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Design creates unique environment

Design creates unique environment
Each interior space needed to provide a specifi c experience for the user, so materials were selected that would naturally keep texture, light, and shade at the fore.

The design of Christchurch’s new mixed-use OneStaff House by Walker Architecture has created a unique environment for four levels of retail, commercial offices, and residential apartment spaces, and a dynamic spatial experience for tenants and those passing by both structurally and through selective interior detail.

OneStaff House is an owner/operator’s building, with recruitment agency OneStaff both the project’s developer and end user.

OneStaff House is OneStaff’s national head office. Walker Architecture managing director Jason Walker says his client wanted something different which used natural raw and exposed materials to the internal spaces. “That’s what we’ve given them,” he says.

“Most of the materials in the building have been left in the natural and raw state were possible. The stairs have been left as raw concrete with heavily textured surrounding walls and the structural supporting steel exposed, and all the mechanical ducting has been done in such a way that it’s also exposed. It has a real industrial feel.”

Jason’s vision for the building’s interior was a space that feels both harmonious and pragmatic, allowing for daily activity to develop organically.

Each interior needed to provide a specific and unique experience for the user, so materials were selected that would naturally keep texture, light, and shade at the fore.

“The way we’ve treated the exterior is to decrease the amount of glazing to the direct north facing aspect of the building and the east elevation, with large horizontal louvers to let in diffused light rather than direct sunlight.”

This is a Green Star methodology, which Walker Architecture has been practising for the past 15 years. Walker Architecture designed the South Island’s first and New Zealand’s fourth 5-star rated Green Star building in 2009, the HSBC Building.

OneStaff House hasn’t been certified as a Green Star building, but has been designed under the methodology for both design and construction so if required, it could be rated as a Green Star building in the future.

“Under this methodology the building is more efficient to run, and also during construction we have monitored and controlled the waste that was placed into the environment.

The construction industry is New Zealand’s biggest contributor to landfill, but we can control some of that from design and through construction as well.

“Even if people don’t want to get to the crux of a Green Star rated building, we can design simple elements that will save on running costs, and this can lead in to other sustainable elements as well.”

Walker Architecture is no w working on New Zealand’s largest Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs panel) house, a 650sqm home currently under construction Rangiora.

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