The N. Cole building represents a unique development opportunity within the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct. Located with frontage to Madden Street and adjacent to Freda Barnes Plaza, N. Cole is a standalone, single-storey pavilion that functions as a contrast to its surrounding commercial developments in scale, materiality and finish.
To unlock the potential of the site, we sought to maximise a small footprint for sufficient rentable area; create a quality urban outcome within a prime location; appropriately and respectfully reference a former building; navigate numerous stakeholders; and to deliver the project within a tight budget.
Through a series of design workshops with various stakeholders, it was collectively agreed that N.Cole would take a contemporary architectural approach while making abstract reference to the former building through scale and reference to former building elements. It was intended that N. Cole will present as contrasting to its surrounding commercial developments and contribute a sense of ‘quirkiness and surprise’ to the precinct through considerations of scale, reference to former building elements, and to an idiosyncrasy of presence within its context.
The selection of materials was heavily informed by needing to maintain abstract references to the former building, while also catering to our client’s requirement for the pavilion to have longevity and maintain durability. The unique soffit treatments in the overhanging canopy reference the original cornice treatments, while the grating makes subtle references to the ornament of the former building.
The design development of Freda Barnes Plaza undertook successful co-design processes (evolving from ongoing mana whenua engagement) with Janine Williams (Ngāti Whātua ki Kaipara, Ngāti Pāoa) and Boffa Miskell to create a vibrant public space adjacent to N.Cole – contributing heavily to the pavilion’s success.