1Carlaw Park has an interesting history – an evolving commercial property that has re-invented itself several times. At different points in its lifetime, it has been a flour mill, gardens and more recently, the home of Auckland Rugby League. During its time as a sports facility, Carlaw Park even hosted crowds of more than 20000 people (as far back as the 1920s). Now, the property is a mixed use development incorporating commercial buildings, a multi-level carpark and a student village.
2The commercial development required some clever engineering – we designed an efficient ‘H’ shaped layout to maximise the natural light to the floorplate. The result is a light, airy facility with compelling natural light, and reduced reliance on bulbs and electricity. The building was cost-effective to construct, with the design also achieving reduced ongoing operational costs through a simple, robust grid.
3The development is also interesting in that it’s an important archaeological site – a Chinese pottery shop from the 1850’s. To avoid loading the unexcavated archaeological remains, we had to cantilever the northeast corner of the four storey structure 13.5m in two directions to ‘pick up’ the corner column. This required detailed construction sequencing and methodology advice to the Contractor to construct this part of the building in a controlled manner. The outcome was a design and construction process that protected the archaeological site, at the same time as delivering the results the client needed.
4The NZ Green Building Council has put together a case study on the project – well worth a look if you’re a fan of sustainability, or have a special place in your heart for Carlaw Park (remember the 18-0 drubbing the Kiwis handed the ‘Roos in ’85?’.