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Tradition And Modernity At New Te Anau Airport

Sorted Architecture Combines Tradition And Modernity At New Te Anau Airport At Manapouri

Wanaka-based award-winning architectural practice Sorted Architecture has completed work on the $7 million revamp of the Te Anau Airport at Manapouri, which will be inaugurated on 19th April 2008. Covering 380sqm, the new airport building has been designed to enhance passengers’ travel experience by capturing the essence of Southland. This was achieved by incorporating local materials and elements of the region’s heritage and landscapes such as bridges into the creation of versatile spaces for the airport.

Steve Humpherson, Project Director, Sorted Architecture said: “One key request from Southland District Council was to allocate an area within the airport to host historical displays from the Lakes District Museum. We were inspired to take this cue further, so the region’s heritage became a cornerstone of our concept for the Te Anau Airport at Manapouri.“

“Throughout the building, the use of materials favoured in the Southland district such as Southland beech, macrocarpa, local schist stone and corrugated steel helps foster a sense of tradition and authenticity. The terminal building’s rugged sheddy aesthetics ensure it blends into its surroundings.”

“At the main entrance and when accessing the tarmac, visitors are greeted by kingpost truss bridges constructed from recycled hardwood. These span across purpose dug sunken gardens, which underpin the building and give the impression it is floating above the planting. The sunny viewing deck and tarmac are thus separated by a natural barrier.”

Commissioned to act as the main gateway to Fiordland and Southland, the upgraded Te Anau Airport at Manapouri now has the capacity to host three operators, with expected footfall of up to sixty passengers at a time. Southland beech slatted ceiling panels with sound absorbent fabric backing were installed to help control noise levels during times of high occupancy.

In addition to a display area, a baggage check-in space and three separate booking zones, the terminal building features a lounge area to seat fourty-five people, a commercial kitchen, an administrative office and restroom facilities.

At the heart of the transit lounge, a schist stone gas open fire contributes to driving the flow of passengers from the main entrance into the building.

Sorted Architecture worked closely with airport engineers to optimize the orientation of the building, so that sun exposure was maximised upon, whilst potential nuisances associated with aircraft activity could be avoided.

Attention was also given to making the Te Anau Airport at Manapouri as energy efficient and environmental-friendly as possible.

Steve Humpherson adds: “We focused on maximising solar gain and installed high level opening windows. These allow for natural ventilation, with the benefits of reduced running costs. We also had corrugated steel clad tanks installed to collect roof rainwater, which will be used for irrigation.”

Created as a collection of inter-linked autonomous spaces, the Te Anau Airport at Manapouri is a flexible structure designed with future expansion in mind.

Steve Humpherson concludes: “We have created a building which offers all the functionality of a modern airport, whilst embracing the unique personality and charm of Southland. The building’s roof line itself was broken into distinct levels mirroring the internal space partitions, to avoid the feeling of a chunky structure. We are confident the new airport will stand the test of time and hope passengers will enjoy using it today and tomorrow.”


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