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Amalgamated Builders take two titles at NZ building awards

Media Release from Amalgamated Builders
May 19 2014

Amalgamated Builders take out two titles at annual New Zealand commercial building awards

Leading South Island construction company Amalgamated Builders (ABL) is celebrating having taken out two titles at the second annual New Zealand Commercial Building Awards this weekend.

Announced at a gala dinner in Auckland, the awards were both for the company’s outstanding work on the $2 million new SculptIllusion Gallery at the world-famous Puzzling World attraction in Wanaka.

ABL was Gold Award winner in the PlaceMakers Tourism and Leisure Project category, and also took out gold in the Under $2million category.

The 530sq m illusionary sculpture room, complete with moving, living walls, floating objects and 3D illusions, is the company’s fifth and largest Illusion Room and was built over eight-and-a-half months by ABL.

The attraction features a number of larger-than-life commissioned sculptures utilizing visual trickery at its best, including a turned-on tap that seems to float in the air, benches that appear to have no stands, a cascading ceiling, columns that become people, a vertical garden and a unique collection of sculptures from local and national artists.
Amalgamated Builders quantity surveyor for the project, Brett Squire, said he and the team were “incredibly proud” to win category awards for the second year running.

“This personally ranks as one of my favourite projects in my eight years with the company,” said Mr Squire.

“Any building poses challenges but because of the Central Otago climate it required careful consideration throughout the planning and build process.

“Aside from a very cold construction site, the ground froze which affected the logic of the build and the way we continued. So it’s great to now see the completed build and know we had a hand in building it.

“This award means an awful lot to us, Heidi Landsborough and Duncan Spear from Puzzling World and of course Barry Condon of Sarah Scott Architects.

“We’re incredibly proud of what we achieved and the awards are testimony to how excellent on-site communication with the owners, builders and architects, coupled with great vision and design, can achieve outstanding buildings.

“We all shared in the client’s strong desire for this quite unique project to be a success.”

He said any issues were overcome by keeping an open and collaborative approach between Mr Condon and Puzzling World, something echoed by Mr Condon.

“A spirit of co-operation prevailed throughout this challenging project,” he said.

“We had much positive contribution from the contractors regarding illusion items outside of the scope of their contract and often with a good sense of humour.”

As well as the Sculpture Illusion Gallery, the building included a new block of public toilets within the existing complex and new seamless links to the existing building.

The building is a geometrically complex shape, both in plan and in elevation, formed structurally with insitu concrete, precast concrete panels, blockwork, structural steel and timber framing forming the roof.

The exterior of the building is finished in Sto Plaster systems on curved and straight section of blockwork, and large areas of glass to aluminium curtain walling, glazed clerestories and large glazed skylight joinery. The roof is a combination of Coloursteel and Torch-on Membranes.

The building is fitted out generally with stopped painted gib board finishes, to many complex bulkheads and with a curved wave rippletone ceiling throughout, providing acoustic performance of the space. Floor finishes throughout are differing colours of stone carpet, forming a visual walkway through the large open space.

The building boasts a large ‘living green wall’ as a backdrop to an imaginative ‘floating tap’ waterfall. The green wall is controlled via an automatic watering and fertilising system.

Heidi Landsborough and Duncan Spear – daughter and son-in-law respectively of Puzzling World pioneers Stuart and Jan Landsborough – said they were ”thrilled” that ABL had won the award.

“They truly deserve this. We are incredibly proud of the project and couldn’t be happier to have the ABL team on board to make it such a success.

“The SculptIllusion Gallery is an unusual building and the Central Otago climate certainly played havoc during the build. Brett, Geoff and the team handled the challenges with ease andprofessionalism, resulting in a wonderful building which is not only functional, but striking.”

Ms Landsborough said the great working relationship on site had really made the process easier, especially on a project so close to her heart.

“This addition is the final major addition to the family’s legacy of providing amusement and puzzlement to Wanaka and the thousands of tourists that visit each year,” she said.

“Although we attract tourists from around the world we remain a set up that’s built on solid and positive relationships, and we really experienced that with ABL and Barry,” she said.

“We all congratulate them wholeheartedly on this great win.”


About Amalgamated Builders
Amalgamated Builders has an extensive and impressive history with over 40 years’ of construction experience in New Zealand.

As a proudly South Island-owned and operated construction business, with offices in Christchurch, Queenstown, Dunedin and Invercargill, ABL’s heritage stems from a commitment to building long lasting relationships with their clients based on trust and mutual respect. From large hotels, public buildings and multi-storey offices to renovations and exclusive residential homes, they have the experience, skills and knowledge to tackle most projects.

The Christchurch office and yard opened in 2010 and has undertaken a number of key Christchurch projects, including the completed construction of a combined warehouse and office building on Blenheim Road, and the multi-million-dollar rebuild, repairs and refurbishment to the iconic Chateau on the Park Hotel.

As one of New Zealand’s most respected and trusted construction companies, ABL is skilled in commercial and ‘high-end’ residential construction, and experienced in seismic upgrades to buildings.

About Puzzling World
Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World is a world unique attraction specializing in puzzling eccentricity show casing many optical illusions and puzzles of the mind and is one of Wanaka’s largest tourist attractions This unique business was founded in 1973 and over the past 40 years has entertained and amazed visitors of all ages attracted to this beautiful part of the world and is considered a must-see attraction.

Puzzling world is set amongst 7acres of rolling lawns, trees and gardens at the entrance to Wanaka, and the eccentric architecture of the complex, makes this possibly one of the most photographed attractions in NZ.

A variety of eccentric and differing architectural additions and extensions have been provided to the complex during its history, including a modern style maze, a Hologram Hall, a Forced perspective room (of which the technique of this illusion was used in Lord of the Rings to create tall people and little people), four eccentric tumbling towers, a leaning clock tower (which is balanced at one corner at an unbelievable 53 degrees), and a tilted house, (where all the displays inside are normal yet when you enter the room, the illusion is so strong that your brain is convinced the room cannot be sloping).

The SculptIllusion Gallery is the latest instalment in Puzzling World’s history.

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