Mason Bros

This project is spatially courageous, reinventing the expected commercial paradigm in favour of a bespoke and spatially fluid approach befitting the unique opportunity of the building.

Winner of Project of the Year - International at the CIBSE 2020 Building Performance Awards, the Mason Bros project involves the adaptive reuse of a character warehouse space into a three storey commercial development as part of the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct. The conceptual approach is to suspend a highly reflective glazed object within the existing volume (separated spatially from the brick and concrete enclosure on three sides), creating a strong formal and material contrast while amplifying the presence of the existing fabric.

The former character of the warehouse is retained with the dramatic saw tooth roof form dropping south light into a major 60m long internal lane which acts as the circulatory system of the building and provides an internal pedestrian link at a masterplan level. An intentional spatial ambiguity is created within the lane through the use of highly reflective gold glazing which blurs the relationship between new and old.

The project delivers approximately 5700m2 of commercial floorspace over three levels with lower and upper levels connected via triple height spaces and an upper level balustrade condition. The project is spatially courageous, reinventing the expected commercial paradigm in favour of a bespoke and spatially fluid approach befitting the unique opportunity of the building.

The building addresses public lanes on all frontages, with high levels of operability enabling strong activation of these urban edges. The character building fabric is retained, punctuated by contemporary glazing elements which reveal the mysterious internal object inhabiting the carapace of the former warehouse. The retention of the character building is critical at a masterplan level, creating an authentic link to the industrial legacy of the site, while heavily influencing the architectural composition of adjacent buildings.

Mason Bros. has received the highest possible ratings for energy performance from the New Zealand Green Building Council. It is the first adaptive reuse building to achieve a 6 Green Star for as-built design, and a 5.5 Star NabersNZ rating for the effectiveness of the operation of the building.

The design of Mason Bros resulted in a lifetime emissions reduction of 3,200 tonnes of carbon when compared with a benchmark building. This is equivalent to:

- Preventing 975 cubic metres of coal being burnt
- The growth of 52,900 newly planted tree seedings
- Taking 690 cars off the road for a year

This was achieved by a highly energy efficient design and reuse of structure.⁠ Mason Bros demonstrates that through the application of technology and technical rigour, sophisticated and sustainable design outcomes can be delivered on time and on budget. ⁠

The building is designed in line with the Wynyard Quarter Sustainability Framework. In 2019, Mason Bros. was awarded both a 6 Green Star rating and a 5 Star NABERSNZ rating, New Zealand's first to achieve the highest possible rating for environmental impact from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

In 2019, this project was the recipient of the ‘Best in Category’ Green Building Property award at the Property Council of New Zealand Awards. “The project team has worked hard on great place-making, very strong transparency on finances and life cycle costs, and world-leading Six Green Star rating. The judges were also impressed by the 5.5 NABERSNZ rating, showing the building works exceptionally well in operations. The demonstrable evidence of staff productivity benefits exceeded the developer’s aspirational goals in relation to energy and water usage”, cited the jury.