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Takaka - Golden Bay, 2000

The brief was to re-design the entire existing property that consisted of a small cottage with a front lawn. I was asked to choose the style of the new cafe / restaurant, and decided to reflect the sub tropical, Pacific environment of Golden Bay, and use a tropical theme.The plantings, furniture, gas flares, thatch covered entrance, water feature and gates give a wonderful ambience and the feel of being in a lush South Pacific environment. Because the front lawn was below street level, I decked the entire area so that it was all on the same level. This made it easier for patrons and staff, and avoided issues with access, as well as increasing the useable outdoor area. The decking finished a metre from the boundaries to allow for a lush tropical garden. A retired sailor tied the traditional knots in the `fence’ around the decked area, and the local teepee maker was commissioned to make the canvas roof for the large covered table. Indian sandstone tiles provide a non-slip surface from the street to the decking. I designed the gates based on the large powelliphanta land snail that is endemic to Golden Bay, and drew the shapes out on the metal for the steel smith. To provide some privacy from the street, and to create an intimate dining area, we built a plastered wall along the front and side of the property. I managed to find a large water-sculpted and weathered piece of Takaka marble for the water feature in the centre of the decking.

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