• Daniel Ho, Rita Cai and Raymond Yoo

The annual Brick Bay Folly competition started in 2016, open to architecture students and recent graduates of architecture to design and build a folly at Brick Bay. A folly is an experimental structure without specific purpose or restrictions, therefore it can be whimsical, humorous, decorative or boundary-pushing. Genealogy of the Pacific was designed by University of Auckland architecture students Daniel Ho, Rita Cai and Raymond Yoo and is the 6th winner of the Brick Bay Folly architectural competition.

Drawing inspiration from the curvilinear form of the double helix, Genealogy of the Pacific is an imposing sight from its hilltop position. Appearing monolithic and monochrome from afar, the viewer’s relationship to the tower morphs upon closer inspection, revealing its brick-like modular form in a variety of twists and turns and allowing a glimpse of the natural timber beneath the application of paint layers.

The design team explores the idea of architecture as a complex organism. Team leader Daniel Ho explains: “To start off, we break the architecture down into a microscopic ‘DNA’ strand...translating its characteristics into an architectural unit. Like DNA, this unit replicates itself to create a complex structure. Architecturally, we draw upon the modular ‘brick’ which is the most common and basic architectural form in our daily life.”

The design also demonstrates a curiosity about the vast modes of pattern-making that have been created within Pacific cultures. The DNA form is used in a playful, experimental manner, with each module articulated into 4 different positions in construction. As Ho describes: “Part solid, part void, these formal nuances reveal themselves more as one explores the one passes through the entry, the sun glistens through the folly’s apertures creating an ephemeral, contemplative experience.”

The project is generously sponsored by Resene, Naylor Love and Brick Bay, and supported by Unitec, Cheshire Architects, Architecture NZ / Architecture NOW and Sam Hartnett Photography.

Genealogy of the Pacific can be viewed by all visitors to Brick Bay. It is viewable from a distance from the Glass House restaurant and up close as a part of the sculpture trail walk, which features over 60 sculptures.

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Friday, 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm


  • 17 Arabella Lane
  • Snells Beach 0982