Plant & Food Research Motueka

Plant & Food Research Motueka, reception area, JTB Architects

Plant & Food Research Motueka

Completed in 2021, the 1430mPlant & Food Horticultural Research Facility at Motueka combines with existing facilities to create more than 2800m2 of purpose-built laboratories and crop handling facilities, as well as offices and shared meeting spaces at the site. The facility is a part of a development by the landowners, Wakatū Incorporation, to create a scientific hub to support the agrifood industry in the Nelson Tasman region.

Replacing a number of existing buildings on the site, some dating to the 1950s, the new facility caters for 45+ staff, and provides an administrative area with open plan offices, private AV conference rooms, shared collaborative spaces, focus rooms, a larger conference space, purpose-designed PC1 and PC2 laboratories and crop handling facilities.


An initial master planning process identified the opportunity to develop a new, centralised lab and office facility, which would support the surrounding auxiliary buildings and labs. Areas for future expansion were also identified. 

The project was required to navigated the multitude of existing services to the auxiliary buildings, as well as the limited services available at the rural location.

Plant & Food Motueka, exterior and entrance, JTB Architects
Plant & Food Motueka, lab area, JTB Architects

Specialised science areas at the facility include media prep/chemistry labs, tissue culture and laminar flow work rooms, an instrument room, pathology work rooms with biohazard units, and PC1 and PC2 laboratories. 

Plant & Food Motueka, JTB Architects
Plant & Food Motueka, lab areas, JTB Architects
Plant & Food Motueka, lab area, JTB Architects
Plant & Food Motueka, reception area, JTB Architects
Plant & Food Motueka, lining detail, JTB Architects

Interiors for the facility utilise a natural design palette in shades of green and organic forms.

Acoustic battens nod to the rows of kiwi fruit orchards that this location specialises in.

Plant & Food Motueka, office and workspace, JTB Architects
Plant & Food Motueka, office interiors, JTB Architects

Client: Plant & Food Research, Wakatū Incorporation

Location: Motueka

Status: Completed 2021

Karl Vercoe, JTB Architects

Karl Vercoe



Diana Shchukin

Associate Interior Designer