Vodafone InnoV8 Building - Christchurch, New Zealand
Vodafone's new ‘Innov8’ building, located in Christchurch's innovation precinct, has been designed to the highest green building standards.
Vodafone's building has featured Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding extensively through the interior and exterior, it’s the first commercial property in Christchurch’s innovation precinct to be awarded a Green Star Design rating from the NZ Green Building Council.
The Vodafone Innov8 brief required the design team to create a positive, healthy interior environment that not only brought people together but nurtured their well-being. With this in mind, the team developed the concept of a laneway tree house, which also helped inform the fit-out concept of the urban village; connecting those working in the office with each other, and with their surroundings.
The use of timber was key in realising this design intent and in bringing a level of familiarity, warmth and tactility to the structure at a level where people will engage with it directly. InnoV8, Vodafone’s new South Island base, has achieved a 5 Green Star Design rating. Jasmax chose Abodo Vulcan timber as it is made from FSC-certified renewable NZ radiata pine forests.
Abodo Vulcan thermally modified timber features extensively on the exterior elements of the building
The timber is locally sourced and has been through a patented treatment process which removes the need for the timber to be chemically treated. This means it’s safe for people and the environment, a great fit for a project of this kind which promotes sustainability and well-being alongside business success.
Abodo Vulcan thermally modified timber features extensively on the exterior elements of the building including solar screening, feature panels and decorative insets. The timber was chosen due to its natural durability and stability, meaning even in weather-exposed conditions it will achieve exceptional weatherability and maintain its beauty for a lifetime. Abodo worked with Jasmax to design a custom profile for exterior soffit that accommodates a red aluminium ‘T’ section profile making for a striking showcase of the client’s corporate colour.
Kept at street level and protected by an eave, the maintenance on this natural wood façade will be minimal and easily accessible. Jasmax created a special connection detail in consultation with Abodo to accommodate Vulcan timber solar screening on the exterior facade.
The entrance and reception area utilises timber elements to offset hard surfaces – and to bring warmth and beauty to the stylish, technology-focused layout. Abodo Protector Oil was used to finish the timber. It is a natural penetrating oil designed to be used exterior, however due to low VOC and being non toxic in nature, it was able to be used inside to maintain a consistent aesthetic.
The entrance and reception area utilises timber elements to offset hard surfaces
A Barn With a View - Lake Taupo, New Zealand
From a barren lakeside section to a charming barn-style holiday home in just one hundred days, Kiwi couple, Hamish and Anita Dodd, have set a new benchmark on the standard of home that can be beautifully crafted on shoestring budget and an ambitious timeframe.
It’s a tough act to follow, one hundred days. But that’s all it took from start to finish for Hamish Dodd and his wife, Anita, to transform a small piece of land in Kuratau, situated on the western shores of Lake Taupo, into a homely-meets-chic-barn style holiday home.
Not one to do things by halves, Hamish, a landscape architect and spatial design specialist (who doubles as a weekend radio host and TV presenter), was on a mission to create a homely Kiwi family bach (holiday home) on a timeframe and budget that most would think impossible. But defying all odds, even in the depths of one of Taupo’s harshest winters, he managed to pull it off. And perhaps even exceed any expectations of what could be done given the (self imposed) deadlines.
Old meets new
The first thing to be seen when you enter the sunny property along the stony driveway is the beautifully symmetrical building using Abodo Cladding in Vulcan, stained in a light warm black. Complete with matching modern sliding barn doors and a generously sized front lawn, which hosts an interesting sculpture come wind turbine and twelve solar panels, the home, although only one year old, has instant charm.
Comprising only one level, the house affords maximum contact with the landscape and sweeping lake vistas across to Taupo’s eastern shores. Wild rabbits (that Hamish says have taken a fond liking to his newly planted garden) hop in and out of the property as if it is their own and pot-belly pigs wildly roam the neighbouring section. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for her to relent. “When Anita came for her first holiday down here with me, she just went wow!” beams Hamish. “She had no idea what to expect, because, being from Nelson, the thought of going to a lake was just wrong when you’ve got all those beautiful beaches. For her lakes are cold and full of eels!”.
Anita’s first amazing impression of Lake Taupo and subsequent appreciation of the stunning beauty of New Zealand’s North Island resulted in it being her to be the one to suggest that the two should get their own slice of paradise in the area.
