The affectionately known ‘Tūhoe building’, Te Uru Taumatua, was officially opened last Saturday 8 March.
With a day of celebrations spanning from dawn ‘til dusk, guests were encouraged by Tūhoe to join them in celebrating the completion of the iwi’s iconic new headquarters. A pivotal occasion for the tribe, the opening rejoiced a three year collaboration between Jasmax lead architect and co-founder Ivan Mercep, the design team, and construction partners Arrow International, to deliver one of New Zealand’s most advanced sustainable buildings.
A celebration of the combined efforts of the iwi, local communities and the design team in delivering this project, the opening day provided a chance for guests to explore the building and enjoy an afternoon of food and dance.
Brendan Himona, Tūhoe , Jasmax Architectural Graduate, attended the Opening, he commented “It was a great privilege to see the building complete with so many people there to celebrate it. The design and build of Te Wharehou was a challenging process but through Ivan’s visions we were able to create a place that truly expresses the values of Tūhoe; I only wish he was there to share in the occasion. [Unfortunately, Ivan was prevented from attending through illness.]”
Te Uru Taumatua has been built to comply with the International Living Building Institute’s ‘Living Building’ stringent criteria. A restorative building, the headquarters will not only reduce its impact on its local surroundings, it will actually give back. Requiring a building that is triple net zero (water, waste and energy), and whose built elements adhere to strict toxicity parameters, the Living Building Challenge is formidable. The building must evidence its compliance with the Challenge’s requirements before it can apply for Certification; the next step towards the project’s completion.