The Wood Pavilion


Leo Zhu, Dorien Viliamu, Daniel Fennell and Wenhan Ji.

A Folly is an architectural object that is deliberately non functional and instead examines its surroundings and enhances the natural landscape. The Brick Bay Folly demonstrates the intersection of architecture and sculpture. It can be inhabited and is for visitors to be enveloped by the architecture. 

This Folly rests on the gentle slope, with its wings spread; surveying the woodlands over the lake. The design of The Wood Pavilion aims to express the qualities of wood as an architectural material, its lightness and its composition. Freed from the horizontal and vertical arrangements in a traditional structure, the walls here are sloped at 20 degrees. Team leader Leo Zhu described his initial design for the Wood Pavilion as “Thoughtful or playful, a creature watching over the pond… the design becomes a quiet participant of the visitors journey, encouraging them to dwell for a little longer under its shade, to realise the beautiful details of their surroundings that they may have missed.”

The choice of colour used on the raw wood was very important, three Resene Woodsman Wood Oil Stains were chosen. The decision to use stains rather than paint was due to the penetrating quality of the stains, which better retains the texture and grain of the timber.

The Wood Pavilion provides shade and shelter for visitors; a contemplative resting place. The final design is a structure with an immersive spatial experience of light and materiality; the interior is open for exploration.

Read more about the 2019 winning Folly in Architecture Now.

The Top five finalists for the Brick Bay Folly 2019 were:

  • The Wood Pavilion by University of Auckland MArch student Leo Zhu is an immersive spatial experience of light and materiality. Sloped at 20 degrees, its timber structure rests along the gentle slope with soaring wings and an interior open for exploration. The structure is representative of a quiet witness to the stories and memories created in the park. Click here to see the full proposal…

  • Ghost Chips by graduate Qun Zhang from Cottee Parker Architects, Melbourne and architect and illustrator Lisa Huang is a response to the loss of the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre by John Scott. The steel mesh structure searches for the idea of legacy, heritage and culture represented in architecture and it imagines spaces lost, while teasing at our loss. The black stained timber and wood mulch below draws inspiration from the Ureweras and reflects the literal translation of its name ‘burnt manhood’.

  • Terraqueous by Matthew Le Grice from Warren and Mahoney is intended to reside somewhere between the natural and the alien. Its form is reminiscent of rolling hills and folding waves (from which the name ‘terraqueous’ is derived), yet its stratified construction demonstrates an underlying fabrication and patterning that is distinctly man-made. It twists and turns in a way that challenges what we encounter in the natural world, presenting simultaneously as a fluid form and a rational man-made construction.

  • Dwelling by Joe Lyth from Respond Architects takes the form of an abstracted shell of a traditional two-room home that, unlike its predecessors, allows the inhabitant to appreciate the surroundings all around. It serves as a reminder that homes are not just a sum of their parts, they are completed by the sites outside their walls.

  • Listen to the Lorax by Victoria University MArch students Ethan Murray and Emily Newmarch is inspired by the story of that same name, around the contrast between a polluted world ruined by corporate greed and the environment. Considering New Zealand’s own unique built environment, it creates an ephemeral experience through brightly coloured gabion structures filled with recycled charred timber.

    The gabion structures reference two tightly packed urban blocks with a street (timber walkway) running between them. The density of these tall thin structures reflects on medium and high-density living conditions as houses are built closer together.

In 2019 the jury consisted of Richard Didsbury and Anna Didsbury from Brick Bay, Karen Warman from Resene, Richard Harris from jasmax, Yusef Patel Associate Head of Architecture Unitec, Dave Hunter from Fletcher Building and Cynthia Yuan the 2018 winner.


With special thanks to the generosity of the 2019 Brick Bay Folly sponsors and supporters.

Sponsored by:

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Supported by:

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