“So we drove around lots of sections, talked about it and faffed about for a whole year. Then we just did it. We bought a piece of land and the first summer we just parked our car down here with friends. It was thoroughly enjoyable. Now it’s a home!” .
One hundred days of hard slog, cold nights and many a sleepless night later, their Taupo dream came to fruition as New Zealand’s first “100 Day Bach” – a popular local television series that documented Hamish’s journey through the rapid build.
To the right of the fire and main entrance lies a spacious kitchen and dining area that literally drinks up the sunlight, making it an instant magnet for people gathering. Perhaps one of the space’s most endearing features is the generous timber kitchen island countertop, complete with storage space and a series of drawers made from recycled Indian Pine, specifically designed to match the rest of the wooden kitchen cupboards and adjoining solid wood dining table.
The kitchen’s bench tops (including the island), made from a beautiful solid bluestone, and splash-back intricately laid with small white tiles are equally as dazzling. “We designed the whole living space to be bigger – to be communal. So people would sit around the table and eat breakfast and dinner and play board games and stuff like that”.
The lounge, situated to the left of the fireplace, was designed with another important thing in mind. Comfort. Slouchy beanbags and ottomans ideal for kids and adults alike, are found scattered between the two retro style couches and chairs that used to be Hamish’s in a past life. With the thumbs up from Hamish and Anita, Adrienne, an interior designer, reupholstered them with contemporary warm “bachy feel” fabric tones and designs. “We tried to utilise things that Hamish already owned” she says. “We didn’t want it to be junky but we did want to reuse things that we already had. That’s part of what a bach is all about. It’s part of the charm, part of being in a holiday house”.
To contrast the holiday home’s cozy décor and fittings, Hamish opted for industrial feel concrete floors throughout the home’s living and kitchen areas which, despite the need for warmth and insulation over Taupo’s chilly winter months, worked out well. With the help of his father, who came down from Auckland to help, Hamish sealed the concrete himself with concrete wax as soon as it had been poured and hardened. “Some of the locals thought I was mad, but it worked out perfectly. By the end of the day after the sun’s been hitting the concrete all day, it’s like a hot house. At 10.30pm if you walk on the floor, it’s hot!”
The wonders of wood
It’s clear that Hamish is as excited about the process and finished results of the rustic holiday home as he was setting the insanely short timeframe for building it. “There are lots of things I enjoyed about the build, cladding being one of them. Finding something that was going to be different in the process. With something simple like this, because it really is just a rectangular box, we really needed a good-looking cladding of a certain caliber on the outside. Something that could match the home’s whole look”.
Hamish also says Abodo’s Vulcan Cladding has handled the heat of Taupo’s hot summer remarkably well – especially with four coats of black paint to give the home a dark brown finish. “It handled the summer no dramas at all. Because it was black everyone has asked me. But there’s not even a single crack”.
One year on, with the home finished and the garden not far behind, Hamish and Anita are able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labour, doing what they love to do best. Relax. “We come down here, we relax, we chill out. In summer we swim all the time. We just drive down to the beach and park up for the morning, we go for walks. The kids like to ride their bikes around, we go water skiing”.
His mum Adrienne agrees. “I come down here as often as I can. I even come down by myself. It’s just a lovely place to sit and read. It’s as lovely in the winter as it is in summer really. And it’s such a thriving little place. I am really content just being down here”.
A working affair
Not just mother and son, five years ago Hamish and Adrienne joined forces to become business partners in a home design business they run from a little studio they renovated in Auckland’s quaint Remuera shops. “For years we worked out of the same office and never did anything together, but we would always be overlapping with work” says Hamish. “She’d say I’m restyling this office and I’d end up helping with the more structural design side. I don’t like the window dressing stuff but Adrienne loves it.
Then one day we were sitting there and said we should just work together, it would just be easier”. While the combination of having a strong willed son and his mother working together in close confines might have seemed a little dubious at the time, the partnership has worked out beautifully. “Its nice working with her. She gets on well with Anita too, so it’s been nice for them for them to potter and do their bits” says Hamish. Adrienne agrees. “We’ve sort of got our own role and tasks that we have within the business. We know how each other works and thinks. I push his buttons, he pushes mine. I think we are a good balance” laughs Adrienne. “We’ve got a little family affair – it’s really nice”.