Crow’s Nest (Crowsnest) is an exploration in a genre of building that is designed to fulfil a specific singular purpose for the occupant.
In 2015 we were commissioned to design a dwelling for a seaside site at Whale bay in Raglan, New Zealand. The brief in simple terms was for a surfers ‘stay’. Design ideas to be addressed included the ability to check the surf from an elevated position, provide spaces to reside when not surfing and the ability to relocate the dwelling to allow possibilities for a more substantial future development on the site. The dwelling was not be used as a permanent residence.
A palette of light colours and raw textures was employed to reference the natural landscape of sand, sea and foam. Windows and doors frame the landscape from within and further connect the dwelling with its natural surroundings, complimenting a space that has been designed with the idea of getting back to basics.
The landscape and rooftop views were imagined as the defining experience of the site and of the dwelling. High-end extravagance such as lavish fittings, flashy entryways and showy kitchens were put aside to ensure the rooftop view was to define the occupants’ experience. The lack of ornamentation in the design has the further benefits of exposing the materiality of the building’s form and revealing a marriage of utility and serenity with its chosen purpose.