The clients requested a house that provided guest accommodation, a library, an office and an outdoor spa pool, and which would take advantage of the dramatic headland site covered in native bush.

The design arranges mono-pitched roofs parallel to the slopes at the top of the cliff-edge and retains skyline trees, minimizing the bulk and impact of the building from the coast. The house is located at the end of the headland ridge and laid out as a necklace of spaces around the contour, leaving a flat area for lawn and outdoor terraces to the north and west. Where contours bend in plan, the logical elements of the design bend too, colliding just as the formations of Split Apple Rock collide on the waterline below.

Large, finely crafted frames of laminated timber and expanses of double-glazing provide transparency through to the surrounding bush and sea view. Contrasted to this are two stone clad box elements that visually anchor the building to the ground.

Principles of sustainability & environmental responsiveness were employed in the design, considering especially thermal environment and selection of materials.


  • 2004 NZIA National Architecture Award
  • 2003 NZIA Branch Award
  • 2003 HOME Magazine Home of the Year finalist
  • 2003 Origin Timber Awards Finalist


  • Architecture NZ Nov / Dec 2003
  • HOUSES Issue 11 2009