“With poise and grace, Nick Sayes and Luke Jackson turn a humble Tāmaki Makaurau bungalow into something ethereal.”


Project Type | Alteration
Project Status | Completed 2019
Photos | David Straight
Text | Paraphrased from HERE Magazine, April 2021 (Chris Hall)

“Though in essence a fairly traditional extension, there is elegance here – a modesty and restraint that lends a meditative stillness. The main feature of the extension is the continuation of the iconic bungalow gabled roof, which has been beautifully expressed with timber detailing and an impressive skylight that captures light and evolving shadow play. The warm expanse of cedar joinery and oak flooring lends a sophisticated earthy calm, the antitheses of oppressive darkness typical in an old bungalow.”

“The key to this renovation is in Sayes Jackson Architects’ spatial arrangement and order of flow. There are nods towards New Zealand mid-century modernism, such as the work of the Group Architects, as well as Japanese design, especially in the spacial arrangement and connectivity.”

“The new living space is a great parental panopticon – the clients can easily keep an eye on their young children and when entertaining in the evening, they can tuck the kids away in the snug behind the sliding doors. The entire area accommodates different moods and scenarios – you can turn inward to the feature wall and feel cocooned as you read, or watch TV, or you can have more defensible space from the snug (which can also accommodate house guests when enclosed).”

Carefully crafted timber detailing expresses the additions structure.

“Much of the interior-exterior connection has been established by the level of the rear lawn, which is echoed in perimeter seating, pool terrace and fireplace hearth. There’s a contemplative space in the living area around the fireplace, where the hearth wraps the window and extends into the landscape to form the pool terrace. The floor continues seamlessly to the decking and when the sliding windows are pushed back, the interior-exterior boundary dissolves. “It was about getting the height, getting the light and having it open to the exterior””


A young couple keen to live out west discover an untouched section in Titirangi. The appeal is the topography and bush however the site isn’t without a complex of constraints: slopes, riparian stream, protected flora and fauna, and planning controls permitted a building area of 15m2.

Brief – “‘hard edged yet embracing the bush”

From an elevated clearing three distinct opportunities reveal themselves.
Sea – a glimpse of the harbour to the south.
Canopy – Manuka canopies and a sea of bush beneath us to the north.
Understory – below the clearing a dense Manuka understory.

With a juggling of consultants and sweet talking of council planners … a building form emerges. Sharp pointed for a ‘hard edge’ and a cheeky response to planning ‘acceptabilities’… Terraced over two levels:

Understory – masonry bedrooms are ‘hunkered’ into the slope. Cave like with an outlook into the Manuka understory offering retreat and spatial intimacy.

Canopy – steel clad upper level living opens out over the bush with a balcony dappled in the Manuka filtered sunlight.

Sea – the building gives space to a southern Pohutukawa poised over a deck from which proximity to the harbour is enjoyed.


Project Type | Residential, New Build
Project Status | Work In Progress
Images | SJA


Bedrooms hunkered and cave-like with an outlook into the Manuka understory – offering retreat and spatial intimacy.


Upper level living and balcony opens out towards the bush with a dappled in the Manuka filtered sunlight.


The building gives space to a southern Pohutukawa poised over a deck from which proximity to the harbour is enjoyed.



A new dwelling for a young family on a corner site in a special character planning zone.

The dwelling was designed as a contemporary and “concrete” interpretation of a corner bay villa – with an expressed covered veranda wrapping the corner, central front entry and a bay fronting the street.

Project Type | Residential, New Build
Project Status | Work in Progress
Images | SJA

Japanese architectural ideals regarding entry and the passage through a building have been explored in the development of floor plans and spatial layouts.

An earthy green shikkui plastered wall is visible to both the interior and exterior. The radiused wall is expressive of the dwellings spatial layout as well as the dwellings relationship to the street corner.

One Ashridge Park


One Ashridge Park

Project Type | Residential, New Build
Project Status | Completed 2020
Photos & Images | SJA

A composition of three barn-like gable forms sit both within and over the land on a sloping rural lifestyle section in Coatesville. A number of architectural moments are created within the composition enabling a variety of internal and external living spaces.

A restrained palette of dark stained Western Red Cedar and European style tray profiled metals clad the exterior. Oiled oak and soft natural stones line the interiors.

Interior & exterior spaces are linked by way of bagged clay brick walls which continue inside to out.

Brass is used selectively within the dwelling on fixtures and surfaces to be touched by occupants – including the large pivoting front door. It is intended that the brass will naturally patina overtime.


Storage Box

Project Type | Object
Project Status | Completed 2019
Photos | Yvonne Mak

Hand folded aluminium and ply storage boxes designed to complement a bespoke steel wardrobe unit – where no other “off the shelf” option would suit . . . the shelves.

The boxes are stackable with a handled detailed at the base for retrieval from a height.

Designed as part of a wider renovation project in collaboration with Trinity Interior Design and published in Homestyle Magazine, May 2020. Download PDF.

“Our brief to Luke and Nick was fairly detailed when it came to the wardrobe, right down to the length of my longest dresses and the height of my highest boots,” says Nicola of this black-glassed beauty. “They approached the wardrobe in the same way as the overall renovation — with creativity, innovative thinking and a beautiful design aesthetic.”

The Loop

The Loop

Sited one row back from the beach – this linear and metal clad holiday home is elevated on steel posts to capture views of Waihi beach. A rooftop deck exploits views along the full expanse of the beach from Orokawa Scenic Reserve to the North and Mt Maunganui to the South.

This project is a collaboration between practices. Concept design by Studio John Irving with detail design and technical documentation by Sayes Jackson Architects.

Project Type | Residential, New Build
Completed | 2019
Images | SJA

The dwelling is articulated along its length with steps in the building’s envelope to separate internal program, to offer access to private exteriors from bedrooms, and to incorporate landscaping elements within the building’s form.


An existing small bach is extended and re-clad in cedar. A contemporary addition of lightweight metal wraps a combination of both upper and lower level living to capture views of Omaha Beach to the North, and a sheltered entranceway and courtyard to the Southwest.


Project Type | Residential, Alteration
Completed | 2019
Photos | David Straight

“The staircase is visible from the entry and western courtyard and a clear visual tie between the upper and lower levels. A western window takes on a similar sculpted form – playing off the angular stairs to allow western evening light through the stairwell and perforated steel balustrade. Living room cabinetry and steel elements add to this expression and carry a common gesture through both living levels.”
Junction Magazine, Issue 53, March 2020.

Several bespoke and custom fabricated components were design for the project – in most cases as an alternative to more costly “off the shelf” equivalents. Sayes Jackson worked with local craftspeople including Monmouth Glass Studio, Powersurge and MadeBy to realise these components.


Courtyard House

Project Type | Residential, New Build
Completed | 2015
Photos | Simon Wilson

A Westmere dwelling designed by Studio John Irving with Luke Jackson as Project Architect.

Beyond a carefully detailed and private street frontage, this family home forms itself around a light-filled northern courtyard. A series of relaxed living spaces both indoor and out are loosely connected through their orientation about a common external court.

Interiors adopt a fresh palette of whites and neutrals with subtle detailing to complement the external white timber cladding of the exterior form.