Seaside Home Uses Japanese Design to Foster Grandiose Space from 538 Square Feet

Nestled within the treetops on the New Zealand coastline sits the Island Bay House, a small dwelling that features incredible interior beauty beyond its unassuming corrugated metal exterior. Andrew Simpson of WireDog Architecture designed the structure using Japanese-inspired principles, which gives the home an airy feel and a grandiose appearance beyond its 538 square feet of space.

Simpson and his fiance, Krysty Peebles, built the house on a sharply-sloped plot of land, undeterred by the incline because of the grand location–it has uninterrupted views across Island Bay. While designing, Simpson drew insight from the works of architect Makoto Masuzawa, opting for a double-height interior and fully glazed end wall. The result are areas of the home that “borrow” space from each other. Their mezzanine bedroom seems much larger because it's left completely open, just like the kitchen and study. Built-in shelving also offers for storage without having fill the home with excess furniture.

The Island Bay house is energy efficient and relies on eco-friendly practices to keep it warm during the region's cold seasonal winds. To do this, the building uses passive solar power: the walls are west-facing, allowing them to capture the maximum solar heat gain in winter. In addition, the home features five-and-a-half-inch-thick walls that trap heat inside. This practice produces enough energy to warm the house during the chilliest parts of the year.

WireDog Architecture: Website
via [Dwell, Inhabitat]

Photography by Paul McCredie.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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