The Castle Rock House is a private residence located on North Island in New Zealand. It was designed to serve as a summer retreat and never as a permanent home. The project was developed by HERBST Architects, a company established by Nicola and Lance Herbs.
Their continuous search for the best way to live in and feel connected to the New Zealand landscape and climate inspired them to become, as the Monocle Magazine reveals, “masters at slipping their buildings seamlessly into the landscape while making the most of spectacular views”.
The description applies perfectly to this project. The Castle Rock House was completed in 2015 and its unique design allows it to become immersed in nature and to become a natural part of the landscape.
The structure of the house is fragmented but, at the same time, the volumes and tightly connected. The pavilions are organically embedded into the terrain and they follow the slope while maximizing the views.
The living pavilion contains 4 spaces arranged into a pinwheel layout. It’s made up of an open plan kitchen, a lounge area and two covered decks. The interior design is simple and welcoming.
The lounge area is a secluded and intimate space, with different-colored wood panels on the walls, open shelves and comfy window bench with built-in storage. From here, the views are extremely beautiful and this ensures a relaxing ambiance inside the room as well. The window alcove is the perfect reading nook and one of the most beautiful places in the whole house.
Timber panels cover the walls, floors and ceilings. They create a warm and pleasant ambiance while also setting an organic color palette. One of the dividing walls is made of adjustable panels which can maximize the space and create a more airy and spacious look if desired. These primary living spaces are situated on the uppermost level.
A staircase offers access to the lower level which contains the sleeping quarters. Here there are two large bedrooms placed along a large guest area able to accommodate four people. This volume is connected to the living area by a covered walkway placed along the gabion walls.
This splendid beach house retreat embraces the landscape and the site and, at the same time, makes the most of the views. This is done through an unusual and segmented structure and by including a viewing deck and designing the rooms with full height windows and terraces.
The viewing deck overlooks the sea and the beautiful surrounding landscape and it also doubles as an outdoor dining area. The ambiance is warm and pleasant due to all the wood and also to the simple and accessible design.