Designed in the style of a contemporary lodge, the Gabriel Residence is a relaxing base from which to explore the extraordinary natural wonders of the Bay of Islands.
Days at the Gabriel Residence follow the sun. In the mornings, early light floods the east-facing outdoor terrace, making it an ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. During hot summer days, the sea breeze sweeps through the high-ceilinged spaces, cooling the house while guests explore the property and region. And in the evening, the spacious upstairs porch frames a spectacular view northwards up the valley to contemplate while sundowner cocktails are served.
“I think that porch is one of the great spaces of The Landing,” says architect Pip Cheshire of Cheshire Architects, who designed the Gabriel Residence. “It has a bigness to it that is really lovely, and which makes it a great place to sit at the end of the day. With the sun setting, you get a layering of the ridges in the northern distance that is quite beautiful.”
Situated to enjoy 360-degree views of sparking Wairoa Bay, the surrounding rolling pastures, wetland, and native bush, and the house gives many different perspectives on the landscape from the living and recreation rooms, bedrooms, terraces and decks, and even bathrooms.
Around the exterior, a series of intimate covered and open decks and terraces create opportunities for a private retreat. The large, sheltered open-air courtyard is ideal for hosting parties or events on warm nights, or long conversations around the fire pit under starlit skies.
The sprawling residence was originally designed for a private owner with an extended family, and ranges across three linked pavilions, meaning a general group of guests can comfortably inhabit the home without tripping over each other. The entertaining and recreation areas – including two lounges, a huge open-plan entertainer’s kitchen with scullery, games room and library/den – flow easily into each other, and through to the multiple outdoor spaces.
That spaciousness, along with the use of unfinished hardwood timber and concrete inside gives it the feel of a traditional hunting and fishing lodge, rendered with modern Pacific flair. “I often feel that I’m working ‘mid-Pacific’ at The Landing,” says Pip, acknowledging the property’s dual design influence from New Zealand Aotearoa and North America. “The house’s design always hovers somewhere just south of Hawaii in my mind.”