Brendon Gordon Architects

Karl Residence

Hill Country Estate, Hawkes Bay


Hawkes Bay/Gisborne Architecture Awards - Winner

“A confident and dramatic design beautifully constructed from understated materials - that's one way to describe this wonderful house. Strong and symmetrical, the house sits serenely above what can only be described as a commanding view. It is spacious and calm, with well- proportioned spaces that open out into a succession of exterior 'rooms'. Throughout the interior, a rich and contemporary atmosphere has been achieved through weighty dark timber beams that clearly express the building's inherent geometries. On the exterior, dark-stained and clear- oiled cedar provide a compositional blending that allows the structure to recede into the landscape when viewed from a distance.” - NZIA


The Karl Residence sits proudly on a Havelock North hill above the Black Barn Winery and Restaurant. With its dark vertical cedar cladding it nestles into the hillside, and the full power of its design isn’t revealed until close to home.

The judges said of the house: ‘This bold formal response standing on high ground is well enclosed and sheltered.  The plinth element successfully unites interior and exterior spaces.’

Simple and elegant, it is a response to a special site, says architect Brendon Gordon. “On a clear day you can see Ruapehu to the west and all the way down to Napier and out to the bay. It is a pretty special site.”

The grape vines in the surrounding landscape are echoed in the repetition of the expressed laminated timber post and beam structure. A nod to Richard Neutra.

The design emphasises separation between public and private spaces - as the spaces around the building are equally as important as the spaces within.


Architect: Brendon Gordon Architects