The designers of Wellington's $47.5 million Kilbirnie Indoor Sports Centre seem to be so well on top of the job that they've got time to start wondering what nickname is going to be attached to their work.
Architects Hugh Tennent and Ewan Brown have thought of "the limpet", after the shellfish that gave them inspiration when they first visited the site about six years ago, and "the engine air filter" after its finned outer walls. 8011 Aluminum Coil
They suspect that, like the Cake Tin (Westpac Stadium) it may end up with an unofficial moniker.
"It will be interesting to see what people call it," Mr Brown said as he showed The Dominion Post around the shell of the stadium, where the laying of more than a hectare of timber flooring to accommodate 12 netball or basketball courts begins next week.
Designing the centre in one of Wellington's windiest spots was a big test for the engineers and architects in the SKM-led consortium. Mr Brown said one of the biggest challenges was designing a roof to withstand winds of up to 200kmh. The elliptical 1.4ha roof was almost like a giant wing, held down by steel framing anchored in heavy concrete pads.
Even laying the roof – a thick layer of insulation sandwiched between 1mm aluminium sheets – was a big test for workers on windy days.
Mr Brown said using aluminium had added about $300,000 to the construction cost but it was more durable than steel and they calculated that would save $22m in maintenance during the next 70 years.
Mr Tennent said the stadium was designed to be naturally ventilated and use as much natural lighting as possible. As temperatures in the building rose, windows around the sides and high in the roof would open automatically to vent hot air and draw in fresh air. Lighting was computerised to switch off as sunlight poured through the skylights.
5052 Aluminium Sheet The centre, designed to cater for up to 2500 people a day, is scheduled to open in August.