A Picture Perfect Stay at the Gallery
Nestled within the peaceful rural landscape of Mahurangi West, a mere 35 minutes north of Auckland, sits The Gallery Accommodation.
Set on six acres, two of rolling lawns with a four-acre backdrop of mature Kauri forest and stunning sea views out to the Hauraki Gulf, the building was designed by architect Pip Cheshire as the art gallery/studio and apartment for acclaimed New Zealand bronze sculptor, Terry Stringer.
From 2001-2015 the property was open to the public as Zealandia Sculpture Gardens, showcasing Stringer’s bronze sculptures and large paintings.
Current owners Jane Scott and Ash Hare first visited the property when it operated as Zealandia. From the onset there was a strong attraction to the property, Ash being a builder of high-end homes and Jane with a strong sense of design, both passionate about art and architecture.
Once purchased, the couple spent two and a half years renovating the property to transform it from art studio/gallery and home, into luxury boutique accommodation. The goal was to retain the aesthetic of the buildings and preserve Stringer’s artwork, while providing guests with a unique accommodation experience.
The Gallery Accommodation features two uniquely self-contained suites, the Forest Suite and the Cloud Suite, purpose built for a blissful indulgent escape.
“We chose the interior furnishings in response to the style of the building. The previous owners left behind a Le Corbusier light fitting which led us down a mid-century design path, says Ash. “The inspiration for the interiors reflects the building and its connection to the environment. Each floor of The Gallery offers a different perspective.”
Constructed from concrete tilt slab and meranti ply panelling, the ground floor Forest Suite is moody and mysterious with Stringer’s large scale paintings adorning the walls and the spaces naturally unfolding to reveal themselves as you move through.
In the dining room, red, blue, yellow and purple lights reflect on the white walls, specifically chosen to highlight the 19th Century stained glass windows previously housed in a French Cathedral.
The full height window in the bedroom looks out to the Kauri forest and the luggage room mirrors this with Fornasetti ‘Chiavi Segrete’ wallpaper consisting of mystical, dense leaf motifs interspersed with antique keys.
At the top of the spiral staircase, inspired by the Fornasetti ‘Nuvolette’ wallpaper, a beautifully rendered cloudy sky effect, is the Cloud Suite occupying the second and third storeys of the accommodation.
Although more conventional, the floor plan being essentially two stacked high stud cubes, the construction and interior fit and finish are far from standard. The North and West elevations have commercial joinery continuous over the three storeys, affording tranquil rural and water views.
In contrast to the warm earthy colour palette of the Forest Suite, the Cloud Suite is awash in a soothing blue-green/teal palette. This is accentuated in the lounge by ‘The Pond’ a stunning Source Mondial rug, which fits snugly into the space.
The second floor bedroom complemented by a spacious powder room and en suite bathroom, is accessed by a set of metal stairs and once there you are greeted by a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy and the Hauraki Gulf.
We’re very excited to finally be able to share The Gallery with guests,” says Jane, “We’ve added many personal touches to ensure that each guest will have a memorable stay.”
“Our intention has always been to create an experience for people to reconnect with each other and nature, so we encourage guests to leave their devices in flight mode and make a conscious effort to return to each other within this distinctive space.”
Follow the Gallery on Instagram, or for more information or to book a stay visit their website.