Arthouse Architects

Flax Restaurant Bar

The boat sheds at the end of the Mapua wharf have been adapted over and over during their life and when Tim Greenhough and Karen Hannen moved into part of the building in 2002 it was time to try and pull these random renovations together into something more cohesive.

The design uses a simple palette of materials which support and strengthen the bones of the existing structure. The posts and beams with infill steel windows and chunky timber trusses stand out against the plywood ceilings and gib painted walls. The floor was brought to a single level using strandboard with beech strips between.

Local harakeke weavers Sally Austin and Arohanui Ropata were commissioned to weave panels to sit within the trusses. These panels are reminiscent of harakeke waka sails. This idea was further explored with the shade sails over the outside eating area where double masts support sails that criss cross over each other for the full length of the building.

The idea worked well and many locals and visitors enjoyed this understated renovation which provided a clear and simple setting in which to enjoy superb food in a superb location.

David Buckley
Elspeth Collier