Dwelling inspired by gannets' outstretched wings on cliff's edge

Growing up in Havelock North, the drive to Ocean Beach resonated with me profoundly. Through the Tukituki Valley with Temata looming above, along the winding road through the bone dry hills then the drop down the the beach.

The site is on the ridge overlooking Ocean Beach in the Haupouri Farm Park. Considerations of the view and dominant South West winds led us to develop a lineal plan set slightly below the ridge line.

The clients, who were living in Auckland with a plan to retire to Hawkes Bay, wanted an architecture that responded to the landscape, with two bedrooms, a music room that could double as a third bedroom, a study, and a single living area.

The parti of the plan, with an informal arrival terrace between the public and private areas of the home, allows the efficient use of this area both for welcoming visitors as well as a sheltered dining area to enjoy the evening light. The other outside deck projects out toward the view and again separates, and connects the public and private zones of the house.

Because of the natural contour of the hill, the living area cantilevers over the ground, increasing the drama of the experience in the living area.This in turn lead to the naming of the project, Tākapu, the gannets who nest at Cape Kidnappers. The metaphor being a gannet with its wings outstretched, catching the lift on the edge of the cliff.

The material palette was inspired by a pebble picked up on Ocean Beach, a fragment of sandstone and quartz. As such we tinted the board formed precast concrete element to reflect this colour, with the rest of the material of the exterior being western red cedar with a similar oil finish.

Takapu Exterior Perspective Paul Ross Jones 1 of 10
Takapu West Elevation of Living Room Paul Ross Jones 5 of 10


Waimarama, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand


  • Daniel Marshall
  • Jackson Mills


  • Paul Ross Jones