Maritime mastery: seamless fusion of form and function

Boathouse 01 - Michael Cooper Architects, NZ

Nestled within the picturesque cliffs of Auckland’s Herne Bay, the Boat House stands as a testament to seamless integration with its natural surroundings and the embodiment of maritime elegance. Designed by lead architect Michael Cooper, this timber cabin serves as a functional yet aesthetically pleasing space for the storage and launch of boats on the Waitemata Harbor.

The Boat House draws inspiration from the traditional gable house, showcasing an asymmetrical form tailored to accommodate the client’s powerboat and Laser yacht fully rigged. The exterior features a refined material palette, with dark corrugate cladding that allows the structure to blend harmoniously into the cliff’s edge. The use of purple heart hardwood decking further enhances the building’s connection to the water’s edge, creating a seamless transition between land and sea.

Embracing the nautical theme, translucent cladding adorns the front and rear of the building, resembling the sails of a yacht when the doors are open. At night, these elements transform into a striking representation of a ship’s lantern when closed, adding a touch of maritime allure to the structure. The careful consideration of these design elements reflects a deep understanding of the client’s passion for boating and the surrounding marine environment.

Beyond its striking exterior, the Boat House seamlessly combines functionality and beauty within its interior spaces. Lined with Meranti ply and custom shelving, the interior exudes a sense of warmth and craftsmanship, creating a welcoming atmosphere for both boat storage and recreational activities. The integration of laminated timber portal frames, reminiscent of traditional boat construction, not only adds visual intrigue but also effectively delineates the ground floor boat storage from the mezzanine workspace.

This thoughtful interior design approach not only serves the practical needs of the clients but also elevates the space into a sophisticated maritime environment that celebrates the art of boat craftsmanship and seafaring traditions.

The success of the Boat House project can be attributed not only to the vision of lead architect Michael Cooper but also to the collaborative efforts of the structural engineer, AMX Structures Limited. The collaboration has resulted in a structure that not only meets the functional needs of the clients but also stands as a testament to innovative design and construction practices that prioritize both form and function.

Michael Cooper Architects

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