Hillsborough Residence

Hillsborough Residence
  • Location: Hillsborough, Auckland
  • Status: Completed 2023

Project supplied by our Arch Group sister company - Creative Arch.

This split-level courtyard house is the innovative response to a site constrained on all sides.

To protect privacy from neighbours, embrace natural light and frame views of the Manukau Harbour, this whāre steps down the site and wraps around a central courtyard.



Low maintenance materials shape comfortable yet striking spaces, and clever design solutions draw natural light in throughout this unique family home.

Black NuWall and brick cladding create strong, striking forms stepping down, wrapping around a central courtyard, protecting it from the elements and sheltering it from neighbours. Entering the home at the centre of the layout, the interior is revealed suddenly, and the eye is drawn over the sunken lounge to the ocean framed beyond.

At the threshold, a moment of welcome is marked by tapa cloth reaching into the void above. Inspired by Lonnie Hutchinson’s Honoa ki te Hono Tawhiti series, laser-cut plywood panels display patterns representing the family’s Māori and Samoan ancestry. Speaking specifically to warmth and hospitality, passing the threshold markers is entry to the inner sanctuary.

The double height void in the entry draws natural light in while maintaining privacy. The crossed window evokes a sense of ambiguity, hinting that this is a sacred space. At night, lit up from within, the window glows on the hill, a beacon in the surrounding landscape.