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Diamond Harbour

 New Zealand




Year Completed


Simple design, perfectly executed. 

The long slender residence, with its 200-degree view of Whakaraupō/Lyttleton Harbour, was designed to sit unobtrusively within the landscape, rather than showing off. 

“It isn’t overly complex,” says Dennis. “As time goes by, I think I get more subtle. Every last panel joint in the house lines up, for instance, like a piece of joinery. That was definitely extra work for the builders. But you see it when you look for it – that apparent simplicity actually takes a lot of thinking.” 

A 40-metre-long corridor forms the spine of the house, showcasing the couple’s art and books, “which keeps your exercise up,” Dennis laughs. “The house is really only one room wide. We wanted a single-level house, in the hills, looking at the water – that’s how we’ve lived for most of our lives.” 

Unusual use of materials links the house with the land. Some of the finishes are slightly unexpected, like the carpet tiles in the living area and the full plywood interior. But each has been chosen carefully to reflect the landscape. The ‘Canterbury prickle’ detail on the cladding was singled out for special attention by the NZIA judges, who also cited the cladding as “a wonderful use of colour”. 


Dennis and Sahra used some of the rocks unearthed on the site to match the colours to the environment; the volcanic boulders finally made themselves useful after proving a bit of a challenge during the build.    

Overall, the low-profile home is exactly what Dennis and Sahra wanted. It’s thoroughly modern and efficient while also being ruthlessly simple: “It’s about home, comfort and simplicity – and an idea clearly expressed.”

Whare Kaiouru 8
Whare Kaiouru Sketch 1

Our Process


Before we being, we provide a complimentary project review to listen to your dreams;  in return we aim to offer practical ideas on how to achieve your project goals efficiently. Site opportunities, design options and our service range are all discussed at this stage, so we can tailor a fee proposal to suit your needs.


At the very start of a project, we visit your site and refine the brief. We obtain relevant property data and assess the budget in relation to requirements and constraints. Deliverables include a formalised brief, target budget analysis and an estimated project timeline. We prepare the site plan, concept floor plans, cross-sectional schematics and preliminary 3D modelling. Our typical Masterplan fee is 0.5% of the project budget.


With your input and feedback, we develop a comprehensive design solution delivering scaled floor plans and BIM-generated renders. We organise a high-level cost estimate relative to the total floor area. Our typical Concept Design fee is 0.5% of the project budget.


With a considered solution in place, our full service can commence. Working closely with you to, we refine the concept design and estimated costs, manage the project through council approvals, resolve and refine the interior design. We procure the main builder by competitive tender, then liaise, observe and administer your construction contract to project completion.

Our Approach 

Your home is more than just a place to live; it's a canvas for your creativity, an expression of your personality, and the backdrop for your most cherished memories. That's why we specialise in crafting unique and functional living spaces that are designed specifically for your journey. 

We understand that each client is different, and we take the time to truly get to know you, your needs, and your style. From the initial consultation to the final touches, we collaborate with you every step of the way to create a space that is uniquely yours.

Our designs are focused on creating spaces that are not only beautiful, but create efficiencies within the home to improve quality of life. We understand that your home is where you spend the majority of your time, so we prioritise natural light, space, and simplicity to create a calming and inviting environment that you'll never want to leave.

We take pride in our attention to detail, using carefully selected materials and finishes that complement your style and personality. Whether you're building a new home or renovating an existing one, we work with you to create a space that is a perfect reflection of your history, future, and personality

Whare Kaiouru Sketch 2

Key Projects

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