CREDITS – Contractor: Clelands Construction / Architect: Tennent Brown / Architects Engineering: Dunning Thornton Consultants

The new building at Taranaki Cathedral will be a centre for peace and reconciliation; called Te Whare Hononga – The House That Binds.

The single storied structure consists of a diagrid wall system with the main roof members ‘hung’ from perimeter support finger elements. The design of Te Whare Hononga reflects the weaving of a kete (basket) that holds precious taonga (treasure).

Red Stag TimberLab were engaged to provide a digital fabricated solution for the Glulam and LVL hybrid structure.

Due to the complicated architectural geometry and structural layout, members needed to be carefully modelled and CNC processed to allow the design intent to be realised. As an example, some of the perimeter cranked finger members needed to be nested out of larger panels to ensure continuity in structure without any joints.

The 4 external walls were designed as a diagrid structure with triangular Glulam members on the inside face and rectangular LVL members on the outside face. To minimise the connections, all wall members were CNC rebated into accurate pockets to the top and bottom plates. 

Diagrid wall structure - triangular Glulam elements on inside face and rectangular LVL elements on outside face

Due to the highly visual nature of the project with all elements exposed, full scale prototypes were developed for approval of connections prior to manufacture.

Red Stag TimberLab Prototype

Red Stag TimberLab’s skills in digital manufacturing made us the ideal supply partner for this project. Our ability to supply both LVL and Glulam also ensured a fully co-ordinated modelling process for this hybrid structure. Our experience in complex and bespoke manufacturing was instrumental in helping to resolve and refine the structural timber system. Our draughting team completed an accurate 3D model of all components, including all metalwork fixings which were supplied to site as a kitset solution.

 Clelands Construction did a superb job at installing the elements. Once installed, the structure was fully tented to protect the timber from moisture. This ensured the highly visual timber elements remained dry which minimised sanding requirements prior to application of final finishes.

Diagrid walls being installed
Diagrid roof being installed

Comment from Clelands Construction –

Clelands Construction were very happy to work along side TimberLab on this Project. Their attention to detail was invaluable on such a complex design and without their precision pre-cutting the  building of such a structure would have been a very difficult assignment”