GIN POINT HOUSE
Gin Point gets its names from the Maori pronunciation of the site -En'gin'e Point, the land originally providing a quarry for limestone blocks to build the Copper Mine facility still partially standing on Kawau Island. The site sits at the beautiful northern headland to Sandspit opposite Kawau Island and offers unsurpassed 270 degree - mainly North, East and Southerly - coastal views.
The remnants of the quarrying and cutting machinery lay strewn over the site when the owners purchased it, and as a result, the initial brief suggested a 'steam-punk' interpreted design to connect with the old steel and cast iron elements. The house design and planning is the remaining reference to and reinterpretation of parts of machinery. The overriding concept for the design has remained unchanged from the outset - we discussed creating separated pavilions set around a courtyard / walkway that followed the curvature of the hill behind. The pavilions protect the courtyard while providing selected glimpses of the Hauraki Gulf. The spaces between the pavilions separate the forms for privacy yet open up to become the social spaces according to the time of day (shade or heat) and weather conditions, channeling cooling breezes or closing them out for comfort.
Achieving Resource Consent in an exposed environment meant the house form rests comfortably with its surroundings - sloping hill, with native bush on the lower slopes and remnants of pastural use above devoid of larger vegetation. A sunken kumara pit and midden, the only remains of earlier Maori habitation remains protected on the slopes. Essentially there are 3 pavilions -
entry, garage and utility at the front, guest suite behind
2 bedroom suites accessed from the entry
living areas, master suite, study all accessed from the outside courtyard - connecting the views and courtyard
Its a house where the elements are intended to be experienced and felt, yet controlled as needed, views managed for impact and surprise from all spaces. The clients were keen to use macrocarpa timber milled on their land and which fed into the 'natural feel' and chunkiness of the concept planning, high sloping roofs, creating a contemporary rustic, European feel, yet very eclectic. The clients selected tiles and fittings both locally and from Europe to be a home uniquely theirs.