Different facade treatments on each elevation help to minimise the bulk of the 8000m² office.
"We wanted to break down the parts so it would look like two buildings coming together in the middle," says the architect. "Deep louvres provide sun control on the north side, while the east and south facades are glazed. The west facade, attracting the greatest heat from the sun, features a large, precast concrete wall with smaller areas of glazing. These are punctuated at the ends with panels of exposed aggregate. On one side there are long slot windows in the aggregate."
The team specified a 1500mm-grid building, which provides efficiencies in terms of a seamless fit-out. The ceiling tiles are 1500mm x 500mm, as compared to the traditional 1200 x 600mm. Wingate says the 1500mm system has become more common in Europe and Australia, but this building is believed to be the first installation for Tauranga.
"We spent a lot of time talking to potential tenants and designed the building around their needs," says the architect. "The design matured as we progressed, and tenants actually demanded facilities that have made it a much better building. Working with the construction team from Day One also meant we could control budgets and construction methodology to provide savings."
Wingate says the biggest challenge for the team and developer was in getting firms to move from very large premises to offices with a small footprint, albeit a more efficient workplace.
"The rentals in the new building are a little higher than the rather low average in Tauranga, but because space in the new building is used so efficiently, the value is obvious. Staples Rodway, for example, had 1600m² in its former premises; now it is down to 920m², but the firm has more space than it can use, so there is plenty of room to grow."