IZZARD Design 16 The Heke

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Darrelle McWilliams
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Paul Izzard
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    Envoy Construction
  • Client
    The Heke

Two local families who crafted the award winning ‘Heke Beer’ & ‘Waiheke Whiskey’ decided to create a collaborative home to celebrate both brews, a pairing of whiskey and beer, the perfect match. They settled on four acres of gardens amidst Waihekes’ popular wine destinations. Soon after George Kahi, Waiheke Kaumatua, was invited to walk over the land. He explained how iwis would use the wet land at the bottom of the property to push their waka over the hill to the other side of the island in search of more favourable weather conditions. This needed to be taken into consideration by a sheltered environment for locals and whanau to sit amongst the gardens and connect all year round.

It was important to approach the design in a restorative manner, reinventing the land and existing stables into a spirited, local destination with resourcefulness and sustainability at the forefront of the design. We intertwined the design into the landscape, allowing for the space to evolve and gain character over time. We commissioned artist Anton Forde, to sculpt some pou for the entrance, Wahine and Tane, saying come in, but respect this place and its people. And a taonga of pounamu imbedded in basalt rock, which water trickles over, relaying the meaning of Heke, to trickle, descend. Perched overlooking Onetangi Road, The HEKE is the embodiment of the Waiheke community.

The main architectural feature of ‘The Heke’ is a corrugated parapet, which extends upwards to create an angled ceiling for natural light. A play on the fundamental materials of a classic stables and a twist of residential influence, we created a veranda style extension, using layers of timber to support a mix of galvanised and translucent corrugated roofs, creating an abundance amount of natural light. A palette of raw, poured and crafted finishes was used to create a laid-back feel whilst framing the surrounding landscape. The Heke successfully came together as ‘the whare’ where smells from the kitchen waft through the venue, large wood fire glows and customers enjoy the kiwi atmosphere.

The Heke is the first of 2 stages, the second being a distillery where both yields can be brewed using the same components. We worked closely with the clients who took a hands on approach when crafting their new home. The landscaping, produce grown on site, and all plant species were considered in parallel with the design of the restaurant.

The Heke is a labour of love of its owners, and happily strays from the classic Waiheke wine for which the Island is already renowned. Kaumatua Harley Wade carried out the Powhiri, to bless the land for everyone that had been on it and prepare it for who was now coming. The fact that The Heke relates firmly to whanau made the Powhiri even more special.