Chock’s Away

Whitianga is a beautiful beach-side town and it also boasts an excellent airfield. For one couple, this made it the perfect location for their new holiday home. He’s a retired commercial pilot, and she’s creative with an eye for design. Their new holiday home was created in close collaboration with Design Builders and has a rather unusual yet convenient feature. More about that shortly.

This remarkable house has its very own hangar. It was an essential element of the design brief which the client sums up as –

“a house near the airfield that we could put the aeroplane in, that also had a beach theme to it. A hangar house and a beach house.”

The owners live in the heart of Auckland, but like many of us, enjoy spending weekends and days away in rural New Zealand which they travel to in their very own aeroplane. The flight time is about 25 minutes, from Ardmore to Whitianga, and once they touch down, they literally taxi to their holiday home.

As you might imagine, the hangar isn’t the only extraordinary feature of the home. Instead of a purely functional design, the owners wanted something with a twist and a small nod to aviation history. So they drew inspiration from 1930s American ‘Barn Hangars’ to evoke the golden age of pioneer aviators.

Part aircraft hangar and part residential holiday home, this house was designed around our clients’ aircraft. The hangar part of the design required large-span garaging requiring intelligent design techniques to fit the remainder of the project, the holiday home, within the rest of the site constraints. A modern barn-style home, the design, with one dominant gable roofline, creates a seamless transition between aircraft hangar and holiday home.

The residential side of the design includes features such as a built-in booth-style dining area and cosy second living/library nook to further enhance this unique home.

Creative thinking can be found throughout the home. The couple have ensured that their home while having to function as a hangar, is warm and welcoming, a place made for relaxation. They describe it as ‘free-flowing’, and they’re right – there’s a lovely sense of space, with the vaulted ceiling adding an openness to this home.

A favourite feature is the dining booth, which evokes a classic American diner.

From here, the owners enjoy the view of the distant hills and, of course, the comings and goings on the airfield.

The entire project was a collaboration between the clients and Design Builders’ design team led by Renee Woods. Right from take-off, it was essential that the designers grasped the clients’ inspiring vision and allimportant practical requirements.