Warren and Mahoney Architects 77 N.Cole Pavilion

  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Blair Johnston, Divya Purushotham, Shane Bott, Tom Locke, Olivia Wong, Bren Morrison, Eliot Blenkarne, Ravi Solanki
  • Client
    Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited

N.Cole is a new, standalone, single-storey pavilion representing a unique development opportunity within the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct (WQIP). The brief presented various constraints while seeking to unlock the potential of the site: maximising a small footprint for sufficient rentable area; creating a quality urban outcome at a prime location; appropriately and respectfully referencing a former building; navigating numerous stakeholders; and delivered within a tight budget.

Through a series of design workshops with various stakeholders, it was collectively agreed that N.Cole would take a contemporary architectural approach while making abstract reference to the former building through scale and reference to former building elements. It was intended that N. Cole will present as contrasting to its surrounding commercial developments and contribute a sense of ‘quirkiness and surprise’ to the precinct.

While originally intended for hospitality, N.Cole will function as an event space while the industry recovers from the effects of the pandemic.

This site is modest in scale yet unique in its potential for impact. The immediate surroundings in the precinct are generally 6-7 storeys with footprints that extend to boundaries. N.Cole contrasts, with a single storey volume oriented towards the public Freda Barnes Plaza. The low-lying, single storey pavilion makes an appropriate horizontal reference to the former building.

The deliberate orientation towards the plaza amplifies contrast by providing solidity to the street while referencing the facade of the former building. The ‘mass’ towards the frontage contrasts with the general openness and glazed nature of the facades of the commercial context.

The scheme is experienced as unique/surprising within immediate surroundings and retains the experience offered by the former building.

The selection of materials was heavily informed by needing to maintain abstract references to the former building while also catering to our client’s requirement for this pavilion to have longevity and maintain durability. The unique soffit treatments in the overhanging canopy reference the original cornice treatments, while the grating makes subtle references to the ornament of the former building.

A lighter material palette makes essential contributions to the larger design objective of achieving a contrast between the pavilion and adjacent buildings. Short returns to the ends of the planar walls give the appearance of greater solidity, evoking this aspect of the character of the former building.

The quantum of complexity was kept to a minimum to meet the financial parameters of the client. While the pavilion has been value engineered on multiple occasions, the integrity of the design intent has been successfully carried through to the built outcome.

Financial parameters and ambitious design intent gave way to establishing collaborative relationships between design team, client, and contractor. To achieve desired outcomes, W+M worked closely with the contractor through the early stages to iterate/prototype solutions that were efficient, buildable, and minimised waste.