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CCDHB Office Fit-out
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CCDHB Office Fit-out


Wellington

This building in Hania Street is typically known as the ‘Rehabilitation League Building’. Built between 1942 and 1944, the architect responsible for the design was Modernist Edmund Anscombe of Anscombe & Associates, on behalf of the Ministry of Works. The building is a significant Moderne style example of wartime architecture; minimal detailing and reliance on proportions, fenestrations and symmetry reflects wartime austerity and economic constraints. It is a significant surviving example of Anscombe’s work, embodying his visionary industrial and socialist principles.

Despite undergoing a number of modifications throughout its life, the building exterior and major interior spaces have retained their original heritage character. The original purpose of the building was for the assistance of disabled ex-members of the armed forces, and the training re-establishment of disabled servicemen, helping them reenter the community. In the present day context, the building not only retains its aesthetic and formal character, but the building use is a perpetuation of civic values for the community as a place for rehabilitation, healing and hope.

The project which engaged Wright & Gray: Architects Ltd. entailed the reconfiguration and revitalisation of the entire ground floor for the tenants - Capital and Coast District Health Board Specialty Services (Child & Adolescent, Addictions, Psychogeriatric) Mental Health, Addictions and Intellectual Disability Directorate.

Although the project had a limited budget, the use of colour within the interior provided a vibrant facelift and an overall visual coherency to an otherwise complex plan. The outcome and integration of colour into the overall scheme is bright, friendly, lively and playful but possesses a certain sophistication as a reflection of modernist minimalism. The colour design is practical, inspired by abstract ideas relating to the tenant’s profession and varied clients.

A vibrant facelift for CCDHB offices

Colour gives an overall visual coherency

CCDHB Office corridors

Accents in Resene Daredevil and Resene Flashback

Walls finished in Resene Half Sea Fog

The inspiration for colour use is somewhat drawn from a playful abstraction of Mondrian’s 1930s compositions, in minimalist purity. It fits well within the early 1940s Moderne building.

Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Half Sea Fog was chosen as it appears clean and pure but has a sniff of warm brown, making the colour seem warmer than other whites. This warm white backdrop across walls and ceilings allows natural light to penetrate to the core of the building. This colour choice is an intentional reactive mode for light dispersal as large exterior retaining walls close to the rear of the building restrict light entry. The colour was perfect to offset the cooler lighting conditions from the outside.

Upon the base white canvas a concentration of secondary vibrant colours - Resene Spotlight, Resene Daredevil, Resene Daisy Bush, Resene Flashback and a custom blue - in logical, targeted amounts provides clarity and focus. Saturated colours were inspired to shine through the many busy overlays anticipated to be moved in by the tenant.

The random combination of colours provides individual identification for locating oneself within the building and aids in wayfinding, providing legibility of space around circulation routes. The arrangement of colours through circulation routes is configured so that each ‘journey’ through the building has an array of the secondary colour palette; the intention being that no colour combination through each ‘viewport’ is repeated. This provides a fresh experience with every route taken. Vertical strips of colour define circulation space. As a result, rhythmic arrangement invites an inhabitant ahead to a focal destination beyond.

The steel windows were painted dark Resene Black Magic to see ‘through’ the windows, adding an additional contrast to the primary white backdrop. Doors are finished in Resene Half Napa.

The meeting to select colours with the tenant stakeholders was entertaining. Initially tentative about the bright colour palette, managers transformed when they were ‘dared’ to choose a bright colour for one wall of their offices. They started to ‘out dare’ each other. There was giggling and laughter. Amazing what colour can bring out in people!

A follow-up email from the tenants prior to them moving in expressed their delight at the final outcome: “I just wanted to say how great the whole place is looking and to thank you for the work you’ve put into helping create an environment that values our staff and especially our clients… You may like to know that our space will be called Te Whare Tipu (The House of Growth).” Perhaps this is where the true value of the project lies, in the satisfaction of the end user, upon reception of a space they can call their own.

Resene Half Sea Fog
Resene Half Sea Fog
Resene Spotlight
Resene Spotlight
Resene Daredevil
Resene Daredevil
Resene Daisy Bush
Resene Daisy Bush
Resene Flashback
Resene Flashback
Resene Black Magic
Resene Black Magic
Resene Half Napa
Resene Half Napa
 

Architectural specifier: Wright & Gray: Architects Ltd
Building contractor: Capital Construction Ltd
Client: The Street Properties Management Ltd
Painting contractor: Wellington Building Services
Photographer: John Wright, Wright & Gray: Architects Ltd

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