Project Description

Ngati Hine Health Trust Centre, Kawakawa

The design of the health centre, explores traditional Māori themes of creation, rongo?, and whenua. We have interpreted these themes to produce a modern architecture, rich in the culture of its place.

‘Creation’ is symbolised by the void at the heart of the building, filled with a single tree representing Tane – separating Ranginui, the sky above, from Papa, earth mother, below. Green walls surround this space representing Tane’s offspring, filled with traditional rongoa medicinal plants.

Outside the building appears as an island, growing out of the earth, just as in Māori tradition where all life is seen as being born from the womb of Papatūānuku from under the sea.

Everywhere, passive environmental design is Integrated into these symbolic features. The earth bank and pool cool the building naturally, the glazing provides natural light and heat, whilst the pool is a reservoir for irrigation.

Facts + Figures

Client: Ngati Hine Health Trust Centre
Location: Kawakawa Northland, New Zealand

Construction cost: NZD 5 million
Area: 1000m²
Programme: Completed 2013

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