Dune House by Fearon Hay Architects

Location: Omaha, New Zealand

The house is designed to provide both protection and outlook, with spaces opening to a translucent glass screened courtyard and terrace overlooking the dunes of a popular beach.4674f00a3035dd5df18afdc4f112643a8f624402a02bc78f56efea8dee31ff1356bdb216b31cc2119aaee48add57f1ed41b7ce7fcce5a9cbe547b6db6de6982aea69ddb0a633944070a5aeaf74c7648b4976a7479c6c5ceb0a7d8f459dd95a232599ad96e808887e7198c71e7423c0a673db01dac83117e89666007268f8066e

Fearon Hay Architects have designed a vacation home that integrates into the landscape. The 2014 World Architecture Festival (Villa Category) winner is located on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, an hour drive north of Auckland. The spectacular site sits within a natural dune zone adjacent a long white sand beach, which only makes it a natural source of inspiration for the architecture of the residence.

The vacation home was designed for a couple with a deep love for outdoor beach environment, water sports and their three dogs. To keep in tune with their active lifestyle, the design had to incorporate easy access to a board from the basement surf locker, outdoor showers and a sense of openness and connection to the dune environment and beach views.

The house was nested into the dunes with the lower level almost completely hidden by its sunken integration into the landscape. A central open plan living space sits between a terrace and protected courtyard. The terrace opens to the beach while the courtyard creates privacy and a sense of sanctuary to the street behind. The courtyard’s protection is created by a glass veil that obscures the lines of sight but is still able to offer light and awareness of the western aspect.

The interior of the residence draws inspiration from the ever-changing natural coastline. The design incorporates a refined material palette that offers a sense of comfort, calm and quiet. All materials have been carefully selected to add a level of sophistication without distracting from the natural and built environment. The grey plastered walls and travertine floors give a sense of rawness, and contrast nicely against the surreal landscape seen through the full height windows.

Details of electropolished stainless metalwork and inlaid surfaces of silver travertine add to the elegant interior. The materiality for the kitchen & scullery is a response to a desire for richness in this restrained palette that would still maintain this sense of rawness – something natural but something that would counter the soft grey hues of concrete and plaster. The brass has a durability and presence that will continue to age and in time create its own story around that of the house.dune-house-new-zealand-fearon-hay-architects-2dune-house-new-zealand-fearon-hay-architects-3dune-house-new-zealand-fearon-hay-architects-4dune-house-new-zealand-fearon-hay-architects-5fha_dune_house_02-e1427859592507fha_dune_house_04-e1427859658487fha_dune_house_05-e1427859643351fha_dune_house_07fha_dune_house_08-e1427859570302fha_dune_house_09screen-shot-2015-11-05-at-12-36-42-pmfha_dune_house_11fha_dune_house_site_plan-e1427859678310fha_dune_house_plan_01-e1427859689726fha_dune_house_plan_02fha_dune_house_section_01-e1427859727305fha_dune_house_elevation_02-e1427859743894fha_dune_house_elevation_01-e1427859755344

Architects: Fearon Hay Architects
Location: New Zealand
Year: 2014
Project Team: Tim Hay, Jeff Fearon, Stephen de-Vrij, Robin Geiselhardt, Chris Wood
Interiors: Fearon Hay Architects with Penny Hay
Photography: Patrick Reynolds
Awards: Winner – Villa category. WAF (World Architecture Festival) Awards, Singapore, 2014 / NZIA New Zealand Architecture Medal, Finalist, 2014 / NZIA New Zealand Awards for Architecture, 2014

*All images and information courtesy of World Architecture Festival. 



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Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay of Fearon Hay Architects. Picture / Babiche Martens


Founded in 1998, Fearon Hay Architects is based in Auckland, New Zealand.

The practice is a partnership between Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay and was established to enable their combined involvement in the design and execution of each project.

The design-led studio operates with between 12 to 15 staff and applies this approach to a broad range of typologies located in diverse environments – costal, urban, rural, lakeside and alpine. The resulting work has received extensive recognition in both national and international award programmes.

Working nationally and internationally, the practice has an increasing variety of commissions that deliver private dwellings, hospitality and interior projects, and a developing range of commercial briefs.

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