"The buildings were stripped right back, opened up to each other and given a new central services core, comprising the lifts, stairs, toilets and plant. The steel framed core also played a role in the structural support of the conjoined interiors with their now sprawling open floorplates.
"However, for further support, the floors had to have new structural diaphragms. We had to make a decision whether to cover the existing heritage floors from underneath or on top to accommodate and then conceal the new bracing," says Goldie. "We opted to top the floors and retain the underside of them leaving the existing rugged floor joists, secondary bracing and herringbone strutting on show to the level below. If we'd gone the other way, preserving the upper sides of the floors, most of the heritage look would have been covered up with carpet and office furniture anyway."
In strategic areas, the architects also introduced dropped ceilings to conceal air-conditioning plant.
Care was taken to preserve what the architects could from the reworkings for example the wood from the old timber stairs from both interiors was repurposed to fill the void left by their removal.
Beautiful on the outside, sprawling and modern on the inside, the buildings were suited to a high calibre of tenant. And the elegant new street entry from Takutai Square more than reflects that.
"Florets, drawn from original decorative facade elements, are recreated in metal as fixings for lobby wall lining panels," says Goldie.