Tawhai Residence, Beach Haven Renovation

When the owners of a 1970s brick and concrete tile home on the North Shore decided to extend and renovate, they wanted to create a marked contrast between old and new. 

They achieved that with a white plaster ‘bagged’ effect on the bricks, while the new parts of the home were clad in back vertically arranged longrun Dimond Brownbuilt 900 sheets, with cedar slats over some of the windows. 

Constraining the design process were a tight budget and the fact that the home sits on a steep site.

Creative Arch was happy to take on these challenges and met them with innovative solutions and careful use of materials.

The existing house is perched high on one end of the 690sq m site, and alterations and additions were focused on a new wing along an east-west axis.

Purposeful in positioning and design, the new wing takes advantage of the breath-taking views of Waitemata Harbour to the south, and features a strong feeling of airiness and movement. 

Creative Arch’s aim was to produce a design that “extrudes and fragments the existing rectangular form, introducing new high vaulted ceilings and emphasising the verticality through angular geometric shapes and strong vertical lines”.  

In extending the house, the design opens up the living and kitchen areas and enlarges existing decks for outdoor entertaining. The larger deck also helps to create a carport underneath. The new carport allows extra space for the owners to utilise the garage for storage. 

Existing brick cladding was plastered, with the new kitchen, living, and dining wing clad in long-run metal cladding with cedar screen battens. Cladding the new parts of the house in Dimond Brownbuilt 900 in ‘Black’ created the differentiation between old and new that the owners sought.

Creative Arch says, “The chosen material palette has been simple and intentional. Vertical black long-run metal cladding has been used for the addition, which is low-maintenance, while white plaster has been applied to the existing brick to create a bagged look.

“With the existing strictly rectangular house, the delineation between the new and existing is plainly suggested in the colour contrasts.”  

The vertical orientation of the exterior cladding also emphasises the pitched roof forms,  arranged in a series of flying wedges providing interest with their geometric  nature. 

The alterations have transformed what was an enclosed dwelling to one that fully utilises the potential views with strong indoor-outdoor flow.  

New and larger glazing units open onto enlarged decks with glass balustrades helping to maximise the views out, while selective enclosure provides visual privacy from neighbours. 

The new wing is open plan, containing living, dining, and kitchen. The high ceiling gives a feeling of airiness and a strong connection with the outdoors. Vertical cedar battens on the exterior filter the light entering the spaces from the north as well as providing privacy from neighbours.  

The lower floor internally has remained largely unchanged with the new bathroom using light colours for a clinical finish and compensating for lack of natural light.

Ascending to the main floor, the stairs are immediately flooded with light and there is a sense of airiness with oversized geometric windows.  

Unfortunately, the house suffered fire damage after the completion of works, requiring rebuild of the interior, which has a soothing palette of neutral and timber tones, seen in the living area with its timber floors, white walls and white cabinetry with some dark accents in the splashback and under the breakfast bar. Also on this level are two bedrooms and another bathroom, again with neutral tones of whites and greys with timber accents. 


Creative Arch  

An award-winning, multi-disciplined architectural design practice, Creative Arch was founded in 1998 by architectural designer/director Mark McLeay. The range  of  work  at  Creative  Arch  is  as  diverse  as  their  clients,  encompassing  residential  homes, alterations   and   renovations,   coastal   developments, sub-division developments and commercial projects.

The team at Creative  Arch  are  an  enthusiastic  group  of  talented  professional  architects  and architectural  designers,  with  a  depth  of  experience,  from a  range  of  different  backgrounds  and cultures.  

“Creative Arch is a client-focused firm committed to providing excellence in service, culture, and project outcomes.” 

 “We believe in collaboration - experience  teaches  us  that  the  most  successful  architectural design projects are the ones  when the client is committed to excellence and teamwork. We work alongside clients through  the  complete  process  from  initial  briefing to  developing  the  design,  through  to  the consenting process, and to building and final completion.”

Architects: Creative Arch


Telephone: 09 309 6032 

Cladding and roofing manufacturer: 


Telephone: 0800 DIMOND  

Cladding and roofing profile:

Dimond Brownbuilt 900 in ‘Black’  

Cladding and roofing installer: 

Elevate Roofing, 

Telephone: 021 127 9879 


QPC Builders, Auckland

Telephone:0800 772 266 

Engineer: Hutchinson Consulting Engineers, Orewa

Telephone: 09 426 5702