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Scrubby Bay House

Scrubby Bay House on Banks Peninsula, designed by Patterson Associates Architects. The Annandale farm setting and the architectural vernacular of this house belie its massive scale – the ceilings rise from 3.4 metres to 5.5m at the apex. Natural materials enhance therobust design – the exterior features cedar, while the interior is fully lined with macrocarpa timber.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-03-Simon-Devitt-759x506 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Simon Devitt

Owned by New Zealand businessman Mark Palmer, the 4,000-acre Annandale estate farm, Its location on the Banks Peninsula. The secluded cedar-clad villa stretches out along the beach and features three sea-fronted suites, a deck warmed by an open fire pit, and an outdoor spa.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-04-Simon-Devitt-759x511 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Simon Devitt

  • A spectacular rocky headland facing the Pacific Ocean – is a picturesque palette of muscular ridges, private coves, and grassy hills grazed by the resident sheep and cattle.
  • Your Bay. Your People. Your Time. Warmly embraced on both sides by the surrounding hills and facing a private bay, Scrubby Bay is a magical and completely private setting for gatherings of up to 14 guests.
Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-06-Simon-Devitt-807x1200 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Simon Devitt

“I laboured very hard about whether to do a completely abstracted form on that site and I didn’t want to do that because that bay is eternal, and one thing that you do know is it’s likely to be a farm for a long time. If you pick a contemporary form, you fight the timeless nature of the bay. But the building is reasonably abstracted in a material sense – everything about it is still very contemporary but unmistakably rural New Zealand. It’s not excessive in any way. It has classic proportions and natural forms. The drama of that house is its centredness in the amphitheatre of the bay.” – Patterson Associates

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-08-Simon-Devitt-789x1200 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Simon Devitt

The house opens up on both sides, to the sea and farmland. When it’s not occupied storm shutters close it up to the elements. Pattersons says the house was conceived as “a piece of slowly aging farm driftwood around which stock can graze”.

Sitting on over 4000 acres, the home is a restored cottage brought back to life with the help of architectural firm Patterson Associates. The firm assisted Palmer in developing a living space which would be both classic and contemporary, rustic and livable. With quick access to its own private bay and 6.2mi (10k) of coastline, the Scrubby Bay farmhouse will serve as the perfect getaway for Palmer.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-10-Simon-Devitt-800x1200 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Simon Devitt

Warmly embraced on both sides by the surrounding hills, Scrubby Bay is a magical and completely private setting for gatherings of up to 14 guests. In life, it’s people that count, and this is the perfect location for a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of family and friendship.

Either a spectacular helicopter flight or a breath-taking 40-minute 4WD transfer across the cliff-top farm tracks will bring you to this remote and private bay, which is in a spectacular valley on the outer reaches of the Annandale property.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-13-Annandale-759x516 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Annandale

In this amazing and isolated location, it would be easy to imagine yourself one of the early pioneers but for the modern comforts to be found in the luxurious cedar-clad beach house. A sun-drenched deck, three ocean-front bedroom suites plus a bunk room that can sleep 8, and a huge open plan dining and living space, well stocked with books and games for all ages, mean there is plenty of space for everyone to relax and do their own thing, coming together as and when you choose. Whether you are marking a special occasion or just taking a break from the hectic pace of life, you will leave Scrubby Bay with a fresh perspective and a warmer heart.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-14-Annandale-759x507 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Annandale

Patterson Associates:

This is a robust farmhouse set as the centrepiece of a remote, symmetrical and thundering surf beach. It is sited on one of New Zealand’s iconic coastal sheep and cattle stations as a base camp for farm experiences.

It is accessed by helicopter from Christchurch Airport or by farm track. The house was commissioned by an expatriate New Zealand owner.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-21-Patterson-Associates-759x505 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Patterson Associates

A vernacular form belies its massive scale, the apex height is at 5.5 metres and its knee at 3.4 metres in a fully macrocarpa timber interior. Traditional detailing is juxtaposed against black steel fittings. At the centre of the house is a stone fireplace, constructed from rock quarried from the station.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-46-Patterson-Associates-759x505 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Patterson Associates

This project incorporates many custom designed fittings, including door hardware, furniture and lighting, oak grills and handles. The building shuts down with storm shutters unoccupied and when opened, the design sets up both seaward and leeward exterior environments.

It is conceived of as a piece of slowly aging farm driftwood, around which stock can graze.

Scrubby-Bay-House-By-Patterson-Associates-48-Patterson-Associates-759x506 Scrubby Bay House / Patterson Associates

© Patterson Associates

Project Data:

Project name: Scrubby Bay House
Location: Scrubby Bay, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
Coordinates: -43.639674, 172.946255

  • Type By Characteristic: Farm House, Holiday House, Green & Sustainable House
  • Type By Site: Beach House
  • Type By Size: Medium House – (201 sqm – 450 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Wooden House

Project Area: approx 448 sqm
Site Area: 4000 acres
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2014


  • 2015 – World Architecture Festival Award – Category: House > Completed Buildings – Shortlist
  • 2014 – New Zealand HOME magazine’s Home of the Year award – Finalist

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Mark Palmer – Annandale New Zealand – P O Box 88019, Pigeon Bay, RD3 Akaroa, 7550, New Zealand
Architects: Patterson Associates – Luminous Building 2, 22 Garfield St, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand
Interior designer: Patterson Associates
Text Description: © Courtesy of Patterson Associates, Annandale New Zealand
Images: © Patterson Associates, Annandale New Zealand, Simon Devitt


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