The new Blenheim iSite houses both the Destination Marlborough finance and administration office and the Blenheim iSite Centre. The new iSite brings cohesion to a significant tourism juncture, sitting adjacent to the railway line bringing visitors to the region on the Trans-Coastal train, and at the intersection of main roads between Picton, Nelson and Kaikoura.
The building is conceived as a raised pavilion. It has a strong street presence through the use of exposed timber structures and timber bracing elements. Alternating glass and timber infill panels bring the interplay of transparency and solidity to the façade, relating to the street with ease. The exposed timber soffit accentuating the textures and cantilevered roof has been carefully considered and articulated. This bold aesthetic creates a strong sense of place and memorable visitor experience.
Innovative yet simple mechanical solutions result in a sophisticated building designed to be responsive to surrounding environment in several ways. Opening and closing windows and vents can be observed by the users and visitors. The roof is designed to allow rainwater falling from the roof perimeter to feed the surrounding plants and garden below. Locally sourced grasses form the landscaping to allow the building to settle into a soft natural habitat. The roof is designed as a heat sink to activate solar buoyancy, drawing fresh air in through low level windows and then vented up through the ceiling space and roof vent.
The character of the internal spaces is influenced by the angular grid, exposure of the dark stained timber structural post and beam, and visitor connection with clear views to the surrounding ranges that encompass Blenheim and are synonymous of the Marlborough region.