Puzzling World, Wanaka - Condon Scott Architects | ArchiPro

Puzzling World, Wanaka

Stuart Landsborough’s Puzzling World is one of Wanakas largest tourist attractions. This unique business was founded in 1973 and over the past 40 years a variety of additions and extensions have been added to the building complex. The client brief was to create a new space thus completing a full circuit of the illusion rooms. The centre piece of the illusion hall was to be a double height green wall feature. The client had a number of commissioned sculptures that they wished to place along the route through the building.

The site is part of an existing building complex located in a hollow surrounded by mature trees on a main highway approximately 5km from Wanaka. The existing adjacent building’s design (60º wall) is derived from an existing illusion contained within. The site is shaded by Mount Iron to the North especially during the winter months of the year. Roading Authority restrictions required that no windows directly faced the road within 20m of the state highway. A further restriction imposed was that any building form within this 20m zone could not exceed 3.5m in height.

Design Solution
The plan is derived from a grid of 60º equal angle triangles which seamlessly ties in with the form of the existing building. This leads the customer into the entry space of the new illusion hall. The main illusion hall is a double height form with clear storey glazing. To maximize light to the green wall, a large glazed skylight was placed over. This is curved to encourage maximum use of the available western sun beyond the shadow of Mt Iron.
At the point where the 20m restriction zone commences the building steps down to comply with the 3.5m height requirement. Four secondary exhibition spaces are contained within the 3.5m high zone. To comply with the window restrictions these four spaces are faced with curved planes presenting blank faces to the road whilst allowing natural light in from the West. These curved forms are gently sloped to create a sense of rhythm and movement along this busy road.


Architects: Sarah Scott Architects Ltd, 63 Upton Street, Wanaka 

Location: Wanaka, South Island, New Zealand
Design Team: Barry Condon, Sarah Scott
Structural Engineer: Spiire NZ (formerly DWK)
Builder: Amalgamated Builders Ltd
Area: 490m2
Year: 2013

Mickey Ross (micimage)

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