Cutshop works on projects of all shapes and sizes but one job this year captured a special place in our affections.  When the communal kitchen living and dining building on Motu Kaikoura fell victim to an arson attack in 2013, it deprived the island reserve of a much-needed resource to accommodate research workers, volunteers and educational groups – and the insurance claim didn’t cover the cost of a rebuild. 

The team from Strachan Group Architects (SGA) decided to step in, setting up a professional development course in collaboration with Architecture + Women NZ, volunteering their time to prefabricate the lodge and gain hands-on experience under the guidance of SGA .

SGA project architect, Maria Hosking, approached Cutshop Mt Wellington to ask if we could help. Cutshop opened its doors to the all-woman team one weekend and staff happily donated their time and expertise.  Using board and hardware donated by suppliers, we coded the designs in and supervised as the architects used our CNC and edge-banding machines to cut the board. 

Maria Hosking explained: “It was a great opportunity to give architects a practical understanding of the processes that other people go through when taking a design through to finished build.  The Cutshop team were awesome. They shared their knowledge and expertise and showed us the limitations and possibilities of the latest technology.  “

The women then built the whole structure in the SGA Workshop in Kingsland before dismantling it for transportation by barge to Kaikoura Island (North-West of Great Barrier Island), where it was airlifted on to the building site by helicopter.

“We enjoyed being involved in a project for the good of the wider community,” said Cutshop’s Simon Morton.  “At the same time, it was a useful for the Architecture + Women team to understand the process we follow after architect plans are finalised.  A lot of them commented on the learning curve of seeing design specifications turned into practical hands-on work.  It was a win-win for everyone.”