The Koranui Stokes Valley Community Hub was part of a wider community rejuvenation of the Hutt Valley and is the third project Hawkins has delivered in partnership with Hutt City Council and the Community Facilities Trust.
The aim was to integrate a number of key community services including a library, computer section, toy library, Plunket and community house into a shared multifunctional location to give the community a centralised service model.
The team was initially guided through the pre-construction phase by the Hawkins Design Manager.
The design was developed with sufficient detail to meet the functional requirements of the client and buildability issues resolved before the project got to site. It was important to provide a series of multifunctional spaces for the community that would be easy to maintain and durable. The scheme was enhanced to IL3 part-way through the development of the design to ensure that the structural frame had a higher return period during seismic events.
The 1000m2 design and build project kicked off with the demolition of the existing community centre and library, which also included asbestos removal. This was followed by the development and construction of the brand new hub.
Construction involved the pouring of a stepped raft slab, erection of a portal steel frame and in-filling with precast concrete panels and shopfront APL glazing. A number of areas were faced with Trespa panels (Yellow Kowhai to match the Stokes Valley Colours). The roof was insulated and covered with a diamond roof profile and then the internal partitions were timber frame and Gib lined. A number of areas had Autex lining on the walls to help with acoustic reverberation. The main multifunctional spaces all have dividing walls that allow the space to be adapted to suit.
Throughout the construction works, the project team managed 34 trades, including specialist subcontractors to drill anchors to hold down the structural frame and a subcontractor with experience in fitting Trespa panels.
The early collaboration between the design team and the client’s service delivery leads was invaluable in developing the concept design to the detailed phase. There were a number of challenges involved in meeting the client’s requirements for level access, as well as the connection of the site’s drainage to the network. Hawkins developed a number of methodologies and solutions to overcome these issues.
To reduce maintenance requirements a very simple version of a BMS was deployed. These systems can sometime be costly and over-complicated but the decision was taken to reduce the number of active management features so as to make the interface more user friendly for the community team and asset maintenance staff.
As part of the design development, local artists were engaged by Hutt City Council to decorate elements of the building including native birds by artist Joe McMenamin and the striking carved waharoa (entranceway) above the main doors by Sam Hauwaho and Sonny Davis. The community hub also features coloured tiles that more than 400 local primary school children have created in collaboration with the hub team and The Dowse Art Museum.
The client was keen to take part in the Youth Inspire initiative for this project – a scheme that gives young people an opportunity to gain keys skills in the workplace. Hawkins took on a number of Youth Inspire trainees, one of whom worked on the community hub project.
The new Koranui Stokes Valley Community Hub was officially opened by Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace on the 27th of October 2017. It has had very positive feedback from the community and staff, who see the building as a major asset to the Lower Hutt community.