In 1990, the Prime Minister of Samoa noted that the meeting places available for Auckland's growing Samoan community weren't adequate. Meanwhile, the majority of Auckland's Samoan population had been shifting away from central Auckland to the southern suburbs, while the consulate remained in the city centre; making it difficult for people to access their services. In 2008, the Government of Samoa decided to move the consulate closer to its people. A site was procured at the Mangere Town Centre and a design was finalised which included a 5,345m² complex that would feature an office and retail space, the consulate itself and a traditional Samoan fale (meeting house). It was important to all stakeholders that the fale was not only a true representation of the traditional style, but just as importantly, was built to last using the best construction materials.
The architect's (Walker Co.) research of the traditional fale style buildings included travel to Samoa to study typical construction and design. The architect specified two Viking Roofspec roofing and waterproofing systems to protect the exterior of the buildings whilst providing the appropriate aesthetics.
CertainTeed Asphalt Shingles
Viking's CertainTeed 'Hatteras' profile was chosen to protect the roof; a perfect solution for this unique building. CertainTeed has been installed on various traditional (some high profile) fales in NZ and Samoa. This proven performance record reassured all project stakeholders that it would stand the test of time. Hatteras is a very durable profile, which comes with a 40-year warranty. Its flatter profile allowed it to be installed successfully (both functionally and visually) on this typical fale roof which curves in all directions. Longevity and aesthetics were very important to this proud community, as the fale would serve as a cultural hub for the 130,000 Samoans in Auckland for present and future generations.
Viking GM Gemini Torch-on Membrane
Viking's GM Gemini A.P.P. two-layer torch-on membrane system was chosen to waterproof the gutters and parapets at the base of the shingled roof. This was an ideal solution as its long performance record in NZ and the Pacific Islands, CodeMark certification, BRANZ appraisal and robust 20-year warranty gave the architect confidence in its durability. Being torch-applied also assisted with detailing, with the membrane's plasticised bitumen able to be bled into the challenging areas for waterproofing.
The roofing and waterproofing was not only carried out by an approved applicator with installation experience for fales in NZ and Samoa, but they had the expertise to carry out both the shingle and membrane work. This versatility streamlined the process for all stakeholders including Auckland Council who only required the one compliance folder with producer statements and warranties from one application company; with materials supplied by one supplier.
A Cultural Haven
The finished fale was opened to the public at the beginning of August 2016. It will host community events and official meetings, will be available to the community for hire — and most importantly — it will facilitate the preservation and fostering of Samoan custom for generations to come.