Hi there, 

It has been a busy few months at HB Architecture, with many projects currently at different stages of the process. We currently have three houses going through the design phase which are all special projects in their own right. All are in very different locations with clients having their own specific requirements, which makes for a very enjoyable design process.

Design Phase: Residential Projects

Tutukaka Coast

Located in a secluded area, tucked into the surrounding landscape, this small house is made up of 3 parts. The ground level is an enclosed space for cars, and the “toys” required for living on the coast. The upper level is an open area for living, connected to the large deck across the front (north side) of the house and with two bedrooms and a bathroom behind the living area. And part three is the main bedroom which is elevated above the roof level so that there is a visual connection to the coast — it’s private but connected.

Waipu House

The gull-winged roof form of the house celebrates the elevated location of the site — high up in the hills looking out over Bream Bay. This house is separated into two parts — The main living platform runs across the site, taking full advantage of the north aspect and views, and behind this area, connected by a glazed link, is the second bedroom and bathroom. These rooms take full advantage of the adjacent stand of native bush and the views to the west. Between the two main parts of the house is a sheltered, private courtyard. The house is eco-focussed — small in size, off-grid, rammed earth walls — designed to connect with the site and its owners.

Rural Whangarei

This is an ‘L’ shaped house with the enclosed living court focussed towards a significant land feature of the area, as well as north. The outer walls of the ‘L’ are predominantly solid (minimal penetrations) creating a very private facade to the street and neighbour. The plan consists of two “pods” — the living “pod” housing the open living/dining/kitchen area, and the bedroom “pod”, containing three bedrooms and bathrooms.

Under Construction: Commercial Projects

Hundertwasser Art Centre

Hundertwasser Art Centre is heading towards completion with the official opening scheduled for December. This photo was taken the day after the cupola was placed on the tower — a nice finishing touch.

Dargaville Commercial Building

The other non-residential project under construction is the commercial building in Dargaville. It has been hard for the contractor to maintain progress due to the current restrictions preventing access to Northland — work continues but is limited to local trades.

Completed Project: Te Puke House

A few months ago we were pleased to have Simon Devitt photograph the Te Puke House for us. This house was designed back in 2005 and completed a year or two later. It was a delight to visit the property and to experience again the hospitality of the owners and the tranquility of the location. 

The house has developed the “patina” that comes with age, but the spaces remain the same; warm and human-scaled, connected end to end under the simple truss framed roof, opening out to the timber deck, connected to the openness of the bush-clad valley.

Meet our new Architecture Graduate

Introducing our newest team member, Ben Palmer! 

In the summers in-between his study, Ben (who is originally from Whangarei) worked in a couple of local architectural practices including HB Architecture. Ben completed his Masters Thesis in early 2021 and then moved back to Whangarei permanently to join our team at HB Architecture.

Ben enjoys the architectural profession as it involves the conception and creation of our environments for life. He likes to think that architects create the backdrop of a thousand different stories that weave in and out of the buildings that he gets to design.

Until next time,

Grant Harris