Weekend Cabin: Whangapoua, New Zealand

Honestly, I just like saying “Whangapoua” over and over. The fact that this beach cottage is pretty spectacularly awesome is beside the point.

Whangapoua, Whangapoua, Whangapoua.

The Whangapoua Sled House gives new meaning to “mobile home” — it was moved into position by tractor on the sand of New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula in a high-erosion zone where all structures must be removable. Placing the structure on two large runners was a simple yet effective solution — the house measures just 480 square feet and is easily shifted out of harm’s way.

There’s more cleverness throughout: All the shutters close snugly to protect the interior, but the large front shutter can also serve as an awning to keep the beachside sun from blasting occupants. It can also be cranked all the way up, allowing the two-story glass doors to open wide for maximum fresh air. The two-story cottage sleeps five with three-tiered bunks and has tons of hidden storage to maximize space.

Whangapoua.

Architect: Crosson Clarke Carnachan

Photography by Jackie Miering

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

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