When designing the atrium at the B:HIVE, Smales Farm, architects Jasmax Auckland looked for products that could help achieve a clean, seamless aesthetic. The bold design included many complex curved structures, and so a material and company that could find a creative solution to make the dynamic shapes a reality was needed.
“Each floor is a different shape and configuration,” explains Project Architect, Cameron Pollock. “We had to have a high level of accuracy and capability to achieve the finished results.”
Woodform was contracted to create three different curved wood solutions for the project using Bendywood, a proprietary product from Italy which enables bending of solid timber without steaming or lamination — resulting in time and cost savings. Using on-site templating and CNC tooling capabilities, Woodform were able to achieve the level of precision required to create accurate curves. The digital templating of the space also ensured installation followed on smoothly.
For the central spiral staircase in the atrium, Woodform supplied and installed a bespoke curved handrail, comprising approximately 120m of Bendywood 48mm diameter curved solid oak. They engineered an adaption to the bracket system and a stainless steel sleeve system for the joints to achieve the seamless look.
Woodform also provided the 180 x 200mm curved, bevelled capping rail for atrium balustrade walls across four levels. The rail features an impressive 64 unique curves. Finally, curved laminated structural framing for the atrium balustrade walls was provided across four levels.
Woodform’s understanding of the unique design challenges allowed them to provide creative solutions to deliver on the design intent. Cameron says, “This creative approach to solving the issues we were facing was key to the success of the finished result.”
The result is a vibrant and dynamic atrium space that provides a focal point as the heart of the building with its unique curves. “We’ve received a lot of great feedback,” says Cameron. “We’re incredibly pleased.”