Whaley House

The house consists of three distinct zones – the main ground level includes dining, living and kitchen along with the entry. This area opens onto the north facing garden.

Beneath this is a private guest area, incorporating a bedroom with en suite and lounge which opens onto a sunken garden to the south.

On the upper floor is the main bedroom, with en-suite (facing north) along with an additional bedroom (also with en-suite) facing out over the quite Franklin Road valley.

The external design of the building deliberately references back to the original dwelling, through the use of material and detail with out replicating what was. However, the interior is more reflective of a modern city apartment – clean lines, open spaces, painted walls and ceilings, polished concrete and timber floors.

Completed by Grant whilst at Ignite Architects.

Perspective Apartments

The Perspective Apartments consists of 86 residential apartments over four levels, plus two levels of under ground parking covering the entire 3,686m2 site.

Concrete, glass and aluminum are used to create seven individual buildings placed around an internal courtyard.

Each apartment has been conceived as a platform which opens to the sun and views, but remains apart from the street.

The interiors focus is on flexibility and spaciousness through the use of large internal and external sliding doors.

The internal courtyard has been designed to provide a visually interesting and serene space for residents.

Completed by Grant Harris whilst at Ignite Architects.

Turoa Terminal

A tight building program, always at the mercy of the weather, in a severe environment determined many of the design decisions, material choices and construction methodology.

Also the two new structures were to be built in a visually and ecologically sensitive area of the National Park. The new terminals are located at 1.923m and 2,320m ASL on the Turoa side of Mt Ruapehu.

The basic concept was to enclose the top and bottom masts of the chair lift mechanism with a “tight” building envelope constructed from as many prefabricated components as possible.

The solution – precast concrete wall panels in steel frames, heavy and light weight profiled steel to roof and walls with polycarbonate sheeting to “windows” – all attached to a structural steel frame.

These wall and roof components were modeled to reflect and to respond to the ever changing environment.

Completed by Grant Harris whilst at Ignite Architects.


Pago Pago Fire Station

The main function of this building is the housing of fire rescue appliances with workshop and support areas for the maintenance of the vehicles and associated gear.

In addition, administration offices, training facilities and accommodation (which includes bedrooms, lounge kitchen and wash room) is provided for the watch team.

This is a fully self contained facility compliant with American Federal Aviation regulations.

Due to the relative isolation of the building and the tropical environment, there was a need for the building to be as maintenance free as possible and to be able to withstand the frequent tropical storms, salt laden air and aggressive insects.

The building is constructed predominately from concrete. Whilst the administration area of the building is air-conditioned the vehicle storage area relies on natural ventilation and the mass of the building structure to remain cool.

Completed by Grant Harris whilst at Ignite Architects.


Knoll Ridge Cat Shed

The original Knoll Ridge Cat Shed along with three snow groomers and an excavator were completely destroyed in the February 2009 arson attack, along with the original Knoll Ridge Chalet. The top terminal of the Waterfall Express Chair-lift was also partially damaged the same time in a separate fire. Unfortunately neither the Chalet or the Cat Shed could be reconstructed in time for the 2009 winter season and temporary facilities had to be constructed at the Knoll Ridge level.

With replacement snow groomers on order from North America, a replacement workshop & housing facility was quickly needed for the 2010 winter season.

RAL engaged Stanley Construction to provide a design / build service with HB Architecture providing the architectural services for the replacement of the Knoll Ridge Chalet and Cat Shed.

The new cat shed began construction on precast floor panels that were brought in over snow from the 2009 winter. LVL beams were then flown in and quickly erected the following summer to support the upper roof structure. Construction began with many of the components already prefabricated of site.

The cat shed was entirely assembled from a modular system of insulated sandwich panels. These were constructed from plywood and LVL before being delivered and stacked over the LVL frame by helicopter. The building was then finished with board and batten and profiled metal cladding.

Peninsula Golf Club

Golf Club Design for the Peninsula Golf Club in Wainui

The Clubhouse is positioned and planned to provide members and the course “starter” with connection to the first tee plus have a commanding outlook over the majority of the course.

