When a leading telecommunications company relocates and reorganises its headquarters, it's to be expected that the new venue will reflect progressive thinking. A Green Star-rated office complex that merges heritage architecture, futuristic facades and skybridges, glass elevators and leading interior design concepts is a good place to start.
The new Telecom Central office and retail complex commissioned by Gill Consultants for developer The Wellington Company was built with the needs of its naming tenant in mind. Base-build architects Architecture + and interior architects Warren and Mahoney worked closely from the outset to ensure an internal layout that would support the campus-style work environment seen in Telecom's recently completed Auckland offices. The forward-looking building also had to attract a 5-Star Green Star rating for design.
Stephen Poulopoulos, at Architecture +, says the answer was to create a composite building right in the heart of Wellington fronting onto Willis Street one way and Boulcott Street the other.
"On Willis Street, the building enfolds the heritage-protected Tisdalls facade and a 1980s concrete building alongside. Dovetailing with these structures, the new build portion extends back across the block to Boulcott Street, five levels up," says the project architect.
Incorporating the heritage Tisdalls building and its iconic internal staircase was part of achieving town planning consent. The assimilation of the '80s building, stripped back, with floor plates extended, contributed to the Green Star rating.
"Optimising natural light penetration through the resulting 90m-long floor plates also impacted Green Star accreditation and this helped drive the design," says Poulopoulos. "The glass facades at both ends and a central atrium cutting laterally across the floorplate all flood light into the interior."