up in the roof

as featured in
A loft overlooking the harbour was stripped back to its steel framing and redesigned as an open, creative office space
A view of an office by Hawkins Interiors. architecture, ceiling, daylighting, institution, interior design, office, brown
A view of an office by Hawkins Interiors.

THERE are many challenges inherent in trying to put a contemporary interior into an older building particularly when the space has to be completely gutted and rebuilt. Services such as air conditioning and plumbing are often dated and cumbersome. Access is sometimes difficult, especially if the building has sweeping staircases rather than elevators.

Hawkins Interiors was given the task of creating all the structural elements of McConnell Property's office. Everything from the structural steelwork to the subframing, floor and partitions was Hawkins' responsibility.

Project Manager Darryl August says Hawkins found solutions to many difficulties encountered while working in the Viaduct Quay building.


A view of an office by Hawkins Interiors. architecture, ceiling, daylighting, institution, interior design, office, brown
A view of an office by Hawkins Interiors.

"Materials had to be brought in manually, up four flights of stairs. The staircase had to be built and then hoisted up three flights and man-handled into position. Many of the old services were worn out, so a lot of adapting had to be done. Things that seemed simple, such as relocating fire hoses, took hours because the old pipes were so difficult to trace."

In order to keep the open feel of the loft space, Hawkins had to come up with a way of building sturdy partitions that did not connect to the ceiling. The result is aluminium partitions that connect to the ducting.

"It's not the normal way of doing things, but if we built full-height partitions the open loft feeling would have been completely lost," says August.

A view of an office by Hawkins Interiors. architecture, ceiling, daylighting, institution, interior design, office, brown
A view of an office by Hawkins Interiors.

Working above busy restaurants posed further challenges. Construction took place with the doors and windows closed to prevent dust falling on the restaurant below. Hawkins had to be aware that if they shut off certain services, (such as the fire alarm system, which in turn shuts off the gas) they could bring the kitchens below to a standstill.

For details, contact Hawkins Interiors, 28 Heather Street, Parnell, Auckland, phone 09 368 4378, fax 09 379 5083. Website: www.hawkinsinteriors.co.nz.

Sep 20, 2006
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