Monthly Archives: December, 2019

An interview with Jenny Duck from award winning firm Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects

December 19th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “An interview with Jenny Duck from award winning firm Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects”

Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects is an NZIA award winning practice who have been designing beautifully-crafted kiwi homes for over 20 years. With studios in Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland and most recently Tauranga, they have a highly impressive portfolio of commercial and residential projects all across the country. Auckland director Matt Pearson has a strong connection to Raglan, having holidayed and surfed there for many years. We’re a big fan of HMOA’s works at Rangitahi, and with their recent opening of the Tauranga studio, we thought we’d have a chat to them about some of their projects & how far they’ve come. Jenny Duck who runs the Tauranga office kindly answered a few questions for us…

Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects have been in the NZ architecture game for over 20 years, and designed some impressive homes, has much changed since then?

Construction and compliance costs have certainly increased but the fundamentals of good design remain the same. It’s great to see more people becoming aware of the value a Registered Architect can bring to their project.

What do you love most about being a Registered Architect?

It’s very exciting when you see the impact a carefully-considered new space or home has on someone’s wellbeing. Details that may seem small can have a big impact on how people live. It’s rewarding for architects to guide clients through a collaborative design process, and then see them experience the end result.

I moved from our Christchurch studio to set up in Tauranga a couple of years ago and I am excited to present a female perspective to the Bay of Plenty region, as well as a range of skills and experience. While HMOA is an award-winning national practice, we also provide a personalised service and I love that.

Sustainability is an important issue in all HMOA’s work now, and we’re constantly developing our knowledge of green building practices. It’s always an interesting and challenging time to be an architect!

Does HMOA have a clear design philosophy or does it change from project to project?

The process of working with an architect is staged and collaborative, and this is a constant in all our projects. Registered architects are experts in designing for a specific client and a specific site—decisions around sun, views, shelter, sustainability, topography are key.

We need to understand how our clients live, and how they want to live, so we can design a home just for them, not a generic concept of someone else’s ‘dream home’. This may mean projects are built in stages, either to accommodate budget or to make sure the home is flexible to meet a future change in circumstances, like children leaving home or extended family coming to stay more often. Sometimes we’re designing a bach that will one day transition into a permanent home—there are a lot of factors to discuss and work through for each project.

HMOA has designed a number of houses on the Kapiti Coast, we especially love the eco-friendly Peka Peka House. Do you think this kind of home would be suited to the Rangitahi peninsula?

Definitely, all our coastal holiday houses are created for the local conditions and with flexible living in mind. What we call Peka Peka House I is made up of three simple boxes, each designed with views and climate in mind. One box is dedicated to living and dining, the other to sleeping and the third houses the garage and workshop.

Peka Peka House I, Kapiti Coast

What’s your favourite HMOA project and why? (if you can choose one!)

Another house we did in Peka Peka, appropriately named Peka Peka House II. It’s a bit unusual for a coastal property because it favours privacy and shelter over sea views. Nestled in behind the sand dunes and bounded by a forest of ancient Kānuka, our clients asked for the best in indoor and outdoor living. The main house sits on one side of the glade and opens onto a sheltered internal courtyard protected from the prevailing coastal winds. A separate sleep-out provides protection and privacy from neighbours. The native bush was a starting point for the home and influenced the materials we used. The house is currently a weekend bach but will become a place to retire to.

Peka Peka house II, Kapiti Coast

What are your favourite materials to use in your designs and why? Eg Cladding materials.

We love working with cedar, which can be stained black or oiled to look natural. It’s a sustainable and durable product that works well near the coast. It also looks beautiful.

What is it about Rangitahi that appeals to you as an Architect?

It’s refreshing that Rangitahi has a focus on quality design and a sensitivity to its stunning setting. These are shared values with HMOA.

Any advice for people wanting to build an affordable and sustainable home on Rangitahi?

There are so many factors to consider but the key ones are minimising the size through good planning, maximising insulation and thinking carefully about the orientation of the house.

Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects has studios in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga, where Jenny Duck is based. Read more about Jenny here, and get in touch if you’d like to work with HMOA on your Rangitahi home – 

Riversdale beach house, Wairarapa. 

What’s on in Raglan this Summer?

