sliding doors blur the boundaries between inside and out
The rock slope just outside is in clear sympathy with the concrete cant inside—nature right alongside architecture.
No better way to test paint colors than to simply apply them.