BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

Explore a Family’s Triangular Coastal Retreat

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In its unmatched location, where rugged terrain hems a dramatic stretch of coastline, The Dart by New Zealand firm Studio John Irving Architects emerges as an assertive yet deliberately simplistic architectural statement.

The Dart by Auckland-based Studio John Irving Architects is situated on Bream Tail Farm, just over an hour north of Auckland; a conservation estate made up of rural farmland and rare native scrub. The inspiring setting sparked an innovative response from the design team, who conceptualised the barn-like structure in the shape of a dart, letting the entire form face perfectly north. 

Designed to be exposed to – while providing shelter from – the elements, this cedar-clad holiday home dissolves into the landscape as a contemporary, elemental response to the peculiarities of the site.

Produced in partnership with Fisher & Paykel

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The Dart is located on Bream Tail Farm, just over an hour north of Auckland, New Zealand. The Bream Tail Farm is a conversation estate that combines rural farmland and native forest fronting the rugged coastline.

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Full height glazing opens up on both sides of the communal area; undulating farmland and native scrub on one side and uninterrupted ocean views on the other.

Studio John Irving Architects set out to capture the rural landscape and ocean outlook to the east and west while ensuring a future home to be built to the north across the valley, would not be in view. It led them to orient The Dart exactly due north to accentuate the scenery, with the point of the arrow obscuring the prospective neighbour. Director John Irving says that even as the triangular form was prominent in the concept and design, once at face level, it looks quite normal; receiving only “hints of the unusual form as you navigate through and around the dwelling,” he adds.

A consistent thread through The Dart is the pursuit of clean lines, in a bid not to distract from the location but to invite it within. This approach informed the material palette where cedar became the primary material used inside and out. “We used a cedar rain screen on the outside walls to hide the guttering and downpipes so the overall visual is very clean,” John says. “This was also reflected on the inside where we used cedar panelling to blur the inside-outside distinction.” Full-height glazing on both sides of the living, dining and kitchen area blurs this distinction further.

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“We like to have cleanly designed appliances which don’t distract from the simplicity of the interiors and let you sit back and enjoy what’s really important: the view.”

 

– John Irving

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Timber cabinetry by Guyco references the cedar-clad exterior while the slim-line Flos track light draws on the kitchen’s clean lines.

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Like the entire home, when it came to the kitchen the family wanted it to address views to the east and west. Naturally, a long kitchen island was proposed that could be used at either end depending on the time of day. 

The family also requested Fisher & Paykel appliances to be specified in the kitchen. John says Fisher & Paykel appliances were a fitting choice for their ability to integrate seamlessly. A 90cm Integrated French Door Refrigerator Freezer and CoolDrawer™ are concealed behind the cedar joinery designed by Guyco while the stainless steel Freestanding 90cm Cooker takes pride of place at the heart of the kitchen. “We like to have cleanly designed appliances which don’t distract from the simplicity of the interiors and let you sit back and enjoy what’s really important: the view,” John attests. In particular, the studio advocated for a CoolDrawer™ – now a firm favourite among the family – with its Variable Temperature Zone offering five modes: fridge, freezer, chill, pantry and wine. 

Studio John Irving Architects have spared no effort in bringing the panoramic landscape in – or diffusing the boundaries between both – in The Dart. A backdrop to escape to and relax in, The Dart cultivates solitude and sanctuary; qualities that could only make it extremely difficult to leave.

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At the prow of the home, Studio John Irving Architects created a parent’s retreat with its own private outdoor space to escape to.

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“The property has stunning views to the east and west which we really wanted to capture, while land to the north is planning the construction of a house in the future. So from our first concept we placed the ‘point’ of the arrow to the north to obscure the future dwelling. This gave us a result where The Dart quite iconically orientates itself perfectly north!”

 

– John Irving

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