Bach life— Piha


Tucked inside woodland and backing onto a beach, this residence in New Zealand’s North Island is the most ambitious project to date from local practice Herbst Architects, using plenty of wood to blend into the scenery.

Beach House, Herbst, New Zealand, Piha

Herbst Architects is renowned in New Zealand for its signature remodelling of the classic Kiwi bach. Taking the spirit of of the traditionally cobbled-together holiday home or beach shelter, it has been designing a series of highly sophisticated, sustainable dwellings – eight of them so far on Great Barrier Island, a mountainous ridge of land 100km by sea from downtown Auckland.

The practice’s latest, and largest, project back on the mainland marks its crossover into new territory. Designed for an Auckland couple who are patrons of the arts and…


The couple met while studying architecture at the University of Cape Town.

After graduating, they worked partly together and partly independently on projects in South Africa.

Immigrated to New Zealand in 1998.

Established Herbst Architects in 2000.

One of the couple’s first projects was their own bach, for which they received the New Zealand Institute of Architects Award in 2002.

Great Barrier Island is home to eight of their houses.

As the island is off the electricity grid, each project was designed to have minimal impact on the environment.

The Lindale Bach is one of the practice’s most significant projects: an example of an environmentally sustainable casual shelter created to high specifications.


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