Allendale Annexe, Ponsonby: Office Addition
Part of Salmond Reed’s brief when upgrading office facilities in the distinctive Allendale House, was to re-consider an addition built on the adjacent site. Built in the1990s this adjunct building was, by 2010, recognised to be inadequate for the client organisation’s future growth.
A new Annexe building, more fully utilising the adjacent site’s potential but designed to comply with existing District Plan Rules, was the sensible proposal to provide the requisite basement and off-street parking, two board rooms and quality office space for eighteen staff. The new building was to have its own identity, acknowledging its lavishly detailed Victorian neighbour without compromising or challenging that building’s heritage status. It also needed to take consideration of the site’s 1.5 metre full-length air and light easement, which could not be built over.
Within these constraints the new building is taken to its maximum permitted height. Its form, surging forward whilst minimally supported in space, evokes lightness, despite its mass, to contrast against the adjacent, well-grounded heritage building.
On the exterior, a series of recessed ‘negative’ elements sets up a rhythm for material changes and asymmetry featuring concrete, stained cedar, zinc and glass-a limited palette of materials and colours which take their cue from the old building.
Basement car park access is gained by driving through Allendale’s former stables, now read in their original form via the fully glazed rear stair, a part of the “link” between the old and new buildings. The deceptively simple upper floor office space opens to the cantilevered deck via sliding doors, while timber screens to this area control light and view. This large cantilevered overhang frees up space for off-street parking outside the new boardroom complex.
While the adjacent restored and redecorated Allendale House now integrates modern facilities comfortably and respectfully into their solid heritage context, this new Annexe building, housing the necessary modern facilities and expansion space, acts as a contemporary foil against its Victorian neighbour.
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