Unique project a real labour of love

Unique project a real labour of love
The Hundertwasser Arts Centre in Whangarei has been a labour of love for local fi rm Griffi ths & Associates.

It’s been a challenging project and one that has taken many years to come to fruition. The Hundertwasser Arts Centre in Whangarei has been a labour of love for local firm Griffiths & Associates, which has been instrumental in getting the project underway.
Griffiths & Associates first got involved in the project in 2012 when it was under the leadership of the Whangarei District Council.
When the council decided not to proceed, Griffiths & Associates decided to voluntarily assist the Prosper Northland Trust, which was started by a group of local citizens to take over the project, providing construction advice and documentation services as well as helping the Trust to form a relationship with the Hundertwasser Non-Profit Foundation.
Griffiths & Associates then supported the fund raising efforts and construction of Te Kakano seed building, a small prototype of the proposed project, which demonstrated the techniques that would be used on the main building.
Company senior project manager Ben Tomason says Te Kakano not only showed the community what the project was all about but also gave tradespeople who would be working on the project a taste of the distinct techniques and workmanship required for the build. It also helped determine costings and timelines for the project.
With financial support from the community, government and other philanthropists, Griffiths & Associates commissioned the completion of the design and procurement phase as well as assisting with documentation to support final funding applications for the build cost.
Once the project was given the final go-ahead by Government and Council, local firm Trigg Construction was engaged and construction commenced in June 2018.
“I think this project really demonstrates that at Griffiths & Associates we are supportive of community projects.
“We’ve stood by this project and the team involved relentlessly for a number of years and put in many hours of unpaid work to ensure the project was realised for Northland,” says Ben.
He points to the complexities of the relationships involved with various parties based in Vienna, Germany and New Zealand as well as managing many volunteers putting in unpaid time.
The nature of the site and building also presented challenges. “Structurally and geographically the building is on a very tricky site.
“The size of the green roof and the weight of the soil means a highly engineered structure was required so the design phase has been very challenging. We have had to engage some of New Zealand’s most senior engineers and leading industry experts,” explains Ben.

Unique project a real labour of love
Driving force: Griffiths & Associates senior project manager Benf Tomason, centre, with Whangarei District Council CEO Rob Furlong, left, and the Chairman of Prosper Northland Trust, Barry Trass.

It has been estimated that over 30,000 hours have been donated to the Hundertwasser Arts Centre project by over 200 people and Ben says that Griffiths & Associates is proud to have been part of it. “We believe that the impact of this on our community will be huge.
“It’s certainly a project of passion for us and it will be a fantastic asset for Northland and one we are proud to say we’ve helped the community to realise.”
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts