After taking over a neighbouring car park, a tapas bar is expertly renovated and furnished into a thriving restaurant – with every element undergoing a significant upgrade in size and sophistication.

The construction of the new Barulho restaurant is one of our favourite jobs to date. Working alongside T Plus Architects Ltd, we embarked on the very complex project of transforming a portion of the lower level of an operating multi-level car park, into a 160 SQ M Tenancy for a restaurant.

The complexity of the brief begun on day one. A significant amount of concrete cutting and excavation work was required as well as the challenge of creating a watertight tenancy in an old concrete car park. Extensive fireworks were also completed to create a single fire cell to protect the tenancy and the car park from undue risk in the event of a fire.

A key objective was to construct a large open space where diners could see and enjoy the action in the kitchen from anywhere in the restaurant, and a large kitchen that meets the demands of a voracious and appreciative Auckland eating public. Full-height sliding doors were installed, flooding the space with light and allowing passersby a glimpse of the cosy and vibrant restaurant within. The seating has quadrupled, with room for up to 100 patrons. A large waterproof outdoor canopy effortlessly provides indoor-outdoor flow in the warmer summer months.

The large open space is cleverly carved into different zones. We installed old wooden sliders that when closed create an atmospheric private dining room. Heavy sweeping curtains give the diners the option of a fully private dining experience should they want it. A fireplace at the end of the private dining space provides a focal feature for this end of the restaurant and ensure the building is warm and cosy in cooler seasons.

A balanced blend of industrial and natural materials create a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere – with a nod to the intrinsic history of the building. Recycled rustic timber doors are used throughout the restaurant, and the existing concrete slab was polished and sealed to retain the original car park markings.

All the internal walls were plastered in a polished concrete render finish, adding definition to the walls in a way that is consistent with the building’s past.

The existing supporting steel beams were sprayed out in black and lined with acoustic panelling, enhanced by an extensive lighting and audio plan.

Modern vertical timber screens were installed to create an exposed feel to the main entrance. A secondary entrance and pay station within the building was also required while taking care to retain the indoor-outdoor flow and light created by the glass sliders.

Photography: Michelle Weir

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About the

Build or renovate with Urry & Burgess Construction and you know you will be working with committed, reliable builders with exacting standards for quality and craftsmanship. An exceptional eye for details means we are only satisfied with the highest standard of finish. As such, we take pride in every job we complete, whether big or small.

Our Philosophy
At the forefront of our business are the values by which we were raised – trust, integrity, accountability and commitment. These drive us to provide you with the best results and create something that we are proud to be a part of. Determined to make it as easy a process as possible, we believe transparency and communication are key. We are committed to providing an exceptional construction service, while also building our relationships with clients and other industry experts – so you can build with confidence.

Our Approach
Our approach to building is the key to the overall success of every project we are part of, and the complete satisfaction of all our clients. Beginning with a full understanding of your goals, every build, whether big or small, is tailored to meet your specific needs.

We understand that building a new property, or renovating an existing one can be a stressful and complicated process. At UBC, comprehensive planning and communication with our qualified subcontractors and suppliers enables us to keep a consistent view across timings and budgets, keeping you well-informed along the way.

We pride ourselves on our ability to work along-side clients and industry partners alike, working collaboratively to exceed client expectations. With a professional approach and an extensive understanding of the building industry, our projects are built with care and attention to detail.

Our Services
UBC has a proven track record in the successful delivery of both residential and commercial projects. Our residential services include new home builds, renovations and extensions. Within the commercial sector, we specialise in the construction, refurbishment or upgrading of existing commercial or corporate spaces.

Thorough project and construction management ensures administration, programming and reporting is accurate and transparent to everyone involved. This results in a comprehensive understanding of our clients expectations and the delivery of quality projects.

Our Experience
UBC is the product of our directors’ long history and strong commitment to providing quality builds across both the residential and commercial sectors. Our collective experience of over 25 years for delivering all aspects of a project enables us to offer practical and cost-effective solutions for even the most complex building projects.

From custom building high-end architectural homes and property development to the modernisation of corporate workplaces, our workmanship and project management skills have been tried and tested – both internationally and here in New Zealand.