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The concept involved creating a pedestrian lane that separates the new commercial block from the existing historic bank building while generating a link between Neville Street, Warkworth Street and the adjacent car park. The site is an amalgamation of contemporary and historic financial typologies. On one side, the existing Bank of New Zealand building is a impregnable container, delicately detailed with classical pedestals and columns; a form visually synonymous with antipodean banking institutions.

To the other side of the lane, the blue-chip tenants requested a retail shell. At street level, large expanses of glazing attempt to reverse the previous concepts of banks as impregnable vaults; now “money shops” to perhaps reflect contemporary views on credit. The building is a precast concrete structure interlocking around a large double height atrium. The use of exposed and articulated concrete to the new addition was to express a sense of gravity next to the existing dominance of the historic bank.

The concrete has a timber board texture that wraps continuously around the façade and into the atrium. The double height atrium void allows natural light and air to permeate through the buildings. To the main facade, the scale of the street determined the height of the building and critical window elements. It was important not to overshadow the existing building but to harmonize with the scale of the surrounding streetscape and adjacent built environment.

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Warkworth Bank Corner

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RB Studio is a design-focused practice. Quality to us means a commitment to producing buildings that endure - physically, practically and aesthetically. After careful communication, we apply innovative thinking to create solutions that transcend the brief. The client-architect relationship is fundamental to this process.

Our work is characterised by clarity, tactile materiality and the dynamic interplay of volume, light and mass. These attributes are the building blocks of good design and are the real forces that shape good architecture.  Through a process of continual critique and refinement, our aim is to develop individual design solutions that meet the needs of our clients.  We maintain a specialist team that focuses on projects with a cultural and artistic dimension.

As a team we strive to remain flexible, allowing us to maintain a high level of quality and consistency over the design, documentation and delivery of all work we produce. Our team are committed and dedicated toward producing well thought out architectural solutions that are practical to build and functional to occupy.  

We utilise technology which includes three-dimensional coordination, graphics, colour rendering and modelling. This technology enables precision and performance, while allowing the office to maintain strong and consistent design.  We develop individual design solutions that respond and reflect the client's brief. These solutions are refined over the project development. The client relationship is strengthened by on going communication and dialogue throughout the project. Communication begins with establishing values and principles that aggregate into a concept-driven design approach and outcome. We work alongside a highly skilled team of consultants including Geotechnical and Structural Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Planners, Landscape designers and Project Manager. These consultants are engaged at critical stages in our projects to ensure performance to realistic budget and time expectations.