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Kauaeranga Visitor Centre

The architects have provided and innovative, sensitive building, fit for purpose, that pushes beyond its tight constraints. The interior detailing and the entrance makes reference to the region's kauri dam.

The building design features a replica kauri dam as a façade and entrance feature, in keeping with the history of the Valley, which was once filled with magnificent kauri trees. From the 1870s to the 1920s, this area was extensively logged for its kauri. At first the easier slopes near Thames were logged and the kauri milled locally. During the 1890s the kauri timber industry slumped and many local mills closed down. Around 1910 the industry revived and plans were made to extract the remaining stands of timber in the rugged area above the Kauaeranga Gorge – the area now traversed by the Kauaeranga Kauri Trail. The original building was established as the Coromandel Forest Park Headquarters, serving as a management centre and public information centre. An audio-visual room was added to the complex in 1987, when DOC took over administration of the Park from the NZ Forest Service.

2008 Timber Design Awards: winner, Commercial Architectural Excellence
2008 Timber Design Awards: winner, People’s Choice Awards
Bay of Plenty/Waikato Region Architecture Award 2008, Public Architecture