Looking for a real baaagin? ewe found it
Iconic buildings in a South Waikato town are in need of a new owner.
The world’s biggest corrugated iron sheep and ram buildings in Tirau have been placed on the market for sale.
Building creators and owners Nancy and John Drake wanted an attention-grabbing feature to pull the punters into the wool and craft store.
The pair spent months analysing the wider Waikato region during the early 1990s, in search of the perfect place to set up Nancy Drake’s dream shop.
‘‘Packing up the campervan from the Wairarapa, we took a gamble on the Waikato region. We spent months observing visitor numbers and immersing ourselves in the local community before deciding to purchase a bare section of land,’’ Nancy Drake said.
After settling on the idea of a themed facade, they tackled the next problem – materials.
Credited as being the largest corrugated iron sheep building in the world – the sheep was the first building on the site, and was ‘‘not without its logistical problems’’, John Drake said.
‘‘From the suggestion of a young architect we investigated corrugated iron, and luckily found that an addition to what was essentially a kitset barn could be crafted in to the body of the sheep,’’ John Drake said.
‘‘After months of trial and error we created the shape of the head, and after discovering we could use corrugated aluminium to avoid unsightly rust streaking, our sheep was finally in the paddock.’’
It was an instant hit when it opened in 1994, with the business turning over nearly $1000 a day from wool and craft creations.
Occupying a prime corner position on State Highway 1, the corrugated
‘‘The distinctive buildings occupy a prime spot in Tirau town centre.’’
iron sheep, ram and dog buildings sit on the 2103 square metre site, which is offered for sale in a tender process closing on November 9.
The sheep, located on the southern corner of the freehold site, comprises a mixture of ground and first floor showroom space, with a cafe and kitchen.
The ram building adjoins the sheep and was added in 2005 to increase showroom space and amenities.
The Drakes lived above the shop floor within the sheep, which has a self-sufficient mezzanine level.
The sheep in Tirau are for sale.
The sheep buildings in Tirau are up for sale