December 17th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “What’s on in Raglan this Summer?”

What better place to spend your long summer days than in our beautiful, laid-back, friendly coastal town. It’s hard to beat the summer vibes in Raglan (if we do so say ourselves), so here’s a run down of some of our not-to-be-missed events on in Raglan this Summer! (The daily trips to the beach speaks for itself).

Raglan Summer food markets – Raglans newest addition to the market scene, Raglan summer markets run once a month at the Raglan Rugby Sports club on the corner of Cross st & Park drive. They offer a selection of food trucks and a variety of “extremely good eats” from 5pm til dark. Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a fresh selection of eat-out options, and perfect for a summer evening at the park with friends!

Next events: 21st December 2019, 25th Jan 2020 @ The Raglan Rugby Sports Club

Cornerstone Roots – Boxing Day – The YOT club has a string of music events on this summer, the first being the annual Boxing day bash with Raglan group Cornerstone Roots, with special guests Lost Tribe Aotearoa and Masaya. Paying respect to the colossal world of roots music that we know and love in Raglan.

When & Where: 26th December 19 8.30pm @ the Yot Club, 9 Bow St.

Marlin’s Dreaming Summer Tour 19/20 –  The following night they’ve got Marlin’s Dreaming band who are touring the country with their gliding pop ballads & grungy post-punk sound, it’s sure to be a fun week of music in Raglan!

When & Where: 27th December 2019 @ the YOT club.

There’s also the YOT club’s infamous summer Sunday sessions on every week over the Summer, bringing you an eclectic mix of bands, musicians & DJ’s every Sunday from 5pm, including Ulo’s kitchen food truck and the best outdoor summer music vibes! Don’t hesitate to get down there on a sunny Sunday evening for some tunes & eats.

Raglan Creative Market – An addition to the monthly market scene, the Raglan Creative Market is held the second Sunday of each month at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre, and offers a variety of local Kai, Arts & emerging creatives from the area. Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a local gift, souvenir, or simply a friendly Raglan vibe.

Next event: January 12 2020 @ The Old School Arts Centre, 5 Stewart St. 

Soundsplash 2020 – One of NZ’s longest running music festivals, Soundsplash kicks off another year at Wainui Reserve from Friday 17th Jan til Sunday 19th. A multi-genre boutique music festival with a huge line up of international bands. Hope you’ve got your tickets!

ASKYA x James Abberley – if you’re into a bit of folk vibes, Producer/singer/songwriter ASKYA is coming to Raglan for an evening of Acoustic songs he’s written over the past few years. His first two singles garnered immediate traction, being placed in multiple top-tier Spotify playlists worldwide, and has shared the stage with Angus & Julia Stone among other well known artists. He’s definitely one to watch!

When & Where: Thurs 30th Jan from 7pm @ the Old School Arts Centre, 5 Stewart St.

My Baby Live! NZ Summer Tour – Amsterdam-based Dutch-NZ trio My Baby kick of their NZ Summer tour at the YOT Club this Feb! With a formidable reputation as a live act, My Baby have played packed out shows in Raglan year in and year out. Their roots-driven hypnotic dance music has taken the likes of Raglan and the world by storm, so you won’t want to miss this!

When & Where: Thurs 6th Feb 8pm @ The YOT Club.

Flying Spaces, the new passive prefab home

December 12th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Flying Spaces, the new passive prefab home”

There’s no doubt that living conditions are changing in New Zealand and around the world. We’re becoming more mobile, which calls for more flexible housing solutions. New to New Zealand shores, FlyingSpaces are German passive homes that tread lightly on the Earth, and are an ingeniously simple answer to the changing living and working conditions of our time. We were lucky enough to come across these guys at Rangitahi, and spoke to them about their pioneering top-quality prefab homes, what makes them different to other prefab homes in NZ, and how they’re fit for Rangitahi.

What are FlyingSpaces ?

FlyingSpaces are Passive Modular, Prefabricated homes manufactured in Germany. They are a simple modular design, incorporating minimal corners.  The definition of a Passive House is that heating is conserved due to the energy saving design which is based on a highly insulated and airtight building envelope from the roof to the under floor.

What’s different about them to other prefab houses?

