M + M House



Completion Date


  • Architecture
  • NZIA Regional Architecture Award 2021
An leap of faith taken by a young couple relocating from Montreal to NZ has led to a seriously cool beach-front first home.

Located on a rural coastal site, subdivided off a grazing farm, this simple yet clever home serves as home, office and holiday retreat.

This home’s beauty shines not only through its’ building’s form and setting but through the story of the people involved. It is a true reflection of an ambitious client with meticulous planning and a drive to be thoughtful and resourceful.

The process began with the delivery of a well-detailed written brief from the client which formed a mutual understanding between the client and design team from the outset. The client asked to be challenged on their ideas and this process. The resulting home exemplifies the process through many well-resolved features and quirks to accommodate a unique way of living.

The 110m2 home is small and efficient with a huge sense of space created through the gable roof that is stretched apart to create separation between the self-contained studio and the main home. The home is clad in 28mm verticle larch selected for its natural appearance and lightweight properties with long-run roofing for rainwater collection.

The planning constraints of construction in a Taranaki coastal protection zone, instilled the requirement for new dwellings to be relocatable, which means this home is built on piles with timber framing. Other planning items that required careful consideration were the extra high wind zone of the rugged west coast and rural zoning requiring 10m setbacks. The orientation of the home and its long narrow structure maximises solar gain, while joinery selection and placement create the necessary passive ventilation, there has also been thought put into the addition of solar panels and the ability to take this home completely off-grid in the future.