Building where the rain is measured in metres

Te Waonui Forest Retreat

Building where the rain is measured in metres


Tourism & Hotels


Scenic Hotel Group




2009 Canterbury Commercial Architecture Award; Qualmark Five-Star standard with a Gold Enviro award.

Tourism & Hotels
About This Project

Franz Josef is located in a region where the rainfall is measured in metres. The extreme weather conditions were a major challenge during construction of the aptly named “Rainforest Hotel”. Constructed amidst native bush, with minimal impact on the native surrounding, the building melds into the environment. Arrow “buildability” input and review into the design insisted on zero roof penetrations and a focus on the wet climate detailing of the external skin. This ensured the target goal of zero leaks was achieved.


Unique Aspects

A remote site that involved crossing mountain passes and swollen rivers to get to site. Many of the team were accommodated on site.  Working in a fully operational environment. Eco-friendly practices have been incorporated into every aspect of the 5 star hotels operation and design.

This hotel is a real star. From the service levels to the furnishings, to the setting, we've poured our heart and soul into this property and this place, and it shows. We're particularly proud of the dedication to the environment and sustainability this property displays."

Brendan Taylor
Managing Director Scenic Hotel Group