The form of this office and retail space was inspired by a railway carriage. Louvers allow for solar control while the clerestory to the ridgeline provides natural light in to the deep space of the upper level of the building. This also creates a sense of height and form to this work space. The use of crafted elements such as the wound rod mounts to the copper door handle illustrates our belief in the importance of attention to detail where people make contact with a building.
The strong form of this café and roadside building, with its domestic scale, reflects the sharp jagged landscape of the surrounding hills and mountains. The deliberately grand scale of the entry porch provides and sense of arrival. The ablution and amenity areas of the building have a lower scale with roof lines rising higher over the public spaces. The timber porch structures link to the outdoor dining areas and reference the surrounding native bush of the region.
This restaurant and retail space was designed to fit within an existing pre-cast wall that edged the site. The building form reflects this shape. The design has distinctive entries that extend out beyond the covered walkway. Cupolas to each end of the building give a distinctive form and provide a contrast to the domestic building behind. Terracotta pipes manufactured at a nearby pottery act as permanent formwork for the concrete columns.
Built at a time when planning provisions allowed for single storey buildings in this central city location, it was intentionally designed to reinstate the two storey façade of the street. The central part of the façade is broken up to give visual separation from neighbouring buildings with terracotta columns providing verticality to the form. At street level a bow in the shop frontage allows the footpath to widen creating a stillness that draws people towards the main entry.
The restoration of this gracious old lady situated on a main artery in to Nelson City is of importance both locally and Nationally. This building is the oldest working theatre of timber construction in New Zealand. The reinstatement of the front façade and verandah over the footpath serves to re-establish the presence of the building on the street and talks about its great age. To the rear the backstage and fly tower are all about functionality – reinforcing that this is no museum piece but a modern facility that acknowledges its significant heritage value. Within the building the main auditorium will maintain is original and ornate magic.
Tasman Nelson Environment Awards • Heritage