After spending a lifetime in the boat-building industry provided Crosson Architects the inspiration for this project. The location sitting front row at a New Zealand bay, exposed to the elements – wind and ocean called for a rugged response. Just as early Polynesian explorers turned their sea-craft upside down to create land shelters the up-turned hull form of this house evolved into a protective shell or carapace, segmented like that of a sea crustacean – the segments sliding over each other to allow light shafts to enter.
The materiality is also a response to the environment. Weathered like a vessel subjected to long ocean voyages, the rusted steel blends with the colours of the sand and rock and presents its outer shell to the elements as protection. The interior is warm and luxurious, with faceted ply walls and ceilings tracing the planes of the exterior.
This project is a ‘beautiful craft’ – the interior crafted with finesse like the interior of a yacht, the exterior with its rusted steel (Fe304) cladding reflecting the beauty of voyage and return, vessel and shelter, vehicle and dwelling.