Claudelands' award-winning design is a reflection of the unique cultural and ecological nature of the area.
Architect Anthony Flannery and the design team at Chow:Hill consulted with ecological and cultural advisers to ensure references from the history of the site were incorporated into the architecture, interior and landscape design of Claudelands.
Consultation with local iwi through the input of Wiremu Puke, the cultural adviser to Hamilton’s Urban Design Panel, revealed a pre-European relationship with the natural landscape of Claudelands Park. This was one of the largest remnants of indigenous forest and an area renowned as native bird hunting ground – also known as ‘Te Papanui’ (a bird snarer’s seat).
Many of the design elements of Claudelands derive from the culture and heritage of Te Papanui.
The narrative of the forest canopy inspired the Arena Veil design, the principal facade of Claudelands. The structural columns remind us of majestic trees that covered Te Papanui, and the ‘dancing spears’ recall the movement of the tao or hunting spears. The flight of the native birds is reflected in Claudelands’ distinctive exterior colours – rich kokako blue, bold kaka red, the flash of orange tieke feathers and the bright yellow hihi.
And because every experience begins with a warm welcome, conference centre visitors are greeted with the symbol of kahu huruhuru, or feathered cloak, upon entering the venue, as well as the basket weave design within the main conference spaces that celebrates the weaving together of people.
View our showreel to find out more about our design: