Wellington buildings lauded at timber awards

Last updated 09:19 10/10/2012
College of Creative Arts

Massey University Wellington's new College of Creative Arts won the Engineering Excellence Award at the Timber Design Awards last night.

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Two Wellington buildings received top marks in the 2012 New Zealand Timber Design Awards in Auckland last night.

This year attracted 93 entries across the nine categories, the largest response in the 30 years the awards have been held.

Judge Pip Cheshire said the Canterbury earthquake could be partly to blame for the increase in entries, because it seemed to have triggered more thinking about timber as a flexible building material.

Science was a growing influence in timber design and construction, as was the sustainability.

"What we are seeing is traditional ground where a skill saw and a hammer still prevail but science is a growing influence.

"There is also a confluence of circumstances which have conspired to turn our attention towards timber. It might even have started with the leaky building issue."

Massey University's new College of Creative Arts was judged winner of the Engineering Excellence Award, singled out for its ability to "rock" during an earthquake.

Its structural system includes several world-leading technologies, including the world's first multi-storey post-tensioned timber frame.

The building is designed as a series of pre-fabricated components that allow the interfaces between connections to rock open and closed during an earthquake, before springing back into their original position.

Post tensioned precast concrete walls provide further earthquake resistance, behaving in a similar rocking fashion and allowing the building to sway.

Scots College's new, "tubular" Hodge Sports Centre was also successful, highly commended for its commercial architectural excellence.

Designed by Athfield Architects, laminated veneer lumber portals frame a spacious interior covered by polycarbonate cladding.

The curves of the portals create small spaces between the portal legs for seating and storage while a pod at the southern end of the building houses changing rooms, offices and a mezzanine training and viewing area.

The northern end of the building opens up to the sports fields beyond, to enable interior and exterior classroom activities.

THE WINNERS

Residential Architectural Excellence
Under Pohutukawa

Commercial Architectural Excellence
Auckland Art Gallery

Engineering Excellence
Massey University College of Creative Arts

Exterior Innovation
Hut on Sleds

Interior Innovation
Wood Family House

Timber Innovation in Business
TUMU ITM Building Centre Napier

Indigenous Timber
Auckland Art Gallery

Canterbury Rebuild Innovation
Hollow Timber Rounds

Sustainability Award
Hauraki Rail Trail Bridges

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- The Dominion Post

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