They speak of summertime, beersies and best friends, but decks are more than just a platform for fun. Here’s what to weigh up When your average Kiwi hears the term ‘outdoor living’, they immediately think of a deck (yes, we all know the joke about New Zealanders loving a big deck). But Box™ architect Joshua […]

What To Expect When You’re Building New

If you’ve never built before, it can be a daunting commitment. If you want the experience to be a positive one, here are some questions to ask upfront before you choose to enter the design-and-build relationship. 1. At a high level, how does your overall process – from commencement to completion of work – operate? […]


Anyone who has teenagers will understand the need for a home that is bigger than 100 square metres. When Rosie and Steve Maskell bought their 1920s bungalow 16 years ago, adolescent antics weren’t part of the priority list. They just knew that the Ponsonby house was in a great location to walk or bike to […]


If the last few weeks are anything to go by, and NIWA predictions are correct, summers are set to get longer and hotter. Temperature data across eight decades confirms this trend and so, whether designing a family home in the suburbs or a holiday escape at the beach, keeping cool needs to be up there […]

Back to the future of housing

If Box™ co-founder Dan Heyworth could wave a magic wand to solve the big issues facing New Zealand architects and house builders in the design-and-build industry, what would he do? In this interview with Ryan Castle from Master Builders, Dan looks for answers. Q: Box™ bucked the traditional model by combining an architecture practice and construction […]

Let there be light

Good designers know how to manipulate space but, like an accomplished photographer, they should also understand how to compose with light and shadow Le Corbusier once said: “The history of architecture is the history of the struggle for light.” While new materials, advanced technologies and, let’s face it, living in a country with wonderful wide […]

Do we really need to rip up our house building textbook?

OPINION: In the first century AD, the author, engineer and architect Marcus Vitruvius’ multi-volume book de Architectura (On Architecture)covered such diverse topics as urban design, how to build aqueducts, and optimising your sundial. Showing remarkable prescience, he makes a point of explaining how to build walls with a cavity to prevent buildings from leaking or growing mould. […]

8 Ways to Get Outdoor Happy

Summer 2022 is on the hazy horizon so we’re looking back at outdoor spaces that put the accent on alfresco  If you’re building a two-storey home, which is often the case on today’s smaller sites, it makes sense to consider a cantilever. This overhang not only looks the bomb, but oriented correctly, becomes a sunshade […]

A Double Dose of Design

The densification of Auckland encouraged by the Unitary Plan comes laced with both challenge and opportunity. The best pathway through the complexities of fitting more homes into a suburban context is good design. This property in the seaside suburb of St Heliers east of the city was typical of its era – an 804-square-metre site […]

Sun sun sun – here it comes

In uncertain times, people crave stability – and in the first instance, most look for it at home. Those who already have a stash of pantry staples squirreled away (and let’s face it, a couple of bottles of wine too) as per advice in the civil emergency guidelines, or who have nurtured a veggie garden […]