Mahia Retreat

Mahia Retreat - A beautiful coastal home. A Triumph in Timber Architecture


Taylor Bay, Mahia


Client – Pete & Penny Hoogerbrug 
Architect – John Hoogerbrug, Hoogerbrug Architects
Engineer – Bruce Williams 
Builder – Dawson Builders

Prolam Product

Prolam Visual Glulam Beams and Prolam Glulam Posts

Taking its cues from its picturesque location, Mahia Retreat is a triumph in timber – outside and in.  

Perched above Taylors Bay with views back to Napier and Wairoa, the hilltop hideaway architect John Hoogerbrug designed for his brother and sister-in-law, is nestled amongst Pohutukawa trees on a site where the couple used to camp. 

Every element of the home has been thoughtfully rendered to complement the lifestyle and aesthetic of its owners and inspired by the natural hues and beauty of its bushland coastal setting. 

The home’s exterior is clad in timber, while earthy tones and finishes have been used throughout its interior. High timber ceilings and exposed timber beams and posts in the living area frame the spectacular outlook, simultaneously adding a feeling of warmth and a sense of intimacy and calm to the home’s living spaces. 

John’s artful use of engineered timber beams and posts has turned core structural design components into stunning architectural features. 

Two large 390mm x 90mm Prolam glulam beams spliced together and measuring a total of 8-9 metres in length were custom manufactured for the project. 

The two beams run at 90 degrees to one another, holding up long-span openings over the dining and living area and the windows and doors that lead out to the deck. John’s design also incorporated ‘king’ glulam posts (upright posts in the centre of the roof truss). All beautifully finished with Tinted Gold-X, Danish Oil, and transparent sealers. 

“The strength and spanning capability of the glulam beams has enabled us to put quite a significant cantilever over one of the windows, which would have historically required us to use steel or spliced in timber with steel,” John says.

“However, over and above their ability to deliver the spans and structural support we required, were the aesthetic choices the finishes available on the visual grade beams and posts offered us. 

“This allowed us to use them as a feature – almost as a piece of art,” John says.

Mahia Retreat was one of the nine winners in the Te Kahui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects 2024 Gisborne & Hawke’s Bay Architecture Awards!

“I’ve worked with Prolam on quite a few structures and been exposed to the benefits of glulam.  I love it! You don’t suffer from knotting in the timber, the quality of the wood fibre and glue is great, and the timber is cured, dry (not wet) and treated. It is also straight and structurally stable in all directions.”

-    John Hoogerbrug, Hoogerbrug Architects

Images courtesy of Strike Photography

STR 2109 E v2
STR 2162 E v2
STR 2109 E
STR 2150 E