Wanaka Building Wins National Titles - Puzzling World

Staff members from Queenstown's Amalgamated Builders were celebrating yesterday after taking out two titles at the second annual New Zealand Commercial Building Awards at the weekend.

Both awards were for the company's work on the $2 million new SculptIllusion Gallery at Wanaka's Puzzling World.

The company won gold in the tourism and leisure project category, and the under $2m category.

The 530 square metre illusionary sculpture room, complete with moving walls, floating objects and 3D illusions, is the company's fifth and largest illusion room and was an 8 month build by the company.

Quantity surveyor for the project, Brett Squire, said he and the team were "incredibly proud" to win category awards for the second year running.

"This personally ranks as one of my favourite projects in my eight years with the company," Squire said.

"Any building poses challenges but because of the Central Otago climate it required careful consideration throughout the planning and build process. Aside from a very cold construction site, the ground froze, which affected the logic of the build and the way we continued. So it's great to now see the completed build and know we had a hand in building it."

Puzzling World's Heidi Landsborough and Duncan Spear were thrilled the company took out the awards.

"The SculptIllusion Gallery is an unusual building and the Central Otago climate certainly played havoc during the build. The team handled the challenges with ease and professionalism, resulting in a wonderful building which is not only functional, but striking."

Landsborough said the great working relationship on site had really made the process easier, especially on a project so close to her heart.

"This addition is the final major addition to the family's legacy of providing amusement and puzzlement to Wanaka and the thousands of tourists that visit each year. Although we attract tourists from around the world we remain a setup that's built on solid and positive relationships, and we really experienced that with ABL and Brett."

The Otago Settlers Museum won the Commercial And Civic Project section, earning Lund Dunedin Ltd a construction company award and Robert Tongue an architect award.

The Southland Times