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2017 Awards for Excellence Winner 50-100sqm Tensioned Structures


Project name:  Mangatawa Entry Canopy                

Fabric used: Serge Ferrari 902

Fabric Supplied by: Serge Ferrari

Engineer Company: Redco

What did the client request?

The client requested a free standing contemporary covered fabric canopy to receive visitors to the main office. The shape had to represent the base of whales tail and incorporate a 5 metre custom made maori carving by a local artist.

Entry Canopy Mangatawa

Baytex were approached by First Principle Architects in Mount Maunganui to design and create an Entry Canopy at Mangatawa. Mangatawa’s Papamoa Blocks Incorporation office is located in the Papamoa hills with a total land holding of approximately 750 acres. The building is designed to represent a whale’s tail in keeping with ‘The Legend of Mangatawa’. The canopy design and shape represent the connection of the building to the land.

Mangatawa Canopy Underneath







What is unique or complex about the project?

The story behind Mangatawa created the concept for the design. Long ago, a whale and her baby swam into the Tauranga Harbour. They swam through the entrance, past Mauao (Mt Maunganui) and Te Moutere o Matakana to Te Papa (Tauranga).

They decided to venture further into the harbour, so they swam up past Te Papa and Matapihi toward Maungatapu. Once there, they found the water getting shallower, and got lost and stranded on the mudflats of Rangataua, trying to find a way back to the open sea. Tired and thirsty, they stopped at ‘Karikari’ on the eastern shore of Rangataua to drink from a spring. They did not know that the spring was magic and that drinking from the spring would turn them into stone. They began to drink. Suddenly all life departed from them.

Mangatawa Papamoa Blocks Inc






They both became fixed with the mother whale gazing northward out to the sea and the baby whale nestled beside her. The father whale came in search of his family. He saw that they had turned to stone. He too, drank from the spring and became fixed behind the mother and baby whale.


What were the results of the project?

The clients and iwi were very impressed at our speed, efficiency and overall quality of the finished canopy. Baytex were able to take the project from concept through to fully installed in an extremely short time frame.

The client and iwi have been extremely happy with the canopy and the representation. The time frame we were given to design, complete and install the canopy was challenging but went smoothly. This resulted in a confidence with Baytex team from their vision through to the final result.

Full Canopy

Is there any other relevant information?

Additionally we were asked to come up with a concept for an interior water feature tying in with ‘The Legend of Mangatawa’. This was a large stainless steel and glass water feature inside the main office.

There is a spring at the base of ‘Mangatawa’. Sometimes the water flowing from it is quite white, and it is said to be the milk of the mother whale or ‘Te Waiu o te tohora’. Mangatawa rests there as a guardian of the people of Tauranga Moana and Te Arawa.

Mangatawa Whales

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