“Shanty-ness”: that’s the word used by the owner of this beach house to describe the effect he was after


“Shanty-ness”: that’s the word coined by the owner of this Northland beach house to describe the effect he was after, which evokes the abandoned cars, machinery and barns he sometimes spots when driving the region’s roads.

Auckland-based architect Ken Crosson and local builder Ollie Tuck have artfully realised that vision in a structure of jutting angles and layered roofs, sheathed in a patchwork of rusted steel panels that will continue to weather with age.

Yet for all the apparent shanty-like randomness of the exterior, this was a highly demanding build, with whisker-thin tolerances when it came time to fit the pre-cut and pre-drilled panels to the steel framing. What’s more, those panels match exactly to the hoop pine plywood equivalents lining the interior.

You can imagine, then, that there would be some tough technical challenges involved in glazing this house. From the double-height glazed facades on the east and west elevations, to the paired garage doors, which use aluminium window profiles for a seamless, ‘whole house’ look, this was an assignment that fully tested the expertise of the First Windows & Doors manufacturer involved.

“This was easily our most complex residential build,” he says of the project, which relied on products from Metro Series throughout, everything powder coated in ‘Metropolis Silver Pearl’. In total, 140 individual panes of glass were used, two-thirds of them in raked or irregular shapes, many of them translucent for privacy.

To meet the brief without compromising the vision, the supplier also had to devise a series of innovations, recessed sills and cosmetic aluminium strips.

And now that the builders have left, it’s time to let the sea salt and ocean winds take care of the finishing.

Region Northland

This was an assignment that fully tested the expertise of the manufacturer

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