Photographers - Simon Wilson [Exterior Photography], Designwell [Interior Photography]
The Riverbanks development is positioned within the heart of Hamilton's CBD, adjoining the recently completed Riverbank Lane development. This 1960's building was originally designed by the Ministry of Works with structural capacity to have an additional floor. The client wanted to give the building a complete refurbishment and make use of its latent potential for additional floor area. The design approach required an editing process. Stripping back the superficial facing components to explore the beauty of the building's key elements and allow these to generate the new aesthetic.
Vertical louvre screens and a darkened recessed backdrop unify the central elements of the building together, accentuating the plinth and new roof addition. The cantilevered cedar soffit draws the eye upwards, and ties the new addition into the language of the recently completed Mezz box addition. Continuous perimeter glazing of the new floor make the new addition visually light and allows the roof to float as a clean horizontal line.
The use of timber joinery, dark bronze trims and the formality of the meeting spaces respects the traditional styling of barrister’s offices, while the deep blue walls and custom walnut furniture challenge the conventions. The elegant entry and informal reception opens up to the meeting spaces with views down the main street. Two large timber sliding doors disappear into a wall pocket providing acoustic separation for private meetings but also allowing a large gathering space to host events.