Mawhiti is a holiday house situated on the western coast of Waiheke Island. The first part of the Mawhiti project was the creation of a sculptural pavilion, which we designed originally for the Venice Architecture Biennale but eventually constructed for the Sculpture on the Gulf Exhibition of 2017. The main house was conceived as a sanctuary with a distinctive New Zealand character, a building of the South Pacific. Mawhiti, which means ‘escape’, has a strong sprit of place, referencing both Maori whare and rural barn forms. The design draws on the angular geometry and materiality of the neighbouring timber pavilion and it’s language of asymmetry.  It comprises three linked pavilions, one for living and two for sleeping, which fan out across the site, each framing an individual view of the Gulf Islands. We aimed to craft a house for contemplation and retreat with a strong sense of it’s place in the world, a place of restoration.

  • Winner — NZIA Auckland Award for Architecture