Motu Kaikoura - A collaboration

SGA, Motu Kaikoura

The new Motu Kaikoura lodge is an exciting, innovative and collaborative community project lead by SGA. Components were prefabricated in their Kingsland workshop as part of an educational programme to teach practical building skills to a team of Architecture + Women NZ members and transported by land sea and sky for assembly on the remote island location.

Motu Kaikoura is a protected scenic reserve north-west of Great Barrier Island, managed by the Motu Kaikoura Community Trust. The lodge area is located on the southern side and accommodates research workers, education initiatives, volunteers and public visitors to the unique island. In 2013 the communal building was destroyed by arson. SGA was approached due to their experience in prefabrication and the remote location demanded it.

The facility, which houses a kitchen, dining and indoor/outdoor living is conceived of flexible spaces with a strong connection to the environment through framed apertures and plentiful natural light. The directional breezeway draws you in towards the hypnotic view with decks either side to be utilised depending on weather conditions. In response to the existing buildings, services and various directions of approach, the new saw-tooth form reaches up to grab the north sun and imitate the natural bush form. Materials are robust, the pre-finished exterior blends into the surrounding bush, contrasted by the warmth of the timber interior.

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Due to a major shortfall in funding SGA conceived a creative solution to get the project off the ground. A partnership was formed with Architecture+Women NZ to deliver the building contract as an educational programme in which 16 architects and graduates would gain invaluable hands-on experience. Due to this unique collaboration, the project was also supported by many industry partners who generously donated/discounted building supplies.

The construction system was devised with transport limitations of land, sea and sky in mind, as well as buildability for the apprentice team and the Trust’s environmental policy. The panelised building components were constructed in the SGA Workshops in Kingsland and then flat-packed and heli-lifted on to the foundations from a barge in the passage below. The method of construction and story of assembly are proudly expressed in the detailing and finishing.

Watch these time-lapse videos of the assembly on the island here
And this one showing the construction in the SGA workshop here

Read more at these websites too. SGA / ArchitectureNow / Architecture Women

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