Quick Tour: A Mt Maunganui Beach Cottage That Celebrates Character

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

Built for the Kiwis who like to lie close to the beach, this gorgeous renovation of a Mount Maunganui beach cottage by JMAC Architecture embraced its strong foundations while adding ‘elbow room’ and improving flow and sustainability for the modern age.

When you live near the beach in Mount Maunganui, why would you not want to entertain all year round?

That was the brief Rick and Michelle, the owners of this tired coastal cottage, set Jason Macdonald of JMAC Architecture.

Says Macdonald: “As a couple who embrace small space living, our homeowners wanted their cottage to evolve to suit their living needs with engaging, expanded living spaces for year-round alfresco entertainment.

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography
Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

“The owners wanted to celebrate the home’s existing relaxed character and not reinvent it.”

He says they appreciated small space living and wanted to blur the boundaries of indoor and outdoor living.

Some areas of the existing house just needed a little more “elbow room”, he says.

“With the project, we wanted to explore the challenges for a refresh, while retaining as much of the existing cottage as possible.”

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography
Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

But when the project started, it soon became clear the existing construction was in a bad state.

That discovery meant a complete redesign from the slab up, so the structural issues could be resolved and modern, robust construction techniques could be used.

Macdonald says the original layout was already reasonably efficient but to create more space, the plan subtly widened the living area and the only bedroom.

Macdonald says the plan respected the building’s coastal “Kiwi bach” vibe.

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography
Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

“We chose a mono pitch roof to maintain the original cottage form. It has been extended to create one seamless alfresco space.

“When the slatted walls are retracted, the indoor-outdoor merger is complete.”

The hero of the renovation is the large alfresco living area, where light floods in through translucent battened ceilings and walls.

A mix of sliding screens and glazed sliding doors creates a natural flow in the newly expanded living space.

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography
Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

The owners can open or close spaces for flexible living, depending on the season and the weather.

A café-style kitchen window connects the kitchen to the alfresco dining and entertainment area. “It creates a playful sense of café milieu,” Macdonald says.

The bedroom has a recessed window seat that is bathed in afternoon sunlight — and it’s become a favourite spot for the owners to read and relax.

A multi-purpose deck extends to a modestly sized pool where a garden backdrop of tropical and coastal plants gives the space a resort feel.

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography
Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

As the original cottage was demolished, the old windows, plumbing fixtures, appliances and roofing iron went to a salvage specialist for repurposing.

The new construction the building could be more energy-efficient.

High-performance double-glazing and insulation, and solar panels create a near-neutral energy profile.

The owners are delighted with their refreshed seaside home. The rebuilt and reworked house has spaces that “engage natural light play and connection”, says Macdonald.

Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography
Photo / Amanda Aitken Photography

In association with Trends. For more photos of this home, see Trendsideas.com

Architectural designer / Jason Macdonald, JMAC Architecture

Photography / Amanda Aitken Photography

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