Within the club membership there was also a desire that there be a visual connection from the clubhouse to the distant seascape. With the club having been located in the Orewa/Red Beach area for decades and with many members coming from the area we have made every endeavor to make this connection by using the elevated location.

The new clubhouse will be a two-storey structure however the intent is for the building to generally appear as a single storey from reducing its apparent scale in the landscape.

Influenced by ‘Bridgehampton Golf Course – New York the members wanted a very modern building constructed in materials, which would endure with minimal maintenance.

Beyond the basic accommodation needs, the form of the building and placement of rooms needed to address aspects of wind, rain, sunlight and outlook, connections with key aspects of the golf course and potential for other activities not necessarily associated with playing golf – social activities like weddings, functions, meetings etc.

The lower floor is inserted into the landform, significantly “buried” under the first floor/main floor level with the ground rising to envelop much of the lower level. The floor is divided into three parts. The entrance lobby and passage connects the car park (north face) to the function area (south face), which consists of the member’s lounge, function room, pro shop and associated offices. This area opens to the wide veranda, which has extensive views of the golf course to the south, east and west. On this south face of the building there is an additional small café, which serves food and refreshments direct to the veranda area for the benefit of players on the course.

Building Form – the overall form of the building is broken into two parts in order to reduce the apparent bulk of the building. Each part has a mono pitched roof sloping to the south in order to maximise the opportunity to allow direct sunlight into the building during the winter and to minimise reflection of light from the roof. Large overhangs are also employed to cast shadow over the buildings walls, particularly in summer to reduce heat gain.


Northland Sports House

The new offices for Sport Northland are located over the existing table tennis clubrooms at the northern end of the Kensington Sport Centre.

The new building straddles the existing structure below – the legs of the portal frame are located outside the walls of the existing building with a single row of “props” through the centre of the existing ground floor space.

The intension with this was to minimize the impact to the existing building. The new building has created a new roof to the existing building, which was in significant need of repair.

The north face of the building is extensively glazed with horizontal louvers over. This allows for excellent natural light and retains the visual connection to the north. The conventional opening windows provide the opportunity for a naturally ventilated office space.

Conventional construction methods were employed on the east and west sides of the building; these are both profiled sheet cladding with conventional window systems. The opening windows allow for natural cross ventilation and are shaded by high level sun louvers to minimize the effect of high level direct sun.

Knoll Ridge Cafe – Mt. Ruapehu

Knoll Ridge Café is located at Whakapapa Ski Field on Mt. Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park. Situated on the side of a mountain the commercial ski field is also sited on what is New Zealand’s largest active volcano.

The café replaces the original Knoll Ridge Chalet which was destroyed by a fire in February 2009. As a result an ambitious design and build programme was initiated to replace the chalet with a temporary prefabricated facility for the 2009 winter season. Once the debris of the original chalet were removed, a 220sqm temporary cafe was erected on the remaining floor slab. This tested the methodology which was later adopted for the construction of the café.

Rapidly changing weather is typical of the conditions encountered on New Zealand mountains, with Mt. Ruapehu no exception. Designing a building for such a severe environment provided its own set of unique challenges. Limited road access to site and stringent requirements meant extensive planning and logistics were required just to get materials to site. Prefabricated concrete floor panels had to be rapidly constructed and delivered before the snow melted, these were then hauled over snow 700m up to site before construction began the following summer.

A major consideration in the design of the building was the issue of the remote location. The entire building, from foundation beams/floor panels to roof sections and windows was broken down into a modular panelised system, which allowed for delivery, placement and erection by helicopter on site. Insulated sandwich panels constructed of plywood and LVL form a large extent of the walls and roof of the café. These like most of the buildings components had to be designed with careful consideration not exceed the helicopters 800kg max load limit.

A 100% thermally broken purpose built glass curtain wall was designed for what is possibly one the most challenging environments to build in. The glass and framing system had to withstand wind speeds of up to 200km/ph and temperatures well below freezing. Twenty-five tons of glass was used in the 415m2 of glass façade which was all predetermined and ordered from calculations without a site measure. All the glass units were fitted with 3 equalizing tubes to facilitate onsite argon gas filling, equalizing tubes were also used as a precaution for rapid altitude acceleration during flight.

