Waihinga Martinborough Community Centre

Waihinga Martinborough Andy Spain
Waihinga Martinborough Andy Spain

This project involves the restoration and extension of the historic Martinborough Town Hall into a multi-purpose community hub for the greater Wairarapa region.

This project involves the restoration and extension of the historic Martinborough Town Hall into a multi-purpose community hub for the greater Wairarapa region.

The restoration and extension of the 106 year old Martinborough Town Hall, into a bustling multi-purpose community hub is at the core of this project.

The new facility is home to a Plunket, library, café, visitor centre and back of house support spaces; bringing together like-minded groups to achieve a concentration of activity, providing opportunities for increased interaction between community groups. The result is a well-connected, culturally enlivened focal point at the heart of Martinborough Town Square.

The design response upgrades the much-loved and enduring Town Hall by seismically strengthening the building in a sympathetic and unobtrusive manner; and retaining existing heritage qualities by refining the entry sequence through the new extension. The new extension relates to the heritage building by expression of scale, juxtaposing the lightweight timber and steel, transparent and open structure against the robust form of the Town Hall. A glazed seismic separation fixes the veranda like extension to the existing Town Hall, acknowledging the old and new.

The new extension is conceived as a simple lean-to or veranda structure. The design is inspired by the covered yard, a consistent and memorable shed-like form reflected in Wairarapa’s rural landscape. This simple form is articulated further by the exposed column and beam truss, allowing large spans resulting in flexible internal spaces. In response to the Martinborough climate the covered yard extends to form a true veranda, providing shelter over the edge of the new exterior playground and horizontal terraces that form a subtle amphitheatre-like outdoor event space.

The new facility represents a contemporary design response to the rural vernacular. The community hub feels familiar and inviting with a domestic friendliness that provides the backdrop to the adjacent park (future staged development) and fosters stronger connections to Martinborough Square.

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