Project Description


Mt Ruapehu, Tongaririo National Park, New Zealand



After disastrous fire destroyed the Knoll Ridge Cafe on Mt Ruapehu, consultants Dunning Thornton were faced with the challenge of designing a new facility. This had to be a fast-track project to make use of the weather conditions available and to close in the structure before the winter snows arrived.

Materials needed to be strong and durable to withstand the harsh and extreme conditions – but also easily transported and prefinished as much as possible.  Consideration also needed to be given to environmental impact and the choice of a sustainable construction material.

This is where the benefits of TimberLab Glulam construction came to the fore. Manufactured from sustainable NZ radiata pine these lightweight members are stronger weight-for-weight than other building materials such as steel or concrete with minimal response to temperature change. TimberLab has developed extensive expertise in precise finishing and pre-fitting of purpose-made bracketry so that components arrive on site ready for immediate assembly and installation.

AWARDS: Best Designed Cafe in the World 2015 / Z ARCHITECTURE MEDAL FINALIST 2012 / NEW ZEALAND ARCHITECTURE AWARD 2012 Commercial Architecture / NZIA LOCAL ARCHITECTURE AWARD 2011 /Commercial – Western Architecture Awards / NZ TIMBER DESIGN AWARD 2011 / Commercial Architectural Excellence Highly Commended NATIONAL WINNER /RMB 2011 Commercial Project Awards ‘Tourism & Leisure Project’ Category2011 SUPREME AWARD / Waikato RMB 2011 Commercial Project of the Year CATEGORY WINNER / Waikato RMB 2011 ‘Tourism & Leisure’ Project GOLD RESERVE FINALIST / RMB 2011 Commercial Project Awards ‘Tourism & Leisure Project’ Category LIFE MEMBER AWARD / Waikato RMB 2011 ‘Construction Excellence in workmanship, creativity and innovation TOURISM & LEISURE PROPERTY AWARD MERIT 2012 Tourism & Leisure Category Property Council NZ