As a teaching facility for Forestry and Horticulture Industry, Waiariki Institute of Technology’s brief was for a building to showcase the use of timber in every aspect from structure, exteriors, interiors and link the ESD qualities of timber with other initiatives such as solar water, rainwater harvesting and advanced septic treatment system. While timber has been used for almost every conceivable component, and mindful of a saying ‘couldn’t see the trees for the wood’ they have also used colour as the primary device to define the architectural language and inject a liveliness, without lessening the amount of timber used.
Existing saw-tooth buildings and stacked timber packs are referenced and give local context to the form. The ideological milling process, where a saw-blade slices and divides, was used to inform the design. A circulation route slices and divides the workshop and teaching spaces in plan, and in section/elevation, the pointed roofline is the blade separating the forms. External claddings are linked to the two types of stacked pallets on site, the routered plywood panels (whole wood end grain) and slatted Verda battens (drying). The screens were extended on the north to provide maintenance access, sun-shading and concealment to services and plant.
Colours for the exterior were chosen to maintain the timber, where they can age gracefully into this gritty and harsh environment. Verda battens, pre-finished in an aged treatment are laid over plywood stained Resene Grey Green, to provide contrast. The entry canopy Glulam structure has been coated in a Resene Japanese Maple red stain to lift and define the veranda around main entry.
The interiors were an integral part of the structure from concept design to express the timber structure and articulate the connections. While timber features predominantly, areas are broken with splashes of colour (Resene Planter) in doors and built-in joinery and acoustic wall linings. Resene Colorwood tinted to Resene Fern Frond, Resene Japanese Maple and Resene Grey Green brings the exterior colour indoors with a fresh fern accent. In the teaching areas the flooring, acoustic panels and stained plywood linings are linked to provide an interesting colour graphic. Colours are a complementary play on greens, which work well with the timber and controlled injections of rusty reds, linking the Waiariki corporate red.
Resene Grey Green
Resene Japanese Maple
Resene Fern Frond
Architectural Specifier: Darryl Church
Building Contractor: Ronanye Construction
Painting Contractor: Holmac
Photographer: Graeme Murray
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