HE TOHU DOCUMENT ROOM
Wellington, New Zealand
CREDITS: Architects – Studio Pacific, Architect Cultural Consultant: Cliff Whiting, Interactive Designers: Click Suite, Structural Engineers: Dunning Thornton, Services Engineers: eCubed
The robust functionality and decorative beauty of natural timber has been given a high profile in what is now the custodian of the most important documents in New Zealand history.
In presenting this project the architects – Studio Pacific Architects comment –
“This new exhibition at the National Library in Wellington houses New Zealand’s three most important constitutional documents: 1835 He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tireni (Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand), 1840 Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) and 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition (Te Petihana Whakamana Pōti Wahine).
Opened in May 2017, the exhibition aims to improve access to the documents for all New Zealanders, ensure they are preserved for future generations and improve opportunities for sharing information about the documents’ constitutional and cultural significance.
Studio Pacific worked on this project with an extended creative team including cultural consultant Cliff Whiting, exhibition designers Story Inc, interactive designers Click Suite, structural engineers Dunning Thornton and services engineers eCubed”
The stunning timber “cave” that provides the solid protective shell for these valuable treasures has been formed using selected rimu timber that was carefully extracted from windfall trees in the West Coast preserving their environmental impact. TimberLab manufactured the timber into laminated panels that were carefully crafted into individually profiled slabs. Each has been perfectly shaped to fit together producing the free flowing, sculptural form of this unique display.
As a striking example of innovative design by one of new Zealand’s leading architects, this structure is also evidence of the world class capability of NZ timber manufacturers and processors using the latest in CNC technology. This impressive structure is the result of the skills that were provided by the participating collaboration of Fletcher Building + Interiors, TimberLab Solutions and Greenmount Espies.