When two parts create more than a whole

A spectacular coastal home by Cheshire Architects on Waiheke Island cleverly balances enclosure and sociability.

The stone wall at this Waiheke retreat mimics the gently winding gravel road that leads to its entrance. In an elegant, serpentine move, the wall reaches out of the western arrival point and climbs onto a knoll, holding back the spectacular view. The architect’s dual challenge was to design a retreat from the elements, yet celebrate the view – a task as confounding as if Thoreau’s cabin in the woods had notions about the Farnsworth house. The solution was the bifurcating stone wall, which divides public from private, view from retreat, pavilion from solidity. Click here for a virtual tour.

Photography by Sam Hartnett