The new passenger terminal at Taupō Airport is a true collaboration between architects, iwi and community, creating a gateway to the region that has become a destination in itself.
‘The aim was to tell the story of the region and make it a unique experience for both visitors and locals,’ says Paul Raven from Shelter Architects, who selected carpet tiles and entrance matting from Advance Flooring to help tell that story.
‘All the pieces of the puzzle that we put together were based on local art and input from iwi and the maunga (mountains), Tauhara in the north and Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngāuruhoe in the south,’ says Raven. The building is oriented to align with the mountains, anchoring it firmly in place. ‘The ridge-line points to the maunga in the north and the walls are on an angle because that’s where the mountains are, in each direction,’ says Raven.
Feature walls are from locally sourced timber and incorporate two 800-year-old rimu logs from nearby Pureora Forest. Custom seating represents the curved, snake-like tail of the taniwha or water spirit of the lake, and a stone from Tauhara was selected to guard the entrance.
For the flooring, the architects chose Cityscape Detroit carpet tiles in a range of colours. Says Raven, ‘We wanted something that would last and be robust, but which would also be easily maintained, and so the carpet tiles were an obvious selection.
‘The terminal lounge is a single space, so we have used the carpet to separate that out into different areas. The floor is quite understated, and it provides a good backdrop for everything else that happens around it.’
At the entranceways is CoralTread. Manufactured in New Zealand, this stylish low-profile entry matting provides optimal dirt and moisture removal, helping to protect a space that has become more than just an airport terminal.
‘We wanted it to be its own place and destination,’ says Raven, ‘and it has worked in that way, because a lot of people are going out there to have a cup of coffee and just enjoy the space and the feeling of being in the airport.’
Product: Cityscape Detroit carpet tiles, CoralTread entrance matting
Architect: Shelter Architects
Photographer: Simon Devitt