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Architects: Patterson Associates.
Mai Mai is a house of contrasts. Close to cosmopolitan Ponsonby Road, it has inspirational views of Auckland’s cityscape at the entry level. Yet the steep site means that the lower level gives the living areas privacy. This is how the name ‘Mai Mai’ arose – like a duck hunter’s hide, the house offers both a vantage point and a hiding place.
The architect sought to use glass and concrete and a series of boxes for the upper level spaces. This lends elegant simplicity while maximising the potential of the views. The result is striking and saw the house listed amongst the top 16 designs worldwide at the Barcelona World Architecture Festival in 2008.
It offered plenty of potential and scope for innovation for us at Structure Design too. Working with so much glass on a steep site required careful consideration of the weight of wall and roof panels. The design also called for a carved feather motif on the outside of the building.
The answer was found in the use of glass reinforced concrete (GRC) panels. These are strong, yet of reasonable weight, and can be crafted to suit the requirements of such a unique and inspirational design.
Awards: Selected as one of the best 16 houses in the Barcelona World Architecture Awards 2008. NZIA Resene New Zealand Award for Architecture 2008