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The Forté Health hospital includes several leading-edge architectural elements in a design that shows the way forward for new Christchurch city buildings

Enlightened design

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Rebuilding after a major seismic event calls for architecture that reflects strength and security for the future. Alongside improved earthquake resiliance are the sustainable elements that go into creating a 4-Star Green Star building.

The new Forté Health hospital, by Christchurch-based Wilson & Hill Architects, is a case in point.

Wilson & Hill takes on a range of commercial, medical, residential and education work and for most projects is lead consultant – responsible for briefing, design, contract observation and administration – the full architectural service, says director David Hill.

"For Forté Health, we undertook site planning and design of the building, and ground floor hard fit-outs for specialist rooms and common areas, as well as their soft fit-outs in collaboration with Jules Mark.

"The ground conditions and seismic design dictated a lightweight building, which the glazed facade with large custom louvres provides. For the seismic structural system, we turned function into aesthetics, wrapping the full-height seismic frames on each side of the building in obscure glass."

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As the first Green Star-rated medical building in New Zealand, Forté Health has a number of environmental and sustainable features. The building is set back from the boundary on all sides to enable natural light penetration and an 8m x 7m lightwell brings natural light into the core.

The building addresses the Kilmore St frontage, setting a precedent for future buildings in this area and has an attractive frontage to Peterborough St.

The whole project from brief to completion was deivered in a 22-month period, says Hill.

To contact Wilson & Hill Architects, phone +64 3 379 3663. Email: info@wilsonandhill.co.nz. Website:www.wilsonandhill.co.nz

First published date: 31 March 2014

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