Makespace’s pre-designed abodes offer a little bit of everything — and it’s all good

Isaac Lindesay says his new business Makespace’s tagline ‘Everything you need and nothing you don’t’ about sums it up. Makespace offers a ready-designed range of minimalist, architectural dwellings crafted from top-notch materials to be compact but supremely functional and provide a close connection to the surrounding environment. They’re built off site before being installed in your chosen location in an experience that’s as enjoyable as it should be when you’re investing in any home or bach, whether it’s a lower-cost solution or not. We got the finer details from Isaac and his partner Beck Wadworth.

ABOVE So far, Makespace, who deliver nationwide, has installed baches, homes and home offices in Te Tai Tokerau/Northland and Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, and on Waiheke Island. The M.Abode house photographed for this story is in Mahinepua on the Cavalli Coast. “Wherever they’re located, our designs are concerned with creating a connection to the landscape, in terms of where the building is situated and via elements like large doors and windows, decking and pergolas,” says Isaac.

Isaac, what motivated you to start this venture? I’ve been interested in practical, hands-on work from a young age, which over the years has led me to work in landscaping, building-material product development and house construction. I’ve always wanted to be involved in residential construction, and in 2018 I became obsessed with off-site house manufacturing. I spent my evenings researching different offerings and companies around the globe, focusing on smaller-than-conventional footprints, quality fixtures and fittings, and the kinds of spaces people dream of owning. In May 2020, I incorporated Makespace and spent the next 12 months juggling two jobs, refining the concept and delivering our first three projects, before officially launching in April 2021.
Our homes range from 30m2 to 108m2 — from simple baches to family homes. We’re continually exploring new and innovative ways to use the spaces too, whether that’s through built-in storage and furniture, the materials we use or their connection with the landscape. 

Beck, you joined Isaac post-launch — what role does each of you play? Isaac wears a lot of hats, covering product development, project management, sales, admin and marketing, to ensure the brand practises what it preaches. When I met him, he was already well underway with his first few projects and he’s definitely the brains behind the business, but after talking about Makespace with him day after day, and given my own passion for interiors and architecture, I fell in love with it and offered to help with all things creative, social media and PR, around running my own business An Organised Life. I’m really enjoying having another project to focus on in an industry I’ve been keen to get into. 

What other professionals do you have on board? Isaac: Our ranges M.Abode and M.Retreat are designed by Jason Van Heunen, a skilled architectural designer based in Auckland who shares our interest in smaller spaces. A wide range of other professionals bring the projects to life: engineers, fabricators, suppliers and our awesome team of builders and subtraders.

What’s the difference between M.Abode and M.Retreat? Isaac: The modular M.Abode range is our take on conventional homes or baches — one- to three-bedroom houses that can sleep up to eight people, with fully functional living areas, kitchens and bathrooms. The M.Retreat range is focused on homes for short-term stays, like Airbnb or similar, with a living space and kitchenette, one bedroom and one bathroom.
Where we start to do things a bit differently is the process. Makespace uses pre-designed floorplans to present customers with tried and tested layouts to choose from, which we then fit out with a range of quality fixtures, eliminating the endless process of material selection. Much like purchasing a car, all you have to do is pick your preferred layout, materials and colours, and any upgrades, such as different types of cladding and lining, fixtures and fittings, landscaping options or an off-grid power supply. We determine transport and site-specific costs, then present you with a formal proposal and timeline for the job.

How long does a typical build take? Isaac: The average job spends six to eight weeks in the consenting phase and 12 to 16 weeks in production before it leaves us. Once it’s on site, our team completes the installation in three to five days, along with any other work, like landscaping. From start to finish for an 108m2 M.Abode, you can usually expect to have your new, architecturally designed home in six to seven months, or three to four months for the M.Retreat range.

What do prices start at? Isaac: The M.Abode range starts at $4000/m2 and M.Retreat starts at $4500/m2.

ABOVE Clad in western red cedar, the house has a parapet roof with internal guttering for a contemporary finish, and features APL Metro Series joinery, engineered timber flooring from Forté, Fisher & Paykel appliances, and fireplaces inside and out. Isaac says Makespace could be the future of housing for lots of Kiwis because it “helps bridge the gap between land cost and the desire for quality, low-maintenance spaces and a streamlined, understandable build process. Minimising our effect on the environment is also a focus for us. Step one is maximising the use of our renewable, low-impact materials — including recycled wool insulation — sourcing locally and reducing our overall waste. Step two involves moving closer towards our ultimate goal of offering passive homes with little to no heating and cooling requirements.”

Would you quite like to whip up one of these for yourselves? Beck: Absolutely! We constantly dream of where we’d love to put one. Our pick would be M.Abode option The Bach, which is an 81m2 dwelling that can sleep up to eight people, making it perfect as a summer house or ski chalet. Our top spots would be between the vines in my hometown in Marlborough or Central Otago.
(PS You can stay at this cabin if you want — visit

Words Philippa Prentice
Photography Beck WadworthFaraway Cove

Filed under:

error: Copyright The Pluto Group Ltd 2022 - contact us for usage licence

Homestyle shares
modern ways
to make a home
in New Zealand

Sign up to receive the latest in your inbox

Thanks for subscribing to Homestyle's newsletter - we'll be in touch soon.