Warren and Mahoney Architects 77 Te Huhi Rāupo - Taranaki Renal Facility

  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Alexandra Smith, Nic McIntyre, Jonathan Rae, Bill Gregory, Phil Grey
  • Client
    Te Whatu Ora, Taranaki

Te Huhi Rāupo, the Renal Unit at Taranaki Base Hospital, brings a holistic shift to the care of dialysis patients and their whānau. This 806m2 outpatient clinic packs a big climate-conscious punch and shifts expectations of what is possible in healthcare architecture.

The brief was for a single level, economically efficient and environmentally responsible building offering an exceptional patient experience. Built to maximise sea views, and to feel more like a clinic than a hospital, Te Huhi Rāupo creates an optimal environment for patient wellbeing. It is uplifting and aspirational; with natural daylight, views and openable windows offering a sense of hope and relaxation. Privacy, air quality and acoustic performance have been carefully considered to ensure a quiet and comfortable space.

The facility houses 12 dialysis treatment chairs, consultation and training rooms and a reverse osmosis water treatment plant. Sliding walls between treatment bays allow social interaction and a self-care treatment room enables afterhours care for pre-arranged dialysis patients, including those visiting from other districts. The generous nature of this facility has a profound impact on the welfare of the community, providing a “home away from home” for patients dependent upon regular and lengthy dialysis treatments.

The design is a north facing, PLT bridge structure spanning a natural valley between the hospital and a residential street. Clad primarily in recycled hardwood, it sits sympathetically amongst native planting between Mount Taranaki and the Tasman Sea. The rich, character-filled timber offers an attractive aesthetic, whilst solar panels and raw pole foundations speak to the design’s ground-breaking ambitions.

This is a “first of its kind” innovative project for healthcare buildings in New Zealand. The use of mass timber in a care facility was a novel and challenging proposition. The team worked with industry to overcome a market gap for compliant fire collars, helping to break down barriers to future mass timber construction of this complexity.

Sustainable design was a key factor from the outset. With low-energy design, solar panels and a locally sourced mass timber structure, the building is a global leader in both Zero Energy and Zero Carbon certifications for healthcare buildings. With 95% reclaimed or FSC timber, and the production of more energy than is used, Te Huhi Rāupo has a net negative impact in both energy and embodied carbon emissions.

The project also features e-bike charging stations, rainwater harvesting, stormwater retention and extensive native planting to enhance ecological value and resilience. It is an exemplary response to the climate crisis and demonstrates that superior sustainability outcomes are viable for healthcare buildings.

The building’s cultural narrative tells the story of wai (water), as the source of life and vitality. The name, Te Huhi Raupō was gifted on behalf of Ngā Iwi o Taranaki and Taumaruroa. Raupō (bullrush) is a resilient plant whose stalks grow tightly together for mutual support. "Te Huhi Raupō will provide support and shelter for the patients who come there, helping them to weather the storms they are experiencing and rise again after treatment."