Well the insulation for one – the walls are filled with a unique type of mineral rock-wool insulation. The walls are about twice as thick as a conventional New Zealand design and as a result of a special drying and refinement processes the timber materials do not require any chemical protection. Also, the windows – they are triple glazed and you may have seen them in Europe – they open up both sideways and vertically. To finish, one other aspect that makes FlyingSpaces® different is that they arrive in NZ, completely made up fully fitted out with floor tiles, vanity, kitchen appliances, flooring and a fresh air exchange system all in place ready to use. The interior design details and exterior cladding can all been designed by you with the assistance of Nina Henderson, our spatial designer based here in New Zealand.

The day your FlyingSpace® house arrives on site, after the ingeniously simple foundations have been prepared, you should be able to bring your bed and dining table and sleep in it that night.

Do they have sustainable features? What are they?

Let’s start with the wooden interior structure –timber is sourced from a certified local forestry and processed in FlyingSpace’s own sawmill to produce high-quality quality-tested timber products. Timber offcuts and waste are used to power the company’s own biomass heating power plant which supplies production and heating energy. The green electricity additionally fed into the public grid is sufficient to supply a town of around 60,000 inhabitants – so no forests were harmed in the making of this house.

Interestingly the fact that the FlyingSpace® houses are made on a production line in Germany saves a lot of fuel as different trades people are not having to drive to and from the production site.

There is a range of windows for you to choose from, including floor to ceiling and flat roof windows that provide optimum solar gain heating and natural lighting to take advantage of the beautiful Rangitahi views.

FlyingSpaces® homes can be easily relocated also and they are ‘generational homes’.

What sizes do they come in? Do they work as a small family home?

Absolutely they work as a small family home.  There are so many different options – the ideal for 1 to 2 people is a 63sq metre home. This model combines the compactness of a flat with the benefits of a detached house – 2 bedrooms (one at each end of the house), storage, dining space, lounge, bathroom – all you need.

Are they customisable?

That would be a resounding YES – it is your choice – design your space to your needs with the assistance of a Spatial Designer, Nina Henderson.

How are they built and transported from start to finish?

So, to start with, here is a video showing how the FlyingSpaces® are constructed in Germany (interesting choice of music accompanies the video!)

Basically, they are built on a conveyor belt – once complete they are independently checked that all is correct, wrapped and transported by ship to New Zealand.  This shipping journey takes about one month.  Upon arrival the FlyingSpace® house is independently checked and verified again and transported by truck to be craned into place at its final destination.

Would they be suitable for a sloped site?

Definitely, with some site and foundation works, the FlyingSpaces® homes are able to be placed into a hillside arrangement with another unit placed on top.

What do they cost?

A passive, prefabricated, modular 63sq metre home costs $450,000 including GST. This price also includes a range of other costs including Shipping Costs, Shipping Insurance, Crane hire, foundation works, Power/Plumber reticulation, Council Building Consents, LBP and Engineer.

Interested in learning more about Flying Spaces homes? Contact Jo on 021 14 94 162 or

And check them out on Instagram: @FlyingSpacesNZ

A Rangitahi update, welcoming residents in 2020

December 8th, 2019 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “A Rangitahi update, welcoming residents in 2020”

As the Raglan harbour gently flows out to the Tasman Sea, opportunity awaits. The Rangitahi peninsula promises tranquility and peacefulness; surrounded by native bush, walking tracks, and the sea, this exciting new neighbourhood is nothing short of paradise.

With the first stage of the Rangitahi project due to be completed in early 2020, the Rangitahi team look forward to welcoming the first residents to their new beautiful neighbourhood that will bring with it a life full of nature & the outdoors. Rangitahi is just a stones throw away from the heart of Raglan, but when you’re on the peninsula, it feels like you’re miles away from any town, in your own piece of paradise. The Rangitahi bridge weaves the two pieces of land together and allows just a few minutes drive to the beach or Raglan town. The bridge will officially be open at the end of January 2020.

Stage two of the project, The Retreat, is due to be complete by the end of April 2020. With many of the sections already sold, Rangitahi will be releasing a number of new sections in the Retreat at the end of January 2020. They will be available for viewings at this time also, register your interest here if you’d like to be the first to see them! Come and find your piece of paradise in this exciting new neighbourhood, you won’t find anything like it!

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