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Abodo’s Cardrona Cabin - the ‘chapel to craft’ - wins NZIA Small Project Architecture Award

16 Nov 2020

This latest acknowledgement in New Zealand’s leading architecture awards programme was announced last night at an awards ceremony in Christchurch.

Built as a showcase by eco-timber company, Abodo Wood, the Cardrona Cabin has become known as a ‘chapel to craft’.

The craft - in the Abodo eco-timbers used throughout, in the exceptional design by Assembly Architects which takes an abstracted gable form of a Central Otago stone shed, and in the build by Dunlop Builders who crafted every aspect with meticulous detail.

The relationship between all three, the material, the design and the construction – has resulted in this award-winning showcase (the cabin also recently won the Retail Category at the Interior Awards).

Most importantly, the showcase is just that. The cabin demonstrates the Abodo range of thermally modified timber products in practice: cladding, structure, linings, flooring, fenestration, joinery, furnishing and fence posts showcase the products.

With an important message - no longer can we use slow grown, imported timbers to build premium homes and structures. This building is a showcase of what can be achieved when we think differently - it is designed to inspire others.

Abodo timbers are sourced from rapidly renewable FSC® certified New Zealand plantations that help to mitigate climate change by absorbing vast amounts of carbon.

With extensive use of Vulcan timber in the interior and exterior, over 9 tonnes of carbon is stored in the Vulcan timber elements alone, dramatically offsetting the small amounts of concrete and structural steel used in the building.

Using state-of-the-art thermal modification and grain orientation technology, we can craft beautiful timbers that stand the test of time, reducing the carbon footprint of buildings, without disadvantaging future generations.

"We didn't build the Cardrona Cabin to win awards - although they have been gratefully received. We built the cabin to showcase New Zealand's finest product design, architectural design and craftsmanship." – Daniel Gudsell, Abodo Founder

Here's what the jury had to say:

Despite all the signifiers of a house, this showroom for a timber structural and cladding supplier is instead a beautifully crafted display box of the best qualities of its product. Precision and control are demonstrated across the fully clad timber exterior screen, as well as the expressed internal structural framing.

The building itself confirms the promise that this timber product is strong and will not warp, and in doing so fulfils its intention as a showcase for the manufacturer. Experimentation with the various products extends through the fitout and floorings, creating an overall effect of a precise and elegant container, inside and out. When is a house not a house? When it is a showroom.