This concept design for a charitable trust called for a master plan for the site with associated communal buildings and ‘hut’ style accommodation The overall aim of the camp ‘is to provide children and adults with an outdoor learning experience that will inspire them to love, care for and respect the environment, with specific emphasis on the importance of kiwi’.
For practical reasons as well as poetic the buildings needed to touch the ground lightly, this allowed piling to overcome ground conditions but also allowed decked platforms for circulation and habitation while letting Kiwi and other wildlife to pass unimpeded across the site. The buildings respond to the notion of ‘camping’. The communal building consists of a large gabled roof form providing shelter to a series of ‘pods’, each with a different function: education, dinning, cooking, storage and ablutions. The pods are able to be closed down or opened up as required . The hut style accommodation needed to be easily configured into different groupings with shared covered outdoor space to suit different guest groups and different locations on the site.
Build-ability and prefabrication are key drivers of the concept. The traditional Maori construction technique of Tahuhu (ridge beam) supported on Poutokomanawa (posts) with Heke (rafters) was adopted as both an appropriate and practical way of building on this site. A module of 1200 mm was used across all of the buildings to maximise material efficiency and ease of staging, but also as a way of providing proportion and (human) scale. Environmental responsiveness in terms of heating, natural ventilation and material choice were prime concerns. The project is currently in the preliminary stages.