Dubbed ‘the tetris building’ by the roofing team involved in constructing it, Te Korowai, Home of Presbyterian Support for the Upper South Island, is designed with numerous, varying shaped windows. These represent the people who use the building and their connectedness, says architect Anton Tritt of Dalman Architects.
“The windows were specifically designed to reflect the building’s name - Te Korowai or the cloak - which was chosen to signify safety, strength and connection for both staff and clients alike. The shapes and variable forms were chosen to represent the people in the building as unique, strong, and independent while belonging to the same whanau,” he says.
Metalbilt Espan was chosen for its standing seam appearance, cost-effectiveness, strength and elegance. “The colour was selected to sit in harmony with the client’s existing use of blue graphics and signage. The colour also helps deliver a building that is light and welcoming, while also producing a strong and unified appearance,” says Anton.
Bringing the design to fruition involved strictly aligning the window’s vertical edges to the vertical seams of the Espan. It also meant a very large number of complex head, jamb and sill flashings.
For his work on the project, Aaron Read of CS Roofing was awarded Runner up in the 2019 COLORSTEELⓇ Roofer of the Year category. Due to the windows, the cladding involved around half a dozen full-length sheets of Espan, making this a complex job to plan and execute, explains judge Rod Newbold.
“Windows were installed early in the program, and a secondary head flashing was provided to the windows so that lining could progress while cladding and final flashing was in process. Coordination with the main contractor was essential to ensure that the construction program went smoothly, responsibilities were recognised, and integrated joints were weathertight.”
With its quirky window shapes, Te Korowai is undeniably unique.