Accent On Outdoor Living

Pataua Development in Whangarei, located on a large rural site. The clients, who are based overseas, requested that we create a master plan for a large rural site in the Pataua Development, Whangarei. A vision that could be brought to life in stages. The site consists of two key developments. At the road side, on the flat, the summer house and boat shed structures alongside the tennis court. Higher up, at the back of the site, the new house has been designed with a master bedroom wing, a living wing and a bedroom wing, stretching across the site to maximise the views of the surrounding valley and ocean. A retained courtyard to the rear of the house creates an ideal entertaining area, capturing the afternoon sun. The house is clad in a mixture of dark stained grooved ply and dark vertical profiled metal cladding. 

The clients wanted this home to be the complete package, a place to relax with friends and family and to make the most of the stunning landscape and natural playground. 

The summer house acts as a pavilion for entertaining and a shady place for the spectators of tennis matches. It also functions beautifully as a generous guest suite, incorporating a kitchen and bathroom. The boat shed alongside has ample storage for the boat and other outdoor toys. 

From the road the developments are sleek and unobtrusive, cut close into the slope to achieve a minimal disturbance on the horizon, and coloured a dark charcoal to recede further into the landscape. The vertical profile of the cladding adds texture into the architecture and is an attractive foil to the long horizontal aspect. 

Design features/ Creative Solutions 

A key part of the design was maximising the views out to the eastern and northern valleys from all rooms of the house including the outdoor spaces. This was achieved through stretching the house across the hill on the highest part of the site. The house was designed with a low sleek form facing out to the east and is benched into the slope to create a sheltered courtyard to the west off the living to capture the afternoon sun. 

The house has been designed with distinct master bedroom wing separated by covered outdoor room and narrow hallway that link it to the living pod. The living area is separated by a further hallway that leads back to the north-western bedroom wing. This wing is stepping back to open up the living and deck to the northern sun. The curved northern deck was shaped to reflect the owner’s interest in surfing. This deck wraps around the eastern side of the house and links to the outdoor covered room. 

These spaces provide a range of entertaining or relaxing areas, allowing the option to seek or retreat from the sun and enjoy the varied views.

Due to the narrow depth of the design this enables the owners to also capture the view through the house when entertaining in the sheltered western courtyard. This is further enhanced by extensive glazing on both sides of the living pod and walkway to master bedroom pod. This glazing to the rear courtyard opens up to allow the afternoon sun to reach the living areas and also the covered east facing outdoor room that has an expansive view of the ocean.

Designers Profile

Creative Arch is an award winning, multi-disciplined Architectural Design firm that was founded by Director and Architectural Designer Mark McLeay in 1998. Our range of work is as diverse as our clients and encompasses Residential homes, Renovations and Coastal Developments. It also extends through to Remedial work and Commercial Architectural Design Projects such as the Hugh Brown Drive project. 

Client service is paramount at Creative Arch and therefore working as a team is a priority for the designers. Our company is focussed on supporting our client’s vision and helping them to perpetuate their dreams through creative architecture. We always take time to listen and to gain a full understanding of our clients needs, subsequently offering ideas and working collaboratively with them to achieve the desired result. 

We also work closely with other professionals to ensure the project is within budget giving our clients financial assurance. We have strong company values, investing a great deal in systems and computer technology to ensure a consistent and high standard of service for our clients. Visit our website to see for yourself the standards we have achieved consistently over the years through award winning architecture and numerous publications.

Client:  Martin Smith and Aneta Bird

Designer: Mark McLeay and 

Mark Callander 

Architectural Designers: 

Creative Arch

Contact: 09 309 6032


Interior Designers: Yellow Fox

Contractor: David Reid Homes – David Reid Homes - Whangarei

Roofing Manufacturer: 

Metalcraft Cladding and roofing: 

Metalcraft cladding MC760, Grooved Shadowclad, 

Colour: Ironsand

Joinery: Vantage powder-coated aluminium ;