"This gave us an historical overlay, which we could wrap around the front and the sides of the building. It also provides topographical references to key features in the region, such as the braided rivers, and references the Port Hills."
Spacers set the aluminium facade 50mm off the wall behind, which is clad in ironsand-coloured Titan Rainscreen panels.
"We framed large cedar balconies on both sides of the building to add visual softness," says the architect. "Christchurch at present is a bit rugged and hard edged, so this provides a little balance."
The cedar is angled upwards at the top of the window, like a picture frame, to lift the eye up to the sky and it allows more light to flood the interior.
"This was also a way to exemplify Corbel Construction's strong craftsmanship ability a theme that continues on the interior," says Crust.
Mark Wells says the office, which brings together staff from two separate buildings, needed to be an open-plan, collaborative space.
"We originally envisioned a converted warehouse look with old trusses and exposed steel girders, but the roof height was too low. That concept was a strong influence, however."
In addition to exposed steel I-beams, cable trays and trusses, structural bracing around a void is exposed.
"We wanted the building to impart a certain construction honesty, without being brutal," says Crust. "There are clear references to the nature of Corbel's work on the interior as well as the exterior."