Prefabrication in factory-controlled conditions is gaining traction against traditional onsite building, particularly in New Zealand’s wet winters. This process has advantages in terms of speed, quality and cost.
The Studio 19 Bach in Coromandel New Zealand was a collaborative project consisting of Dave Strachan and Marshall Cook in conjunction with 16 third year Unitec architecture students, and builder John Cocks. This team not only designed the bach (retreat), they built it.
It was constructed off-site, including clip-on decks and pergolas, appliances and finishes, and then trucked onto site. Only one week was needed on site for foundations and connection to services.
With a budget of $120K and a total footprint of only 100m2 (75m2 interior, 25m2 decks) the bach includes a master bedroom with private deck, bunkroom, bathroom/laundry with both interior and exterior access, and kitchen, living, dining with decks to both the east and west and built-in furniture and storage throughout.
A number of subtle design moves have elevated a simple building to a project that is full of interest and rich in character.
A key move is the timber slatted breezeway which penetrates the high performance thermal envelope, running north-east to south-west. This assists with natural cross ventilation and highlights the play of light with late afternoon sun filtering through the trees and timber slatting.
The building also includes a take on traditional board and batten; a stepping floor that works with the natural contours of the site; and a monopitch roof with high levels of insulation. The material palette boasts timber throughout including decking inside and out, slatted ceilings, privacy screens and plywood on both walls and ceilings.
Project – Studio 19 Bach, New Zealand
Architect – Third Year Unitec student team overseen by Dave Strachan and Marshall Cook
Photos – Simon Devitt