Waitangi – Waharoa

Completed 2016

HB Architecture has been working with the Waitangi National Trust for over several years; providing solutions and resolving issues for one of the most significant historic landscapes in New Zealand. The first stage in our collaboration was to provide a waharoa or welcome “gateway” building. Finishes are kept deliberately simple to emphasise the significance of the ground’s history ahead; structural steel frame with natural finished timber inserts, tiles and carpet to the concrete floor, glass walls and the ceiling in plywood panels.

The “gateway” design refers to the traditional form of Te Whare Runanga and the form of the original Visitor Centre by Architect John Scott; a large gable roof covering a front porch area with an open plan internal space. The slated form (suspended under to main roof) is a significant feature of the building as it emphasises the direction that the visitor will travel and establishes the connection to “the place” and thus, the journey the visitor takes through the surrounding bush towards the Treaty Grounds.

HB Architecture has been working with the Waitangi National Trust for several years, providing solutions and resolve issues for what is arguably the most significant historic landscape in New Zealand. 

The first stage has been to provide a welcome “gateway” building.

The “Gateway” makes references to the traditional form of Te Whare Runanga – a large gable roof covering a front porch area with an open plan internal space, which in this case leads to the path, which takes the visitor towards the Treaty Grounds. The form of the building is also respectful of the original Visitor Centre designed by architect John Scott.

A significant feature of the building is the slated “whare” form with is suspended under to main roof – this modelling of the space emphasises the direction that the visitor will travel and makes a strong connection with the surrounding bush – establishing connection with “the place”.

Finishes have been kept deliberately simple – structural steel frame with natural finished timber inserts, tiles and carpet to the concrete floor, walls are substantially glass with the ceiling in plywood panels.