Ata Rangi Entrance Simon Devitt 01

Ata Rangi Tasting Room


Gordon Yung / Makers Of Architecture

3. Commercial & public building design award

Photographed by: 
Simon Devitt

It’s important to Ata Rangi that their Tasting Room promotes and champions their values, to those who experience it; timber has been the significant, visual, experiential, and structural vehicle for it in this project.

Inspired by its surrounding natural & built environment, the Tasting Room’s striking dart shaped roof form rises up, supported by rhythmic timber posts and detailing - referencing the repetitive vines, significant tree trunks and light filtering canopies that share the site.

Sustainability sits at the heart of this building; a significant portion of the Lawson Cypress timber showcased throughout the building was harvested from an Ata Rangi shelterbelt and used throughout for the; interior flooring, exterior decking & interior joinery. This was complemented by a selection of other sustainably harvested NZ timbers; Macrocarpa for the posts from Ruapehu Sawmill, and Abodo’s Tundra (Douglas Fir) cladding weatherboard cladding. It was imperative to use healthy, non-treated, locally sourced sustainable solid timbers throughout.

Hosting two tastings per day, with up to 20 guests per session meant surfaces needed to be resilient to interaction & use over time. The interior consisting mainly of solid Lawson Cypress timber, means that the material will slowly patina and age, adding to the building’s character, ambience & brand narrative over time.

The building was digitally designed and modelled in 3D, allowing the complex form to be realised, manufactured and assembled with accuracy, to achieve the complex intersecting geometries with deceptive simplicity!

While modern and simplistic in form, the Tasting Room draws inspiration from the surrounding elemental and humble vernacular. This was achieved through observing local agricultural & small industrial buildings, notably low maintenance corrugate clad forms & historic colonial-esque rusticated weatherboard cottage buildings - with gable roof forms, sarked interiors, veranda shelter over decks with colonnaded posts - all of which instil a sense of belonging & familiarity.

These elements are seen in the Tasting Room, alongside an open boot-room like entrance space, that welcomes, protects and resonates with the farming based lifestyle - experienced throughout the region for generations.

Locally sourced timber sarking, floors, joinery, exposed structural posts and cladding all speak to the cultural values and historic references displayed in this project, while continuing the narrative for future generations to come.

Ata Rangi see themselves as custodians of the land, this means the project needed to be long lasting, regeneratively sourced, but also could return to the earth without harm.

Trees are incredibly important to Clive, Ata Rangi’s co-founder. He actively grows many species for various uses & purposes around the site. This project presented the opportunity for Clive’s Lawson Cypress stand to be felled, dried and milled locally in Carterton, for use within the new tasting room.

The timber selected are NZ or locally sourced, with a focus on renewable naturally resilient timbers (e.g. not requiring impregnated treatment to meet durability criteria).

Sustainability underpins Ata Rangi’s and Makers ethics and methods of operation. The Tasting Room presented an opportunity for these values and ethics to be exercised and celebrated using timber.