Planes, Prefabrication and an Art Gallery

Day one of the New Zealand Wood Smart tour kicked off at the Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki.  Its beautiful forecourt and gallery are made from tree like structures constructed from New Zealand Kauri folded into organic geometric forms and supported on slender profiled shafts of glulam.

_MG_4916 It took years to source the 250 cubic metres of wood, from all over the country.  Quick back of an envelope calculations suggest that the structure stores around 80,000 kgs of carbon, although don’t quote me on that.


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Built on an old landfill site, the Museum of Transport and Technology is a 2,500 m2 LVL box which contains the best collection of planes in the southern hemisphere. The roof is stepped like the wing of a plane from the outside.

Glulam beams stretch across 43 metres and reach 16.5 metres in height in order to achieve both practical structural and beautiful uses.

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The additional challenge for the engineers was that planes would be hung from the ceiling meaning that extra strength was required.


‘Only wood could achieve the warmth and ambiance we were looking for.’  Said Carter Holt Harvey.

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Timberlab manufactures Glulam beams. The company has FSC chain of custody which means it can be sure that all the wood it uses comes from responsibly managed forests. We took a walk through the prefabrication plant to see how the engineered timber is made.

_MG_4971 _MG_4942 _MG_4945 _MG_4946 _MG_4950 _MG_4951 _MG_4953 _MG_4957 _MG_4962 _MG_4963 The CNC processing machine completes detailed profiling of Glulam, LVL and solid timber components up to 35 metres long and 4 metres wide. This includes a wide range of processing options – cutting, drilling, grooving, routing and beveling.


To read more about the environmental benefits of using wood visit Make It Wood

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