Te Waiora Community Medical Center

Lead DesignerBruce Barry
Project LinkView
Prize(s)3rd Place in Architecture Categories / Institutional
Entry Description

small group of Foxton locals plus one significant facilitator determined to bring fresh hope and renewal to their town. The new health centre, replacing one old and inadequate house, is part of their strategy to reverse Foxton’s economic decline. Its design was shaped by five factors:

· A brief derived from the District Health Board and recent Government policies

· An expression of the particular community (30% Maori plus strong Dutch elements)

· The town’s historical connection to river transport

· The Centre’s role as a multi-purpose community facility

· The need to facilitate the Centre’s future expansion.

Government policy. Nursing staff increasingly attend to the most common medical conditions and at the same time doctors are encouraged to time-share their surgeries as necessitated by nursing demand. These policies led to perimeter consulting rooms with examination rooms towards the centre. The main waiting area has two satellite spaces for specialist clinics.

Indigenous community. The forecourt uses elements of a marae entrance, incorporating paling type fences, two courtyards and a welcoming orientation towards the community. Traditionally a gable roof (Whare Tapuna) supplements this welcome and, with the pergola, this too is dominant in the design of the Health Centre.

Maritime legacy. The four gabled roof echoes the prows of the many ships that once plied the Manawatu River and which shaped Foxton’s early character. The interior floor finish includes crushed glass elements symbolising river flow between lobby and reception.

Community emphasis. There are three different zones each colour themed:

a) Community medical (including public areas)
b) District Health (including after hours)
c) Multi-purpose (including Whanau rooms, counselling, childcare etc).

Future expansion. The multi-gabled form was adopted because its ridges can easily extend in three different directions.