TWRK Hamilton Airport 2

Taunga Waka Rererangi o Kirikiriroa


Penny Mills / Archimedia Waikato Architects (awa)

5. Interior design award

Photographed by: 
Simon Wilson

Project overview


How were the specific timbers chosen for this project and why?

The main ceiling is clad in light-stained perforated plywood sheets, installed on a rondo concealed grid system. The sheet application system was chosen for ease of construction and cost. The three sizes of perforation, in conjunction with dark inlay pieces, were an effective way of conveying the Cultural Narrative, while improving the acoustic performance of the space. 
Feature walls and the low ceiling at the Departure Gates Lounge are clad with JSC Western Hemlock timber battens on a bracket system. The wall timber battens allude to the verticality of trees. The bracket system provides ease of construction.

How were the aesthetics influenced by the use of timber?

Airports are filled with emotion.

Timber was chosen as the principal feature material for the interior because of its inherent calming qualities. It evokes a sense of warmth, comfort, and the natural world, in keeping with the project’s Cultural Narrative.

A mix of timber and timber systems are used in different locations to create texture and interest; timber encloses and protects the departure lounge, vertical timber battens celebrate the linearity of the check-in space, and the main timber ceiling provides cohesion. A light stain colour was specified for the main ceiling, providing a calming, brightening, and uplifting surface. The timber battens have a dark stain to provide warmth, protection, shelter, comfort and richness.

The angled perforated timber ceiling absorbs sound and light, softening the space, easing anxiety.

How was the timber selected for expression of cultural and historic values as appropriate for the application?

The Cultural Narrative was developed with a Cultural Advisor.

The key design ideas of the Cultural Narrative included ideas of Waharoa, Manaakitanga and Kotahitanga: gateway, to be a good host and unity. A place for all. A place to stop, pause and transition between earth and sky.

The Ground Floor responds to Papatuanuku (Earth Mother) the Mezzanine to Ranginui (Sky Father).

The plywood ceiling creates a sense of simplicity and cohesion to the interior, a cloak of unity. The perforations improve the acoustic performance and add grain and texture. Three perforation sizes are used to create textural change on the ceiling and an inset laminate creates the black lines in the recesses, responding to the rhythm of the structure. A simple, repetitive pattern is used to create a sense of cohesion and waharoa.

The ceiling symbolises the crossing of paths, people coming together, shared humanity, while the holes in the plywood represent the homes of pekapeka, the local endangered bat, as a connection with nature, it is emblematic of the past, present and the future.

Darker timber battens are used on the walls and low ceiling - the forest of before. 
Acknowledge the past, be in the present and look to the future.