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Timber Design Awards

The Rock

The 2010 redevelopment of the Wellington International Airport Passenger Terminal was designed to create a memorable visitor experience through an edgy aesthetic with a strong sense of place.

The building was conceived as a crusty, enigmatic land form, recalling the craggy, sea-battered Wellington coast.

Timber was fundamental to forming the complex organic geometry of the building, with timber framing and timber ply used to construct an irregular serrated profile over the steel portal frames, forming the geological ‘strata’ of the Rock’s external skin.

On the interior, timber was essential to the creation of a unique and engaging space. Timber veneer panelling absorbs the building’s complex geometry, creating a faceted, gently undulating ceiling that softens but retains the organic qualities of the exterior. The selection of New Zealand macrocarpa creates a rich honey-toned interior that is warm and welcoming, contrasting with dark-painted negative ply panels to add drama to the space.