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The Brake House was Designed by architect Ron Sang, a prominent Chinese New Zealander and completed for world renowned photographer Brian Brake in 1977.


The Heritage Assessment of the Brake House, Titirangi states “the house is well documented as one of  New Zealand’s most important modern buildings, and is an important example of the work of leading architect Ron Sang”.


Sang Architects, Auckland Award Winning Brake3


The Iconic Brake House by Ron Sang  has been praised for the innovative way it blends harmoniously into its beautifully landscaped site. Ron Sang used cedar and large windows to create a house that mergers effortlessly  into its environment.

Sang Architects, Auckland Award Winning Brake4

Allan Wild, former Head of the School of Architecture at the University of Auckland, wrote an entry in the recent publication ‘Long Live the Modern’ in which he discussed the building and its architect:

‘The site had been found for him by Wellington photographer Spencer Digby, who had apprenticed him. Sculptor Guy Ngan introduced Brake to Auckland architect Ron Sang, who proceeded to design the house by correspondence with Brake over six months, with eighteen revisions. The result was a brilliant combination of spaces and places of exquisite quality and beauty, designed for the Waitakere bush, but including a distant outlook to the city. The house is in two distinct parts, sleeping and entertaining, linked by a glass bridge. Most of it is only one room wide. Protruding from the main linear form are a deck, supported on a single post, and a glass-walled tatami room, reflecting Brake’s love of Asia.’

 Sang Architects, Auckland Award Winning Brake2

It was awarded the NZIA Enduring Architectural Award in 2001 and NZIA (Auckland) District Branch Design Award in 1985. In 1999 it was recognised by DOCOMOMO New Zealand as being among the top 20 modern buildings, sites and neighbourhoods.



Heritage Assessment of the Brake House, Titirangi. (2010, August). Retrieved from http://www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/documents/districtplanwaitakere/changes/39/brakehouse.pdf

The News | The Brake House, Titirangi. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://thedepartmentofnews.com/the-brake-house-titirangi/