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Mangrove House

Location: Ngunguru, Tutukaka Coast, Whangarei District

Type: New Build

Floor Area: 115m2

Contractor: Mitchell Builders Ltd

Completed: 2016

Photography: Doug Pearson Photography

Designed on a tight budget for a young family looking to return home from abroad. This house sits on a spectacular site bordering an extensive mangrove forest. 


The clients had initially approached a house building company and were dissatisfied with the resulting design and its relationship to the unique site. The budget and floor area however needed to remain.


This design problem necessitated careful consideration of building form, plan, structural systems and materials to ensure each offered design value. The simple floor plan is cranked to frame a spectacular view of the mangroves from the living space, whilst also allowing ample winter sun into the living space from the North. The living space flows both onto a balcony and covered outdoor deck with extensive sliding doors to double the size of the living space.


Vertical profiled metal pre-finished cladding was chosen for its cost effectiveness, durability and aesthetic qualities. This cladding is offset with Cedar lined recesses for the entry and balcony. Overall, this offers a very cost-effective cladding solution. In response to the topography and a flood hazard which exists on the lower portion of the site, the house is lifted on timber piles. This has the benefit of increasing views and allowing storage below.


Passive solar design principles were followed where possible with double glazing, high insulation, radiant heat source and natural cross and stack effect ventilation.

“Jeff was a pleasure to work with from start to finish. His ease in translating what we wanted and needed for our house made the whole experience an enjoyable smooth process. We couldn’t be more pleased with the aesthetics of his design which ticked all the boxes from the layout to the finishing materials.”


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