Iconic representation in three peaks

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New Zealand Crown research institute Scion’s new three-storey building in Rotorua has been gifted the name Te Whare Nui o Tuteata.

New Zealand Crown research institute Scion’s new three-storey building in Rotorua has been gifted the name Te Whare Nui o Tuteata from mana whenua in a recent naming and blessing ceremony.

The building name acknowledges Tuteata, the tupuna or ancestor of Ngati Hurungaterangi, Ngati Taeotu and Ngati Te Kahu.

Scion specialises in research, science and technology development for the forest, wood and wood-derived materials and other biomaterial sectors.

The hapu have also been integrated into the design of the building, with the triple peaks over the entranceway representing the three hapu.

“The gifting of our tupuna name signifies the beginning of a special relationship which is mutually beneficial to the hapu, and to Scion,” hapu representative Veronica Butterworth says.

Te Whare Nui o Tuteata showcases the latest in engineered timber products and manufacturing techniques within its bold and innovative structural form. It uses products that are designed for the local climate and that meet preferences for sustainability and environmental performance.

The three-level building comprises an exhibition area, public cafe, main reception, meeting rooms and workspaces. It also links to laboratories and testing facilities.

TimberLab was involved early in the design phase of this iconic project under an Early Contractor Involvement agreement to assist the design team with design principles. The agreement also allowed TimberLab to commit to production, and allocate appropriate manufacture space.

TimberLab’s draughting team completed an accurate 3D model of more than 5000 parts that made up the LVL diagrid, LVL floor and roof framing, Glulam entry beams and custom metalwork connections.

The LVL diagrid alone required the rapid CNC processing of 4248 parts of LVL to enable the lamination of the 88 finished diamond and triangle-shaped frames.

TimberLab’s expertise in CAM + CNC processing, backed with modern manufacturing equipment, allowed them to use multiple CNC machines in tandem to complete this process with consistency and speed.