Omata Beach House by Herbst Architects

Distinctive Designs

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Omata Beach House

On the rugged coastline of New Zealand, the Omata Beach House is a stunning example of architecture that seamlessly integrates with its natural surroundings. The house’s location on a windswept bluff overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean presents both breathtaking views and challenging conditions for design and construction. The design went on to win in the 2023 Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects National Awards. The jury was deeply impressed by this beautiful, carefully detailed home, which has clearly been designed with meticulous consideration of how it is occupied throughout different seasons and times of the day.


The architects have masterfully controlled the house’s interaction with the environment through a series of thoughtful design choices. Large sliding doors and windows flood the living spaces with natural light and fresh sea breezes while also providing the ability to be fully enclosed for protection against the elements. This flexibility allows the occupants to truly live in harmony with the changing conditions of the beachfront lifestyle.


Thoughtful Details and Innovative Solutions


One of the most innovative features of the Omata Beach House is its internal courtyards. These intimate outdoor spaces are strategically positioned to provide a strong connection to the landscape while simultaneously offering shelter and privacy for those in residence. The use of local stone and timber throughout the house further enhances this sense of place, with the tactile qualities of these materials serving as a constant reminder that this is a true beach house.


The thoughtfulness of the design is evident in even the smallest details. Strategically located foot-washing basins around the exterior provide a practical solution for removing sand and salt from shoes and feet, hinting at the well-considered needs of a family living in this environment. These small but significant details demonstrate the architects’ commitment to creating a home that is not only visually stunning but also thoroughly functional and attuned to the rhythms of beachfront living.




Dining Living

Indoor Outdoor

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 Source: Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects National Awards


By: Jamie Quinn

Photos Provided by: Simon Wilson

Designer: Herbst Architects