Architecture Foundation Australia

International Alumni Projects

Projects by the great community of participants on 'oz.e.tecture' events

New Zealand : Dave Strachan

Dave Strachan, SGA, Auckland, New Zealand :  Glenn Murcutt Master Class 2002
Motu Kaikoura Lodge Building , Kaikoura Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand
Completed April 2018
[community, conservation, remote, pre-fabrication, design-build, women building workshop]


Motu Kaikoura is a protected scenic reserve north-west of Great Barrier Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, off the coast of Auckland, New Zealand. It is managed by the Motu Kaikoura Community Trust. The lodge area is located on the southern side and accommodates research workers, education inititiatives, volunteers and public visitors to the unique island. In 2013 the communal building was destroyed by arson. Strachan Group Architects were approached due to their experience in prefabrication that the remote location demanded.


The facility, which houses a kitchen, dining and indoor/outdoor living, is conceived with flexible spaces, with strong connection to the environment, through framed apertures and plentiful natural light. The directional breezway draws one towards the hypnotic view with decks either side, to be utilised depending on weather conditions. In response to the existing buildings, services and various directions of approach, the new saw-tooth form reaches up to access the northern sun and echo the natural bush form. Materials are robust, the pre-finished exterior blends into the surrounding bush, contrasted by the warmth of the timber interior.


Due to a major shortfall in funding SGA concieved a creative solution to get the project off the ground. A partnership was formed with ‘Architecture+Women NZ’ to deliver the building contract as an educational program in which 16 architects and graduates would gain invaluable hands on experience. Due to this unique collaboration the project was also supported by many industry partners who generously donated/discounted building supplies.

Floor Plan .jpeg

The construction system was devised with transport limitations of land, sea and sky in mind, as well as buildability for the apprentice team and the Trust’s environmental policy. The panelised building components were constructed in the SGA Workshops in Kingsland and then flat-packed and heli-lifted on to the foundations from a barge in the passage below. The method of construction and story of assembly are proudly expressed in the detailing and finishing.


Architect team – Dave Strachan, Maria Hosking, Joanna Jack        

Building team – Architecture+Women NZ Workshop participants –

Yenegh Badimayalew, Aishwarya Basur, Anna Boow, Katie Corner, Gaynor Eade, Terese Fitzgerald, Elspeth Gray, Georgina Gray, Katharine Hebden, Nicola Herbst, Pip Newman, Krupa Patel, Divya Purushotham, Lauren van Tiel, Jane Waldegrave, Lily Wong.

Crate Innovation Ltd : JR Hosking & Co. Carpenters : SGA Ltd

Photo Credits –  Ross Keane, SGA Ltd



architects thinking locally acting globally


Lindsay Johnston