Te Takere

The design was developed by both the Client and Architect through a process of collaboration, listening and understanding. Ideas were collected, analysed and interpreted into functional flexible spaces that are both literal and abstract which respond to the project Vision - “Whatever you want to do you can do it here”, and “It’s your home that’s not your home”

The over arching design concept is the amalgamation of different elements both visually and symbolically. The two main elements are the double hulled Waka and the civic styled White Frame that celebrates the true significant scale of complex but there are more...

The Waka emerges from of the building and becomes the dominant form. The literal plan representation of the Waka divides interior spaces into functions whilst reducing a once vast internal volume into well defined zones of use. The design celebrates the double hull and the occupied space between, the Takere. The third dimension is less obvious but still represented. A series of Waka walls parade from the interior to the exterior defining the Takere space.

The White Frame amalgamates two once disparate buildings. It announces the importance of this civic building. Rather than a solid face, unfriendly, cold, and hiding its function behind, the frame is a transparent portal showcasing busy vibrant spaces. It is also creates a space to occupy, and forms the edge of Te Takere.

Sails are a continuation of the Waka theme, extending upwards within the white frame adding colour and movement to activate the entry edge whilst also providing shading to the west facade of the building.

The local landscape wraps around the three internal sides of the main space as a Silhouette. Local grasses, trees and buildings playfully reduce the scale of these walls as they disappear into the distance. The structure becomes part of the landscape it lies within.

Eels are represented by the blue and yellow carpet running under the hulls of the Waka like eels in the lake. Eeling has a tradition in the Horowhenua region.

Natural colours and materials are used throughout the interior. Extensive use of timber for screens and detail creates a strong connection to the local landscape. Stone and sand coloured tiles represent the mountains and costal edges of the Horowhenua region. Injection of bright colour to selected areas including yellows and blues represent sunlight and water. Dark green hues represent the surrounding landscape misting away into the distance.


  • NZIA Western Architecture Award (Public Architecture, 2013)
  • New Zealand Commercial Project Awards (Special Project Award Winner, 2014)
  • New Zealand Commercial Project Awards (National Category Winner, 2014)
  • New Zealand Commercial Project Awards (Silver Award Winner, 2014)

The Waka emerges from of the building and becomes the dominant form