The See-Saw Home By Upoko Architects

Distinctive Designs

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See-Saw Home

Winners of the 2023 Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects National Awards, the See-Saw Home by Upoko Architects is a masterpiece of balancing openness and privacy. Perched atop a sand dune overlooking a busy beach, the house embraces its public location through playful interactions. Porthole windows serve as peek-a-boo moments for those on the promenade, while cleverly layered spaces ensure the homeowner’s privacy. The main bedroom exemplifies this- separated from the street and living areas; it finds peace in an internal courtyard yet cleverly retains its connection to the sea view.


Pop-Up Roofs for Strategic Sun Capture

Upoko Architects haven’t forgotten the importance of light and sun. Pop-up roofs, resembling playful periscopes, strategically capture sunlight and channel it into the core of the house, ensuring a bright atmosphere throughout the day. But functionality isn’t compromised for aesthetics. Screened internal courtyards provide much-needed ventilation without submitting to harsh winds. They also offer a sense of security while allowing for expansive openings, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor living.


Small Footprint, Generous Living

Upoko Architects have achieved a sense of joy through thoughtful simplicity. By meticulously selecting and detailing unpretentious materials, they have created a home that feels both compact and surprisingly generous. The See-Saw Home is proof of clever design, where a small footprint can provide a delightful and sun-drenched living experience.


Photographer: Jason Mann

Design: Upoko Architects










Source: Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects