The Pitt & Moore Lawyers Office project is part of a larger rebuild on this centrally located site in Richmond owned by Network Tasman. Pitt and Moore Lawyers were existing tenants in a nearby 2-storey building that had been seismically assessed and found to be well below current design standards. The decision was made to relocate the Pitt and Moore offices into this existing 174 square metre building (105sm down and 69sm up) and that it would be strengthened and refitted to current codes.
The building was originally built in 1958 as a store for the Waimea Electric Power Board. The construction consisted of ground floor reinforced concrete slab; timber mezzanine floor supported on an exposed steel frame; insitu concrete walls and columns; steel roof trusses supporting timber purlins and sarking. The initial seismic assessment made by the Structural Engineer gave the building a rating of 17% NBS. The prospective tenant Pitt & Moore was moving from a building with a 16% NBS rating and wanted 100% NBS.
The tenancy is part of a larger building so the building upgrade and strengthening had to take into account the whole building. There was a desire by both the client and Architect to create an industrial feel to reference the history of the building, so eccentric braced frames were proposed in both directions. As the tenancy is relatively narrow it was decided to use insitu concrete shear walls in the transverse direction. The upgraded structure achieves 100% NBS and the exposed frames provide the desired industrial feel.
The new office fitout design respects the raw nature of the building, using a limited palette of materials and colours. New structural frames have purposely been left exposed. New insulation and corrugated metal roofing were added on top of the existing sarked roof structure, which has now been revealed and stained to become a feature of the interior space.
A new zinc clad verandah has been added to provide shelter to the frameless glass entry doors. The reception lobby remains a spacious double height void, with polished concrete floor and new grand steel stair accessing offices located on the upper level. Meeting rooms, staff facilities and support rooms are located downstairs.
By incorporating and exposing the new seismic structure, the overall finished result is a safe character-filled office environment. It is one that the tenant enjoys working in and the client is proud of.