Diana Blake Design Whangamata



Designed for the hardest clients in the world.......My family & I!

Situated on an acre of picturesque avocado orchard just on the outskirts of Whangamata with views back over the tranquil harbour to Whangamata township beyond it needed to be a strong robust low level family home constructed with natural honest raw materials.

Inspired by the strong minimal architecture of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe the house needed to nestle down to the land and anchor it in the natural environment with robust materials and a floating roofline to hover above with large overhangs to protect and allow areas for outdoor living.

A seamless link from interior to exterior with extensive glass openings to allow the outdoors in while maintaining the views to the South and capturing the suns energy.

An ultra low energy home which requires little or no heating and cooling systems was a priority. By carefully choosing the best building materials and using passive solar design has achieved the objective resulting in a comfortable warm healthy family home.

Our family are testament to the success of the design as they never want to go away and when they do they are always happy to get back to their home.

Creative Solutions

The major  challenge to overcome was the shape of the site. A long narrow section, only 29m wide, and the direction of the view which is South across the Harbour. The solution was to run the Living Pavilion East to West with glass dividing walls between the South and the North facing deck. The glass walls slide back into clever cavities and over exterior walls to open up in both directions. This innovation allows for year round entertaining whilst still capturing the amazing water views.   

The second most important challenge was to create a comfortable and healthy home for our family which uses passive solar design to reduce energy consumption and keep the interior at a constant temperature. This requirement lead to the choice of construction materials including concrete tilt panel walls, polished concrete floors, double glazing and superior insulation. The house maintains a constant temperature year round of between 19-20 degrees.

An opening Louvre roofing over the entertaining area also allows extra sun to penetrate during the winter months and provides protection from the weather creating a cosy outdoor space on the extensive Mahogany deck around the outdoor wood fire. 

The Plumdek longrun roof keeps the house sitting long and low on the land and the carefully calculated overhangs allow optimum sun control.

All challenges met with a beautiful healthy practical family home build to fit naturally in its setting for many generations to come.

Metal Products

Steel Beams, Posts and Steel Portal Brace Frames form the Structural Skeleton of the house to achieve the big open spaces. Concrete tilt panels (metal reinforcing) also feature throughout.

Furniture: Exterior Tables & Bench Seats made from Galvanised Steel

Fire grate hand made from steel





Diana Blake Design

An innovative and exciting architectural design office based in the lovely resort town of Whangamata.  


We love a challenge and provide a professional, friendly and exceptional service to our clients.  We love NZ for it’s diversity and our clients willingness to embrace good design.


Diana has been a member of the Architectural Designers of NZ (ADNZ) since 1996 when she worked for an Architectural Firm in Hamilton. She enjoys being part of an organisation which is forward thinking and leading the way in the design industry with great opportunities for continuing learning as well as a great social network for meeting similar people in her field of work.

Diana Blake Design was formed in 1998 after extensive experience in the industry in Hamilton.

Diana has won the National Architectural Designers of NZ National Awards for Residential Interiors 2013 for her own home and also the Regional Award for the Whangamata Kindergarten.

Architectural designer:

Diana Blake Design

Telephone: 07 8657948


Member of ADNZ

Builders:    Barry Blake Builders Telephone: 027 2411970

Project Manager:    

Barry & Diana Blake

Engineer: Grant Crook

Telephone: 0274 728 695

Roofing Manufacturer:

NZ Steel and Tube


Telephone: 09 274 4056

Roofing Profile:     

ZINCALUME® 0.55 Guage Plumdek

Roofing Installer:    

Mark Spiers Roofing Ltd

Telephone: 07 865 7304

Mobile: 027 477 6177

Photography by:

Linda Herraman

Telephone: 07 865 9976

Daniel Davie

Telephone;  027 434 7282