This Karitane crib is the perfect place for extended family to gather. Kim Dungey reports.
Time on holiday is rarely spent inside with the doors closed and even less so at this Karitane crib, enjoyed by three generations of one family.
The inspiration for the design was living "in" the scenery, or having a part of the house that could literally open up to the surrounding views and the elements.
Designed by Wellington’s First Light Studio, it comprises two offset boxes, with an airy pavilion in between that flows seamlessly from indoors to outdoors.
Full-height bi-folds open to the northeast, southwest or both, connecting the sea and hills in any weather. The stainless steel kitchen island can simply be rolled out to provide a work space next to the barbecue.
Lead architect Anna Farrow says the extended family had holidayed on the site for many years and their brief chronicled a typical day in their new crib: a morning coffee, a swim, reading in the sun and perhaps a dinner of freshly caught fish at sunset.
The corner site at the top of a hill meant the view to the coast would never be built out. However, a neighbouring two-storey house sat in the way of the sun to the north so the challenge was to orientate the crib in a way that would optimise the available sunlight and also provide some privacy.
Small and unpretentious, the crib has a simple form and an open floor plan.
The 110sq m footprint includes two double bedrooms and a bunkroom, with built-in window seats in all the rooms (including the living room) that can double as beds. Family members often stay over and the house can sleep 14 if it needs to.
The bathroom is laid out as if at a campground with the shower, toilet and vanity in separate spaces so multiple people can use it at once. Like the stainless steel kitchen island, nothing in the central space is fixed.
The two cedar-clad boxes resonate with the solidity of the family’s 1960s predecessor.
Reclaimed mid-century doors in blue and yellow make reference to the cheerful colourways of the original crib, which was powder blue with bright yellow doors and white trims; the original doors could not be reused as the crib was moved off-site in its entirety.
While plywood features throughout, playful colour accents — blue, green, yellow and orange — define individual spaces.
To the northeast are the silver waters of the Waikouaiti River and Karitane Bay; to the southwest, a rolling green horizon created by the distant ranges.
The outdoors contributes to the liveable space, making the small footprint feel bigger, and almost every room makes the most of the views.