The Waiheke Gateway Pavilion washed ashore of Matiatia Bay forming a ceremonial entrance to 2017’s Headland Sculpture on the Gulf exhibition, Waiheke Island, Auckland. The skeletal architectural sculpture is an inventive elaboration on the New Zealand traditions of timber and boat building.
Taking the form of an archetypal gable or ‘Whare’, creating a gateway or ‘Waharoa’. The body morphs and twists with an organic geometry reminiscent of craggy cliffs or gnarled driftwood, only to return to the Whare form at the other end. Designed to be experienced dynamically as the visitor moves around and through it; the Gateway Pavilion presents an immersive spatial experience of form, light and materiality.
While this sculptural form presents the dance between nature and culture, what’s created is an object of beauty and intrigue, with a sense of belonging and place.
Composed of 255 pieces of laminated pine, each piece is fixed to the next forming a continuous abstract spiral from one end to the other. Each timber rib shifts incrementally creating an ever-changing fluid form experienced as the visitor moves through the space.
Nicholas Stevens and Gary Lawson of Stevens Lawson Architects designed the Gateway Pavilion, in collaboration with engineer Hamish Neville from Holmes Consulting. Developed with the help of staff and students from Unitec Architecture and Engineering Schools; the pavilion fabricated at the Unitec workshops, presented students with the opportunity to learn first hand about timber construction and carpentry.
The Gateway Pavilion has since been relocated to a private property, where it overlooks the Tamaki Strait.