Te Ara Hihiko, the new College of Creative Arts building on Massey’s Wellington campus, has been named the winner of the engineering excellence award at the Timber Design Awards 2012.
The awards recognise the best in craftmanship and timber design. This year’s event in Auckland attracted 93 entries across nine categories, the largest response in the 30 years the awards have been held.
Te Ara Hihiko was designed by Athfield Architects and engineered by Dunning Thornton Consultants. It was also nominated for the commercial architectural excellence award but received the ultimate accolade for its use of engineered timber. Its construction was project managed by Arrow International.
The building is the first in the world to use a post-tensioned timber seismic frame, which flexes like a push-puppet toy during earthquakes.
This concept was explained as part of the winning citation by showing a video produced by students from the College’s Wellington School of Design. It features ‘CoCABot’, a jaunty push-puppet held together by wires that stretch then spring into shape like the building