Adorable Hut on a Sled!

On the shore of an idyllic white sandy beach on New Zealand's Coromandel Peninsula rests an

elegant hut. The site lies within the coastal erosion zone, where all buildings must be removable.

This house on a sled built by architects Crosson Clarke Carnachan can be towed off the beach

and out of harm's way.


This is taken literally and the hut is designed on two thick wooden sleds for movement back up the

site or across the beach and onto a barge.

The hut is a series of simple design moves. The aesthetic is natural and reminiscent of a beach

artifact/perhaps a surf-life-saving or observation tower. The fittings and mechanics are industrial

and obvious, the structure is gutsy and exposed. A huge shutter folds up across the exterior to

reveal and shade a two-storey glazed facade, which has an open-plan living room and mezzanine

bedroom behind.


More shutters lift up to uncover windows on each side of the house, and a roof deck is hidden

behind the parapet walls.

The holiday retreat cabin is designed to close up against the elements when not in use, and

measures a mere 40 square meters.

It accommodates a family of five in a kitchen/dining/living

area, a bathroom and two sleeping zones, the children's accommodating a three tiered bunk.

Closed up, the rough macrocarpa (a New Zealand wood) cladding blends into the landscape and

perches unobtrusively on the dunes. The rear being clad in "flat sheet" a cheap building material

found in many traditional New Zealand holiday homes.

These clients that commissioned hut sought to explore the real essence of holiday living; small,

simple, functional. The normal rituals of daily life; cooking dining, sleeping and showering all being

done connected to the outside. The two storey shutter on the front facade winches open to form an

awning, shading the interior from summer sun while allowing winter sun to enter. It reveals a

double height steel framed glass doors that open the interior much like the tent flap, connecting the

living and the ladder accessed mezzanine bedroom to the extraordinary view.

Within, the interior is the epitome of efficiency, every available space is utilised from cabinetry toe

spaces to secret cubby holes within the children's bunks.

The hut is totally sustainable from its modest size to the use of timber in its cladding, structure,

lining and joinery and from its worm tank waste system to the separate portable grey water tanks.

This is a new way of looking at holiday living in this sensitive dune environment.

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