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Ahuriri was one of the earliest settled areas in Napier. Many of the buildings that once housed industrial activities for Port Ahuriri have been redeveloped and now house a variety of commercial, residential, industrial and recreational uses. The industrial building at 1 Wright Street, built circa mid-20th century, included warehousing and two partial levels of commercial space at the front of the site accessed via six separate entries off Wright Street, Waghorne Street and Vulcan Lane.
The client brief was for the redevelopment of the existing building into two full levels of commercial use space.
It is the large scale of the buildings, their distinctive saw-tooth roof lines, exterior walls located hard on the street boundaries and subdued colour schemes that sets Ahuriri apart from other areas in Napier. It was therefore considered vital to retain these historical features of the building, to help preserve the special character of Ahuriri.
The previous multiple access points were discarded in favour of a new single, dramatic, double height entry lobby located off Wright Street. A new central circulation spine allows access to all tenancies. The original saw-tooth roofs were extended with carefully located south facing skylights to allow natural daylight right into the depths of the building.
The original mismatched cladding and windows were replaced with vertical profiled metal cladding and vertical slot windows to retain the industrial aesthetic, and develop the building into a cohesive whole. First and second floor decks activate the corners of the building, providing a physical connection to the neighbourhood, and a light and fresh air filled environment to the offices within.
A portion of the rear warehouse was demolished to provide car parking to the rear. The car park acts as a welcome buffer between the offices and the State Highway and railway yards.
The large scale buildings and subdued colour schemes unique to Ahuriri were considered vital to retain in the design of 1 Wright Street to preserve the historic value and character of the area.
Resene Fuscous Grey on the exterior features of the building preserves an industrial aesthetic while the continuation of the deep neutral colour scheme visually connects 1 Wright Street to the existing neighbourhood.
The corners of the building are activated by decks on the first and second floors, providing a physical connection to the neighbourhood. Resene Ayers Rock adds bold highlights of colour to create a feature of the building’s openings, visually connecting the building to the street.
Resene Forest Green is used on the light shades hanging within the dramatic, double height entry lobby using Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel providing a complementary colour to the Resene Fuscous Grey at the entry and Resene Lustacryl in Resene Red Oxide on the existing steelwork, selected for its traditional colour to preserve the historic features within the building.
Architectural specifier: Shaun Thompson-Gray
Building contractor: MCL Construction Ltd
Client: Mackersey Development Ltd
Photographer: Andrew Caldwell
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