Bourke House: The World's Nicest Tent

A seaside retreat that's all grace and good views.

The Bourke House features low-maintenance materials with high-class design (and views).     Photo: Lucy Gauntlett

While you might not notice it immediately, this family’s private summer cabin was designed to mimic a series of tents.

  Photo: Lucy Gauntlett

Perched on a hill with stunning views of New Zealand’s Buckleton Bay, the retreat’s separate sleeping areas are connected to a central space–the heart of the base camp. Here, groups can gather to cook, eat, and lounge under a soaring white roof. Tethered by red masts, this horizontal plane rises toward the sea, while the deep overhang provides shade, much like a tent’s awning.

  Photo: Lucy Gauntlett

Low-maintenance materials (concrete, wood, and glass) make the transition from inside to out. The concrete terrace wraps around the full perimeter of the house, and encircles a brick fireplace.

  Photo: Lucy Gauntlett

In the summer, residents can slide open the glass walls to let in the sea breeze and take in views of the bay.

  Photo: Lucy Gauntlett

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