Overlooking one of New Zealand’s most renowned surf beaches, the Te Pae Lifeguard Tower acts as a beacon above the coastline that melds with its surroundings.
The concrete structure derives its name from the Maori word Te Pae, which means ‘to perch’. The lighthouse replaces a former structure, with Crosson Architects devising an unassailable concrete structure to protect swimmers on the coast.
Sections of the lighthouse were prefabricated and installed on-site, which resulted in a less disturbed construction phase. Despite being a lighthouse and poking its head above the tree canopy, it is small in comparison to its typical counterparts.
Black oxidised concrete is a direct link to the dark sand on the beach, with the curved form contrasting against the seaside crashing onto the shoreline. Operable windows that provide views out to the beach allow for cross-ventilation, while high levels of insulation shield the interior from the sun.