Te Wananga o Aotearoa – Gisborne Offices
Once a 16 unit, 2 storey accommodation block and until recently, housing 1-2 staff per unit, this building provided a fragmented, un-collaborative work environment (contrary to the values of Te Wananga o Aotearoa)
The original minimalist styled block building exterior was stripped and re-dressed to relate better to its modern neighbours. Angled covered ways were added as were cedar louvres and eaves extended. A cantilevering first floor meeting space pod was used to break an otherwise bland rear elevation.
Internally, all spaces were linked by removing the central portions of the above dividing block walls and re-strengthening each opening. At the central timeout area, the first floor was removed to give volume to the low-ceiling ground floor space and to visually connect both levels.
Care was taken to express both the new and existing structured elements. New columns were left naturally finished, steel exposed and scars to existing blockwork left visible. Discrete servicing of the building was carefully considered. A natural soft palette was chosen to make this a welcoming environment that staff would enjoy and use.