The Terrace in Christchurch’s CBD combines excellent mixed-used urban design with an iconic location. A vibrant neighbourhood overlooking the mighty Avon, the mixed-use development comprises hospitality, retail and office space all intersected and activated by character laneways. The modern, new Westpac head office – on three levels of the five-storey Westpac Building – is a cornerstone component of this.
The Terrace was masterplanned by Jasmax and NH architects, from Melbourne. The Westpac Building was designed by Jasmax, who also undertook the Westpac head office fit-out.
Westpac New Zealand’s head of property services, Rachel Winder, says the Westpac Building, including the head office and ground-level branch, is a much anticipated homecoming for those who suddenly moved out after the earthquakes in 2011.
“Situated in what we feel is an ideal position – adjacent to and overlooking the river – the branch and office offers our staff and customers the best of a natural setting together with the business activity that surrounds The Terrace. It is very important to us to be an anchor in the CBD to support our communities and be part of the rebuild of Canterbury.”
And it’s not just the setting that Westpac is proud of. The Westpac Building stands extremely safe with rolling foundations and, in keeping with the company’s focus on people and sustainability, the building has attracted a 5 Star Green Star rating.
Given its amazing location and surrounding natural environment, it’s not surprising the Westpac fit-out provides a direct connection with nature, says Nick Moyes, principal architect on the project.
“From the west of the building, occupants can work amongst the treetops lining the banks of the Avon River. Other prominent views include the Bridge of Remembrance and Cashel Mall, as well as the buzzing laneways and piazza within The Terrace. Given this environment – where the CBD connects with the banks of the Avon – we looked to the site and its surrounds as a starting point for the interior look and feel for the Westpac fit-out.
“As the connecting element between the river and the city, the riverbank environment has many characteristics, textures, patterns and forms to draw on for inspiration,” says Moyes. “Plus, we see distinct correlations with the riverbank and the spaces needed for a modern, flexible way of working.
“Like a contemporary workplace, the riverbank is a place where people meet, socialise and collaborate and so it can be busy, lively, and colourful. However, it can also be where people retreat to reflect, think, dwell, read and focus – and so can be quiet, tranquil, reflective, fluid and calm as well.”