Ken Crosson-designed residences nestled among greenery on Auckland’s Mahurangi Peninsula
A new coastal residential development on Auckland’s Mahurangi Peninsula, designed by multi-award winning architect Ken Crosson, will restore native planting to the Snells Beach coastline.
Located just 50 minutes north of central Auckland, the Boathouse Bay development is underway on a unique 2ha site at the northern end of Snells Beach.
It will offer residents the quintessential Kiwi bach lifestyle, but with premium design, luxury finishes, a community park and prime coastal amenities.
Renowned landscape architect Rachel de Lambert and her team at Boffa Miskell have created a thoughtful landscape design that will restore native planting to the area, re-establish the sand dunes, and create a new public walkway that everyone in the Snells Beach community can enjoy.
The design allows the homes to settle into the dramatic coastal setting, tucked between the native forest hill and headland backdrop and the restored dunes that define the arc of the beach.
A substantial transplanted native Pohutukawa tree and hundreds of coastal dune land shrubs, trees and grasses will replace a grove of over-mature pine trees and a large Norfolk Pine in what will become the coastal reserve.
These plantings are in keeping with the coastal landscape, and will provide desirable coastal protection, improved habitat, and better space for public use and long-term enjoyment of the proposed coastal reserve.
The development will re-establish dunes to the coastal frontage of the site, with an extended public walkway woven through the enhanced landscape.
The dunes will have a cover of native coastal grasses and low-growing groundcover. This planting will extend back into the residential gardens surrounding the architecturally designed beachside homes.
Similarly, the elevated row of houses at the rear of the site, which look over the beachfront, have native bush behind and extending down between them.
The hillside is being re-vegetated with thousands of native plantings to extend the forest cover and replace the grazed pasture.
“This development is quite intentional in its approach to the way in which the landscape and native vegetation will surround the collection of bach-like coastal houses,” says Rachel de Lambert.
“Boathouse Bay has been designed so that residents feel as if they’re part of the magnificent beachside environment.
“The project has evolved with the architecture and landscape design fully integrated, and that’s something rather special. It will create a very desirable opportunity to live in a small scale coastal community at Snells Beach.”
'A new way of coastal living'
Architect Ken Crosson says Boathouse Bay is set to challenge the way that Kiwis think about coastal living.
“Rather than carving the site into a few large sections featuring palatial mansions accessible only to the super-elite, we decided to create a purposeful development that, whilst still of the highest quality, allows a greater number of New Zealanders to live more affordably on their coastline.
“The vision for the coastal development was to find another way of looking at this site, to get more people to be a part of this special coastal community and bring price points down. It’s something I totally believe in.
“We should be getting more people on our coast and making it more modest, so that more people can actually achieve this kind of living.”
Crosson doesn’t believe that people will miss their traditional Kiwi quarter-acre section.
“I think there’s a huge sea-change. Now we’re so sick of mowing the lawn or tending the garden. We have all this space that we don’t need and it doesn’t give us any amenity. Provided you get the sun, the sea, the view and the privacy, then we should be looking at smaller sections.”
Crosson says that although contemporary, the homes have a sense of historical reference that is rooted in the design as well as the building materials chosen.
“The inspiration was the boat sheds that we see on our coastal margins, like Oriental Parade and Hobson Bay, and also those original bach communities with modest houses.
“It’s a contemporary take on the traditional New Zealand bach. It’s examining the essence of what bach-living is. We looked at what you actually need in an environment like this. And of course it’s always down to quality not quantity.
“The cladding is a reference to corrugated iron, but we’ve re-looked at it and used a modern take on it. We’ve also got this highlight of translucent doors to all the boat sheds so there’s activity and life behind them. And then there’s some timber too, that other classic New Zealand building material.”
'Echoes of a small village'
Although the buildings are diverse, the development features an architectural cohesion which echoes the small villages of Europe. It also echoes the sense of community which abounds in such towns, an aspect further highlighted in the landscape design by Boffa Miskell.
“The idea was to bring dune planting into the front of the development and the green bushy hillside planting into the back of it,” says de Lambert.
“Linking it all together is a shared circulation space for cars and pedestrians. It’s very loose, very casual, with community areas where people can gather.”
Crosson believes Boathouse Bay is a new way forward for the New Zealand coastline and will be home to a wide range of people.
“We’ve designed it so there’s a diversity of houses there, from the single level to the double level to the tower buildings. I think you’ll see young people and active older people there, all living in this little environment.
“We don’t see enough of this. We’ve got this outdated idea of what a subdivision on the coast should be, but this development was just a stunning idea and we love the result.”
Builders Bayside Designer Homes have been appointed and earthworks on the site are set to begin this summer.
The 33-home development is currently being marketed off-the-plan by Colliers International’s Residential Project Marketing team. Prices range from $690,000 for one-bedroom to $1.6 million for a three-bedroom beachside home.
Sales were officially launched at an exclusive event at kitchen and interior supplier Matisse International’s showroom, hosted by the developers, along with the design team of Crosson Architects, Boffa Miskell and Bayside Homes.
With only seventeen homes in stage one that are currently being sold off-the-plan, this is a unique opportunity to buy on New Zealand’s coastline.
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