Larry and Christine Schaub long dreamed of building a rustic, contemporary house using concrete, glass and steel; rusted Corten steel is used here in the awnings; the exterior concrete was poured in situ into steel forms with plywood liners, producing varied textures and shapes – above the antlers, people often see a horse’s head, a womanly shape or a cat’s face.
The house is just a few metres from Wainui Beach, a popular surfing spot north of Gisborne; the remains of an old lighthouse is in the distance.
A pelican made by Greg Maddox of Tapatai Driftwood Creations stands by the sea-side door on a 100-year-old fence post. After the wide open spaces of their 40ha Hollister Ranch in California, Larry and Christine Schaub were worried they might feel hemmed in on the 13m-wide section but they are enjoying having close neighbours.A pair of leather bucket chairs by the floor to ceiling lounge window swivel out to the sea view by day and inwards to the fire at night: “It’s my favourite part of the house,” says Christine. Schaub house, A keen foodie, Christine loves the stainless steel kitchen with spectacular ocean views; the ceilings are recycled ponderosa pine and the beams are rusted Corten steel.
A papier-mâché giraffe made by orphan children from Haiti watches over the kitchen. The antlers in the courtyard belonged to the second largest moose to be shot by a woman in British Columbia: “They were given to us as a wedding present in 1969 by my aunt who shot the animal,” says Christine. Larry made the powder room basin from the bottom of a steel boiler and the frame around the mirror from salvaged steel: “I never need to worry about cleaning the handbasin before guests arrive,” says Christine. In the master bedroom, a mobile from Switzerland hangs above the bed beside Caribbean Nights by Chilean artist Sergio Gonzalez Tornero.
It’s a challenge keeping plants alive in the coastal environment although native grasses and aloe thrive in the rusted planters and an espaliered persimmon grows against the wall. A large deck with a 10-seater table hosts many a summer dinner party: “When the front deck is in the shade, we often take chairs out onto grass to enjoy the late afternoon sun… or we wander down the steps to the beach,” says Christine; a lifelike weathervane sculpture of the couple’s late Labrador Spud is mounted on the eucalyptus pole fence outside the kitchen windows.
Larry designed the heavy rusted steel front door; the concrete walls were poured with recycled rough-sawn rimu planks inside the forms.