Beach homes these days tend to present architects with a bit of a dilemma: clients want all the bells and whistles, but including them all leaves little chance of retaining any bach-like modesty of scale. Many a charming beach community in New Zealand has been monstered by the arrival of overly grand holiday homes. That's why we're so keen on the home on the Kapiti Coast on our April/May cover, designed by Max Herriot of Wellington's Herriot + Melhuish Architects.

The goal for owners and architect was to create a place that still felt like a bach, which meant the design process was all about identifying the essential qualities of the New Zealand holiday home, rather than transplanting a city home to the beach. The end result is a simple two-bedroom home with an open-plan living space under a monopitch roof. Here are a couple of Paul McCredie's shots of it:

Building this new holiday home involved knocking down an old one on the site, a difficult decision for the owners. The old bach was crumbling and was going to have to be relocated further back from the high tide line anyway; renovation options eventually became as expensive as building anew. The success of this project lies in the lessons that the owners absorbed from the old bach, which they had liked and stayed in for many years. The home shows that modest ambitions can create great results, for the owners of the home and the beach community as a whole.