TE KURA WHARE TUHOE
CREDITS: Architects: Jasmax / Contractors: Arrow International
Certified as New Zealand’s first ‘Living Building;’ the 15th certified Living Building in the world.
The Living Building Challenge is the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings – a green building certification program and sustainable design framework that visualizes the ideal for the built environment. The stringent and challenging green building guidelines of the ‘Challenge’ demanded net-zero energy and water, as well as zero waste and toxicity from completed projects. As a result, instead of doing ‘less harm’ these buildings actively address their impacts of energy and land use, and restoratively give back to society and the environment.
TimberLab’s FSC certified Glulam products form the main structural system of this innovative and award winning seismic resistant engineered timber structure. It was vital to stabilise the building due to its proximity to a fault-line; the building will operate as Tūhoe’s Civil Defense centre in the event of a natural disaster.
The dominating, strong timber arch references the cultural significance of Tūhoetanga o te ra; the moment the sun reaches its zenith.
First and foremost, Te Kura Whare belongs to the people of Tūhoe. It is a symbol of their story, a representation of their origin as an iwi; their past, their present and their future. The building provides a central point of connection for Tūhoe, located within their turangawaewae.
Local materials and labour were used wherever possible, creating jobs for the local community and up-skilling people in the area. This included 150 local volunteers who made over 5000 earth-bricks to help insulate the building. The 760 materials utilised on the project were nontoxic, chemical-free and locally sourced where possible.