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Sheetmetals Ltd was asked to join the design team working on the Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre. A complete refurbishment was planned for the centre, including a major upgrade of the building, facilities and displays.

The Aoraki Mount Cook National Park Visitor Centre plays an important role in introducing visitors from all over the world to the wonders of Aoraki, New Zealand's highest mountain.

Featuring a considerable collection of artwork and interpretative exhibits, the visitor centre is in itself an attraction; diamond shaped window panes and exhibition frames allude to snow crystals, and the focal point of the centre is a large picture window looking out to Aoraki.

"It is rather like being in the inner workings of a telescope providing a view that is both magnificent and unexpected" said Jury convenor Crispin Schurr, Canterbury Architecture Awards.

Sheetmetals Ltd was responsible for manufacturing the display framework, the stair handrails and the impressive stainless steel hoop structure at the heart of the centre. Designed to draw the visitor in, the design layout encapsulates the central theme of "the allure of the mountain".

The stainless steel structures were flown to Christchurch and then sent by truck to Mount Cook, where the weather proved something of a challenge as many of our tradesmen had never experienced snow!

The centre has since won a number of industry awards, including the coveted Winner of New Zealand Institute of Architects Branch Award 2009.