angelus hut - Nelson Lakes National Park
It is not often you have to deal with truly extreme conditions when building in New Zealand, however the challenge we faced when designing the new tramping hut on Mt Angelus in Nelson Lakes National Park required innovative thinking.
This article from the Nelson Mail shows what can happen on the top of the Nelson Lakes hills. Therefore the challenge was to provide a warm and inviting hut, that provides comfortable accommodation, that takes advantage of the spectacular views, all the while being able to resist a 5kPa snow load and a 3.4kPa wind load, without it turning into a small windowless building. Even the dismantling of the old hut turned into an Air Force training exercise.
After a lot of research and lateral thinking, the construction system and detailing was resolved to accommodate these extremes and to allow it to be built on site in this very remote location.
The overall design comfortably provides for 28 trampers and two Department of Conservation staff. Utilising the wonderful views, the open plan communal area opens out onto a large deck for the trampers to relax and enjoy this stunning part of the country after the hard slog up to the top of the national park.
The hut is now complete and was opened in April 2010, as this article shows.