Mai Mai House by Patterson Associates

Mai Mai House by Patterson Associates

Architects: Patterson Associates
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Year: 2008
Photos: Patrick Reynolds Simon Devitt

Mai Mai is an account of adoration. This is a private house. It tries to make a union which accommodates apparently opposite characters, identities and issues. In this house these two significant others – the seeker and the winged animal, as we have developed to call them – understand the components that characterize them as people, and the science that draws them together as a couple.


A key to opening the Mai is in the word ‘duality’. The house utilizes a duality of capacity and a duality of intending to accommodate incomprehensible thoughts of disguise and show, trap and withdraw, test and compromise.


The name of the house has more than one translation. For New Zealand Maori, “Mai” can mean garments, however it can likewise imply the verb ‘to bring towards me’. ‘Mai’ is the New Zealand name for the temporary blinds in which duck seekers snare their prey.

Mai Mai

Mai the house offers a stow away as well. The building’s façade is a cover, a figure which recounts the account of its inhabitants. A Kahu Huruhuru – the Maori name for a customary and very prized feathered shroud which was a mark of excellence and rank(1) – makes by day a “screen” of security from the world outside and by night a “screen” on which pictures are anticipated freely.

Mai Mai

The veneer offers yet more privileged insights – it opens surprisingly as section to the living environment and to uncover a two-level vertical auto stacker. Behind the veneer a hid western yard pulls in the glow recently evening sun.


Inside, the Mai is both home and stow away. The living range shapes a cozy raised over the primary floor level – she calls this her ‘roost’, while he calls it his ‘vantage’. This lanai buoys between the city and an exhibition: the seeker and the feathered creature are united in their adoration for workmanship.


From the display, a made stair plunges into a film, which offers retreat and disguise from the open spaces above and around. Here, visually impaired entryways open to rooms, bathrooms and capacity. Hidden behind its undetectable entryway the proprietors suite lies in the focal point of a private supported greenhouse.


Protection and engagement, covering and show, personality and having a place. From these pressures, the Mai makes congruity, in a common feeling of spot. From Catch 22, rises meaning. A genuine romance story.

(1) Brian Brake – (Reed 1994). Te Aho Tapu”

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