In the summer season the eastern face of the building can be seen set above the volcanic rock formations located on the edge of the drop off to the Te Heuheu Valley. The north face looks back down the mountain whilst to the west is the chair lift and ski area.

The form of the building reflects the strong geological features of the mountain. The “gull wing” roof was to appear to “cradle” the mountains peak. On a practical level is used to manage the snow. The building is designed to cover with up 3.0m of snow.

Timber has been used extensively inside and out to create the warm “feeling” of the “traditional” mountain chalet without adopting the traditional form. The glass exterior (particularly to the east wall) is the other feature of the building – allowing full exposure to the magnificence view to the Pinnacle Ridge.

The new café is located approximately 50m down the mountain from the original chalet site, with the main café floor at approximately 2010m ASL. The new building accommodates café seating for approx 400 people with servery, kitchen and support facilities all on one level. At this same level, a deck area for approximately 200 people is provided. The main public toilet area, staff facilities and storage are on the level below with separate access from the outside as well connection to the café via an internal stair.

Northland Port Corporation

For many years Northland Port Corporation (NPC) located their offices in Whangarei within leased accommodation. The process of relocating to land associated with the Port of Whangarei at Ruakaka began in May 2012.

The brief – provide a single level, 200sqm air-conditioned office space to cater for the current staff, with an additional 200sqm of office space either as a separate tenancy or for NPC expansion.

The new offices are located on an unutilised rail corridor, parallel to the main port road. This location within the 4.9 ha site was selected due to its prominent position to passing traffic, both servicing the port as well as to the Marsden Cove precinct.

Situating the offices within a designated railway corridor meant the building needed to be capable of relocation if required. The solution – two 20m x 10m relocatable “office pods”, connected to a central entrance and services unit, which would be “sacrificed” should the building be relocated. Each pod is highly insulated and fully glazed with high performance IGU’s in a seismic frame with the north, east and west faces being extensively shaded. This allows for excellent natural light and efficient air conditioning while providing an open connection with the surroundings environment that the client demanded.

The southern façade is also extensively glazed with the same units. On the south, east and west the glazing extends beyond the mono pitched roof creating a simple glass box that acts as a “beacon” to the sparsely populated area at night.

It is hoped that this building would be catalyst for future development of the area.

Waitangi Museum and Education Centre

The Treaty Grounds at Waitangi have an array of buildings, with four of the more notable buildings being – the Treaty House, a “colonial cottage” established in 1833, Te Whare Runanga (officially opened in 1940), the Whare Waka (opened in 1976) and the Waitangi Visitor Centre, by Architect John Scott – opened in 1983.

Paramount to Scotts thinking was the idea of the building relating to the surrounding landscape – the building becoming a part of the landscape. It is these ideas that have been developed and form the basis for the new building.

The new Museum and Education Centre is located on a previously modified piece of land bounded by Tau Henare Drive to the west, staff parking to the north, access road and Visitor parking to the south and the existing Reception Building to the east.

The building provides 664sqm of museum display, 108sqm of storage + the upstairs gallery and learning centre take up a combined 297sqm – all temperature and humidity controlled to the national museum standards.

The form of the new building is designed to replicate the slope of the existing typography. The long/low shape of the building has been cut into the landscape effectively reducing the buildings apparent height to a single storey.

The over-riding idea behind the design is to blend the building with the existing landscape. The solid precast concrete walls of the building will be treated with texture and colour to reflect an abstract of the shadow cast by the surrounding tree canopy.

”The new Museum of Waitangi is an addition to the country’s most historic precinct and complementary to others there. It’s not seeking to be the star: it’s at the service of the visitor’s experience of our country beginnings; its a long awaited treasure box for the return of some of the North’s most precious taonga and will tell it’s stories in a new way for a new generation.”
– Bill Mckay. “ Read full article