Matamata firm plays a part in spectacular cafe
Playing a part in the best designed cafe in the world is ‘‘pretty amazing’’ for Stanley Construction.
The Matamata firm were the head contractors for the design and build contract of Knoll Ridge Cafe, which sits in the Whakapapa Ski Field on Mt Ruapehu.
The cafe has beaten international competition to be announced as the best designed coffee shop in the world.
Design website Design Curial looked at 4000 cafes from New York to Tokyo before deciding on New Zealand’s Knoll Ridge Cafe.
‘‘We delivered the design through an architectural firm,’’ Stanley Construction managing director Kevin Stanley said of his company’s involvement.
Building the cafe on top of Mt Ruapehu was certainly one of the more challenging jobs Stanley Construction has taken on. But Stanley said it wasn’t even the fact that Mt Ruapehu is New Zealand’s largest active volcano that made it challenging.
‘‘It’s more the whole remoteness of the job. You can’t drive to it, everything has to be flown in by helicopter.’’
The cafe is also built on lava flow which is certainly not your typical building site.
‘‘ I think the interesting thing with this job is that it’s not the remoteness or the difficulty in building it, it’s actu- ally the design that won the job. That’s the fascinating thing. It’s a substantial building on a World Heritage site. Buildings on World Heritage sites are unheard of in any context.
‘‘So to have a building on a World Heritage site is pretty amazing and then to have that building that meets the environment and the environmental needs of that World Heritage site is something even more incredible.’’
The building is designed with a wing shaped roof, which isn’t traditionally done on buildings that are in the snow. Usually the roof is built the other way so the snow falls off.
‘‘ What we said when we were going through the design phase of this job, the views are just spectacular.’’
The cafe is now a building that is ‘‘truly amazing’’ and has one of the best views you’d find anywhere in the world.
Stanley said the company were incredibly proud to be a part of the project, which was completed in 2011.
He urged people to go and have a look. ‘‘It’s worthwhile.’’ Another Stanley Construction project, Ocean Shores Retirement Village in Papamoa, has also received recognition recently.
The project won a gold award at the 2015 New Zealand Commercial Projects Awards.
The Knoll Ridge cafe during construction.