Working in collaboration, architect Lindsay Mackie of Archimedia and artists Bernard Makoare, Martin Leung- Wai and Petelo Esekielu, developed a concept for the Te Oro facility that envisioned the building being as a grove of trees under which communities gathered and sheltered to commune, share knowledge and be culturally and creatively productive. From this came Te Oro’s signature roof form, a floating geometrised ‘leaf canopy’ atop a series of ‘timber trunks’. Historically the grove of trees or ‘uru’ is a response to the remnant karaka uru on nearby Taurere - Mt Taylor, and an important part of local story telling for mana whenua iwi.
Here Martin and Petelo introduced the aesthetic of Polynesian fibre binding patterns, as a metaphor for the unity and cross-disciplinary creativity at the heart of Te Oro. This concept gave shape to the geometric skylight designs that feature overhead in these two void spaces in Te Oro.
Each portal frame is made up of 3 layers of segmented shapes cut out of LVL. Each piece had to overlap the adjacent section so they all interlocked and formed one continuous structural frame. The 1485m2 building has a strong environmental agenda, with the roof surface covered in 256 PV panels, which make Te Oro “Net Zero Energy”.
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