Wellington Children's Hospital

Architectural handiwork for Wellington Children's Hospital in New Zealand

About 3 years ago, Simon Raikes of Craftbuilt was approached by Studio Design and Architecture to help them turn plans for a 7.3 metre high oak tree staircase into a reality. The staircase was to be a central feature at the new, state of the art, Wellington Children’s Hospital. The design was to provide a sense of wonder and distraction from the stark reality of a hospital visit.

The staircase wraps its way up the trunk of the tree to allow the children to touch and feel the tree creating an interaction, thus enhancing the analogy that the forest is life giving, and this is what the Children’s Hospital is all about.

Simon spent 3000 hours handmaking the 7.3 metre, 66 branch tree. In an effort to reduce weight, oak veneer was pressed onto ply. A solid oak handrail weaves its way up the staircase and into various corridors to provide the continuity and flow of the forest theme.

Osmo Polyx Oil satin 3032 was chosen to coat the veneer and solid oak handrails, to provide protection from the everyday wear and tear in a high pedestrian area. The ease of maintenance was an additional factor in selecting the Polyx Oil, as well as having environmental and general food safe properties. Polyx Oil was a logical choice for a venue such as a Children’s Hospital.

The finished product is a stunning testament to Craftbuilt’s workmanship. At the New Zealand Master Joiner Annual Excellence Awards 2023, Craftbuilt Industries won the “Best Staircase” award for the Oak tree staircase and went on to win the “Supreme Master Joiners Award”.

More info www.craftbuild.co.nz

The oak tree staircase in the Wellington Children’s Hospital protected with Osmo Hartwachs-Öl