Rotorua House


210 sqm


Towards Turama

Toward Tūrama

Tūrama is a new house typology seeking to reimagine residential architecture in alignment with the twin streams of NZ identity promised under the Treaty of Waitangi. The design concept was jointly generated by the Studio and Professor Paul Tapsell as a multi-creative, pre-Indigenous response to 16 generations of unbroken occupation.

The house is named after the ancestress, Hine-i-Tūrama from whom the land originates. Tūrama references the first ray of light at dawn: an aspirational beacon by which descendants can reconnect to their past and better navigate the future. She essentially combines fundamental values of identity and belonging, represented by whenua (fertile soil and waterways), kāinga (surrounding kin community) and taonga (ancestrally framed resources).

Tūrama is designed as a multi-generational retreat anchored by five ancestral points of origin. She elegantly wraps all whom enter with her manaakitanga (hospitality), represented by forest-like timber uprights complete with an oxidised steel, taniko pattern, also found on the kakahu (fine cloak) used in ceremonies by the whanau today.

Although located at the foot of Mount Ngongotaha in one of Rotorua’s poorest suburbs, Tūrama is the centre of a rich and dynamic social landscape that is today’s Māori reality.

Visit for a more in-depth understanding.


2018 New Zealand Architecture Award - Housing Category

2018 NZIA Waikato / Bay of Plenty Architecture Award - Housing Category

2018 World Architecture Festival Award, Finalist - House Category

2018 Home of the Year Finalist