Te Ahu in Kaitaia New Zealand is a multifunctional facility providing modern, purpose built spaces for Kaitaia’s library, museum, archive, i-Site, cafe and council services. The building also incorporates a community hall, performing arts theatre and cinema. Story Inc develped the interior design, exhibition design and museum visitor experience.
Human Dynamo Workshop produced two installations to their design. Where Journeys Begin – the flight of the godwits/Kuaka, in the main atrium and The Kauri Tree in the library. Constructed of fibre-glass, the Kauri Tree is a floor to ceiling(7metre) 1:1 scale fixed prop which encases a spiral staircase. It serves as a centrepiece for which the public can explore from any angle including views at the top between the foliage.
A reading space for children is crafted from the inside of the tree at the base. Its construction was impressive and challenging. Some factors include obtaining permission to take imprints from a live Kauri tree in order to achieve authentic bark texture on the tree. Extremely large poly-sculpted negative moulds were clad with textured and inverted, semi-rigid foam pieces to create a mould for fibreglassing.