Unlimited Potential Alteration

By Crosson Architects


This project, for a real-estate office seeking a distinctive contemporary presence, included the restoration of a historic double-bay Edwardian commercial building and the addition of a contemporary structure to the rear. The materials and forms were selected to clearly delineate old from new.

The existing building had suffered from many years of neglect. Its previous incarnation was as a fast-food bar, necessitating the removal of layers of additions and surfaces to take the building back to the original. All that remained was the bones of the structure in concrete and brickwork to allow the provision of an adaptable open-plan office space.

The brickwork was repointed and the building structurally upgraded, with the use of internally exposed steel portal frames becoming a key design element. The addition was designed to contrast with and complement the existing building. It is made up of two distinct elements – a plywood-lined, folded metal form creates the party wall and roof, with full height steel joinery dematerialising the interior/exterior boundary. A more closed and intimate zinc-clad box is inserted into this form to serve as a separate meeting space.

Glass roof elements were used to separate the old and the new. A concrete and timber stair wraps around a steel-clad wall leading to the open-plan offices of the upper level.

The full-height steel bi-fold joinery opening to the courtyard relates to the proportions of the existing windows and doors, while a new concrete floor throughout the ground level unifies the scheme and flows directly to the exterior, where a simple and formal landscape scheme reinforces the essential classical nature of both the existing Edwardian building and the modernist addition.

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Crosson Architects is an Auckland based architectural practice with an exceptional portfolio of work. Past projects include residential, commercial, institutional, masterplanning and urban design developments. Ken Crosson and his team have won numerous architectural awards locally and internationally with work being regularly published here and around the world.

Our commitment to providing a superior service to our clients is extended with membership in Designgroup New Zealand, enabling larger scale projects to be undertaken, drawing on a range of resources and expertise from partnering practices. We strive for the highest standards of client service, design and documentation. At the completion of each project, the aim is to have achieved a building that is beyond the client's expectations. We believe good design will produce sustainable, functional and dramatic spaces and buildings that have an enduring quality over time.

Each project is analysed for its special requirements and opportunities: the end result being not a preconceived idea, but a combination of the client's requirements and desires, a response to the site and the budget. Critical consideration is given to the project's specific environmental and historical context, and to the appropriate use of materials and construction methods.

At the heart of the process is the collaboration between the client and the architect. At Crosson Architects we create – and the process is vigorous and robust, rich and rewarding. Amongst other elements, we consider the physical, psychological and spiritual – achieving an outcome that is unique and life-enhancing.

We would love to offer you the opportunity to realise your dream with Ken and the team at Crosson Architects.