Stylish new building leading the way

Stylish new building leading the way
The newly completed Cashel Court building redefines the look and feel of Cashel Street’s pedestrian heart.

Christchurch’s newly completed Cashel Court building is a welcome boost in the CBD, redefining the look and feel of Cashel Street’s pedestrian heart following the closure of Re:Start in January.
This four-storey mixed used building, constructed to a high standard, delivers visually stimulating Melbourne-style architecture that embraces its busy central city location, just west of Ballantynes.
It sits on an unusually open site, facing the pedestrian mall to the north and laneways to the west (Plymouth Lane) and south (to connect with Ballantynes).
The design includes plenty of ground floor glazing and laneway access, along with gorgeous city views from the offices and apartment on the upper three floors.
Rather than opting for a standard glass box, Christchurch property owner and developer Denis Sunderland worked closely with Andrew Watson of AW Architects to produce something special. The pair travelled to Melbourne to soak up that city’s famed architectural flair, with the final design evolving over many months.
Part of the main living area of Denis’ new top floor apartment protrudes out over the building’s western side, above Plymouth Lane, adding real visual interest.
Each of two office floors below have a small Juliet balcony, again breaking up the façade and providing a nice feature for potential tenants.
Inspiring to the eye on the building’s western side is a beautiful living green pocket wall comprising seven different types of native plants.
Sheets of hardy aluminium composite cladding are complemented by decorative mesh on the western side and vertical fins on the northern frontage. Street awnings punctuated with geometric shapes again lift it above the mundane.
“I didn’t want something plain – I wanted something interesting that people could look at and love,” Denis says. “ His ownership connection with this site goes back to 1980.
Formerly a brick L-shaped twostorey building stood there; the Canterbury earthquakes kicked off a long and challenging rebuild journey that included finding asbestos that had to be removed and having to draw up two sets of plans to accommodate changes in the site’s size.
“When work started, it was quite exciting to see them digging into the ground for the first time. There is a huge amount of reinforcing and concrete in the foundations. It has been designed to be as earthquake proof as possible.”
Deep, reinforced bored piles were used to strengthen soft ground beneath the building.
Cook Brothers Construction were lead contractors for this building, which has four ground floor retail options (each just over 100sqm) and five generously sized office spaces above, (including one on the top floor, all equipped with sinks, benches, fridges, microwaves and with easy access to high standard toilets and showers).

Stylish new building leading the way
The building’s design includes plenty of ground floor glazing and laneway access, along with gorgeous city views from the offices and apartment on the upper three floors, while the western side features a living green pocket wall comprising seven different types of native plants.

“I’m rather pleased that Cook Brothers Construction won the contract because they were absolutely amazing. It worked out so well.”
According to Cook Brothers project manager Tony Morley, access posed the biggest risk and restraint at this site. “For any kind of multi- level building like this in a built-up area, deliveries need to be carefully coordinated,” Tony says.
“We had to do night shifts to put in the pre-cast panels, with access from Cashel Street. There were a lot of 4am starts.” Tony says the team was grateful to Ballantynes for freeing up space they could use for an office, tool shed and staff room.
Fortnightly site meetings with the Christchurch City Council were held to ensure the project was closely coordinated at every step, including movements of cranes so as not to disrupt trading along the mall.
Meanwhile, some tenants have already secured space with others still up for grabs at this great central city building.
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