Innovative materials

The helioflek, atrium funnel and bubble-like Aqua meeting pods and tables are all constructed off-site using advanced fibreglass and carbon fibre boat-building technology to create the complex curves required to fulfil the brief for glossy, reflective forms. Using innovative manufacturing technology has resulted in hardy finishes more able to resist weathering than alternatives.

All window joinery and the fins and leaves of the sun-shading system are finished in anodised aluminium to provide not just a metallic finish, but to better resist the corrosive effects of the buildings coastal location. Specifying powder-coating would likely have resulted in premature degradation and discolouration to these key features. The aluminium has the added benefit of being able to be folded, laser cut and curved.

Cost effective, locally grown plywood, both painted and clear finished has been used through-out the interior of the building. Along with timber flooring to bridges and walkways, it brings natural warmth and texture to stairways and accommodates curved details where landing balustrades turn. This robust material provides a hard-wearing internal finish with potential for expressive form. For example, to provide The Deck café with a sense of containment and enclosure, a perimeter screen of painted plywood ribs surrounds the space. This became known as ‘the seaweed' for its undulating forms.

 

Quality of finishes...

ASB North Wharf exhibits a high level of finish, and whilst not all materials specified were necessarily prestigious or inherently expensive, the ABW concept of ‘transparency' rigorously exposes all structure, construction joints and detailing to view. This required scrutiny from designers, contractors and engineers alike. File-sharing of three-dimensional BIM modelling in Revit provided a resolved quality to the building overall, ensuring all elements and material junctions, no matter how humble or prosaic, are well-considered. Engineering details needed to focus on the high quality of finish and truthful appearance of structural details as much as their effectiveness or performance. 550 structural drawings alone were produced to describe every aspect of the building's construction.

Extensive BIM modelling and sub-contractor co-ordination resolved the physical manufacture of the standing seam roof. This item alone required specific three-dimensional design of each individual roof tray to create the splayed skirt-like form capping the eastern side of the building. The simplicity of the design appears effortless and is anything but.

4,000 leaves of anodised aluminium, perforated to resemble pohutukawa leaves, adorn the north elevation of the building's west wing. Multiple shading configurations were modelled in Excel software and Revit to inform the architectural design and meet the matrix of rules for percentage of allowable shading provided by the services engineer. An identical process was undertaken to create the 3-D design for the east wing's rotated ‘blade' screen design.

BIM modelling also provided accurate three-dimensional service layouts that resulted in an exposed ceiling zone with the elegant, diagrammatic logic of a colour-coded circuit board.