Wellington-based architectural practice Studio Pacific Architecture has won a coveted New Zealand Architecture Award for sustainability, for the new Aviation Display Hall at Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Guided from the outset by sustainable principles, Studio Pacific's innovative and integrated design was the only recipient of a NZIA sustainability award this year, placing it at the forefront of New Zealand sustainable design. Having previously designed New Zealand's first Green Star rated office building, the Meridian Building, Studio Pacific has been working on the Aviation Display Hall for the past 8 years.
The Aviation Display Hall was designed to showcase MOTAT's significant collection of historic aircraft, some of which are the only remaining examples of their kind in the world. The building's sustainable ethos is integrated into its very structure through the innovative use of laminated veneer lumber (LVL), a New Zealand timber product, to form the massive portal frames that accommodate the large wingspans of the aircraft. At over 3000m2, with an internal width of 42m, it has the greatest clear span of any LVL structure in the country.
The judges' citation noted, "an admirable economy of structure...has allowed for the generous provision of naturally ventilated space. The specification of locally produced LVL resulted from a comprehensive life-cycle building analysis, including empirical research into relative carbon balance and the embodied energy of various structural options. This rigour is consistent with the Architect's thorough-going sustainable approach to a project on a site requiring and receiving careful environmental monitoring."
The building also incorporates an impressive range of sustainable systems. These include a sophisticated natural ventilation system, ensuring that almost no mechanical assistance is required, and a rainwater harvesting system employed to service toilet facilities. Situated on a former landfill, the Aviation Display Hall effectively makes use of recycled land.
Studio Pacific director Evzen Novak says, "this award recognises many years of commitment to sustainable building research and design, and the Aviation Display Hall represents the leading edge of our work in this field. We are delighted that it has received such a highly regarded award from the NZIA."
MOTAT board member Ross Sharp says, "MOTAT is extremely proud of our new Avation Display Hall. With innovative use of New Zealand timber, MOTAT was able to fulfill its goal of sustainability and architectural excellence while providing a magnificent facility to house our aviation collection."
Formed in 1992 by its three directors, Evzen Novak, Nick Barratt-Boyes and Stephen McDougall, Studio Pacific has a long-standing interest in environmentally sustainable architecture. Informed by ongoing in-house research, the Studio incorporates a strong and detailed set of sustainability principles into the wide range of projects it undertakes, from urban design to commercial and residential architecture, to heritage architecture, education and interiors.