The breathtaking Vineyard Villa at The Landing in the Bay of Islands scooped up an award at the 2019 New Zealand Institute of Architects Auckland Awards. MiNDFOOD STYLE travels to the luxurious destination and chats to Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects about the unforgettable Vineyard Villa.
A visit to the Vineyard Villa at The Landing should perhaps come with a warning or two. Firstly, thereâ€™s the very likely chance that you wonâ€™t want to leave. And then thereâ€™s the fact that once you do come to terms with the reality of returning home, youâ€™ll then spend hours thinking about how you can convince Nat Cheshire, the architect behind the breathtaking property, to work his magic on your property.
The Vineyard Villa is just one of four Cheshire Architect-designed properties situated on the sprawling Bay of Islands coastal property that makes up The Landing. Northland native and Britomart developer, Peter Cooper purchased the idyllic piece of land back in 1999. For the past two decades, Cooper has reinvigorated the remarkable 400-hectare property, planting native trees and restoring archaeological sites of significance.
With its six private beaches and award-winning vineyard it doesnâ€™t take a lot to fall head over heels with The Landing and each of its four residences â€“ all available for luxurious staycations. Thereâ€™s the grand Cooper residence which played home to Obama last year; the undeniable romantic Boathouse perched on the magical waterfront; and the striking Gabriel residence with its panoramic view. They are all captivating in their own way, but thereâ€™s something enigmatic and unforgettably charming about the Vineyard Villa.
While Natâ€™s father Pip was at the helm for the other three properties, Nat explains that Vineyard Residence was the first property on which he took the lead. â€śThe other houses are major bespoke houses for owners. This was a much smaller proposition, itâ€™s almost like a bridge for people,â€ť he explains. What it lacks in size â€“ which is of course, subjective â€“ the villa makes up for in character. Its remarkable relationship with the surrounding land is possibly the most salient feature of the residence. â€śThe starting point was that it wanted to dig its heel into the ground,â€ť says Cheshire.
â€śIt really wanted to say it would be there for a very long time and part of the house had been there for a very long time.â€ť Cheshire is referring to the stonewall created by boulders extracted from The Landingâ€™s expansive landscape. â€śItâ€™s the spine of everything,â€ť Cheshire says. â€śIt wanted to project itself both forward and backwards in time.â€ť
To balance the dramatic nature of the stonewall, Cheshire explains that the lighting of the living space needed to be very open; so open in fact, that the house can transform into what Cheshire describes as a covered terrace. Throwing all caution to the wind, Cheshire decided to reinvent the concept of both doors and windows, designing floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that wrap around the entire living space and open up completely.
â€śWhen it is fully open, especially in those idyllic Bay of Islands months, it really is like you are living on the deck of a boat and youâ€™re outside rather than in a house.â€ť It felt only natural, says Cheshire, that the bedrooms became the opposite of the living space. â€śThe idea is that youâ€™re entering a space thatâ€™s a bit more romantic, not in an amorous way but itâ€™s cabin-like. Itâ€™s almost like you have entered a second building, itâ€™s a place of shelter.â€ť Cheshire says it was a deliberate move to mark the beginning and end of the day. â€śThe landscape up there can be so overwhelming â€“ itâ€™s a 360-degree view â€“ and itâ€™s still and hot, or itâ€™s windy, or itâ€™s sunny and blinding. â€śItâ€™s important to be able to retreat from that.â€ť
Take a look inside the Vineyard Villa at The Landing in the gallery below and pick up a copy of MiNDFOOD Style to discover more of the breathtaking location.