Two Sheds in Raglan

Located in a small industrial park just off the highway on the outskirts of Raglan, Two Sheds is a mixed-use development that has been turning heads due to its simple but effective design. The project by Hamilton-based Red Architecture comprises two shed forms with attached office or residential spaces cleverly arranged around a beautifully landscaped water reserve.

Hayden Vink of Wainui Construction managed the build. Initially he was unsure who the tenants would be, so the brief to the architects included a need for flexibility and versatility. There was also a need to keep costs low, which was met through the use of a simple and reduced material palette, says architect Joe McKay.

“We used some Abodo Tundra cladding in the pockets and cut-outs in the building to soften the engagement for the people using the buildings but also to provide some contrast with the COLORSTEEL® cladding,” he says. “We wanted to design spaces that worked well as a light industrial environment while also being gentle enough for a residential setting if people were going to live and have showrooms on site. It also engages with the lovely landscaped areas that exist there.”

Further softening the look and feel of the building, Red Architecture opted to use pockets of a translucent fibreglass roofing product, Ampelite, on the wall of one of the warehouses. This allows daylight to flow into the warehouse space and also creates a lantern effect when the lights are switched on in the evening.

With a long-life span that requires little maintenance, and eligible for a Sustainability Factor of 1.0 within the Green Star Design rating tool, COLORSTEEL® was an attractive option for the majority of the cladding. Titania was chosen for its high albedo effect, explains McKay. “Because it’s a light colour, it reflects a lot of the sunlight away from the building. Raglan summers can be pretty warm. This reduces the heat load for the interiors and also for people walking around the buildings.”

The Trapezoidal profile gives a strong architectural finish over large areas of cladding and roofing, and references the rural roots of the area, harking back to the aesthetics of a farmer’s shed. The combination of the COLORSTEEL® and timber weatherboards brings a blend of colours and textures that anchor the building to its site and helps it to merge with the surrounding landscape.

“Because we were trying to make it as cost effective as possible, we stuck to some pretty conventional detailing apart from the Ampelite translucent wall,” says McKay. “We were trying to be as efficient as possible. We have a couple of strong design elements balanced against a minimal budget.”

Internally, the residential or office spaces are well insulated and light filled, with all the modern conveniences of a home. Timber flooring and sections of cabinetry tie in with the timber accents on the exterior. One shed features an upstairs apartment with a deck overlooking the pond, providing a sense of separation from the workspace below.

The placing of the buildings on the site is key to its success. “I was excited to do something that made the most of the lovely environment even though it is an industrial development,” says McKay. “The pond is a firefighters’ water reserve that was planted out 10-15 years ago. It was semi mature and provided a lovely backdrop for the development. The buildings were arranged to focus on the natural area while not blocking the view and engagement from the other building.”

The project was recognised in 2019 by the COLORSTEEL® Awards, taking out the inaugural COLORSTEEL® Building of the Year Award. The judges commented that the building “...had been built with versatility in mind, so the spaces could be matched to the needs of future tenants. The simple details provide a functional and artistic element that transform a ‘shed’ into an upmarket commercial destination.”

Looking to the future, a Stage 2 master plan has been developed for this project, including another two or three buildings orientated towards the pond, using the same palette of materials.

Red Architecture

Founded in 2009, Red Architecture is a boutique architectural practice specialising in residential housing, commercial buildings and fit-outs. They have been recognised for their work at the Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) awards, including the Supreme and People’s Choice awards for ‘Modern Barn Form’ and National awards for ‘Shibui’, ‘Cabin’ and ‘Crows Nest’. Two Sheds also won the COLORSTEEL® Building of the Year Award in 2019.

Joe McKay

My design philosophy is based around care. Caring for the users of the space by designing with their wellbeing in mind, through providing healthy and engaging environments. Care for society at large through trying my best to make a positive contribution to our built environment by designing buildings and landscapes that are the best that they can be for whatever the budget so that people enjoy them and get utility from them for the life of the buildings. And finally care for our natural environment by the selection of materials and systems in buildings that seek to minimise the negative environmental impact and maximise positive environmental results.


Main contractor: 
Wainui Construction
Telephone: 02 2028 5411

Roof & Wall Cladding Manufacturer: 
Roofing Industries 
Ampelite for the translucent roofing and cladding 
Roof and Wall Cladding Profile: Ribline 
Colour: COLORSTEEL®  Titania

Roofing Installer: 
Next Level Roofing
Telephone: 021 782 280

Pre-engineered sheds: 
Shed Boss Waikato
Telephone: 0800 490 000