The former Auckland Chief Post Office is one of New Zealand’s most recognisable historic buildings. Salmond Reed Architects have provided specialist conservation advice since this iconic landmark, dating from 1912, was first converted into the Britomart railway station in 2004. The exterior has been restored as the cornerstone historic building of New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project, the City Rail Link.
This property is “off the grid”, and relies on solar power and water heating, with gas and wetback boost. The separate garage contains battery bank and generator.
Construction combines a Hebel block solid enclosing wall to the south, incorporating small steel windows, and a more open face to the north featuring large timber windows to capture sun and panoramic views of the wider landscape. The single-pitch roof projects forward to provide summer shade.
The buildings were carefully sited to preserve two archaeological features which recall traditional (pre-contact) use of the land.
The interior finishes of native timber panelling and exposed rafters are refined to a high detail and exhibit quality craftsmanship and a comforting interior. The project is also to be commended in its thoughtful preservation of two archaeological sites. The home is truly in harmony with its environment and its owners.
– NZIA HOUSING AWARD 2015
Key design determinants were views up the valleys to the north and west. The two building elements lie east-west to maximise solar gain, and the north face features sliding timber doors opening onto a timber deck and concrete terrace.
The interior is a single space on two levels, with separate bathroom (the house is the first stage of a larger group of structures) and the footprint of the residential part is just 64m².
The ground floor single, open-plan room contains kitchen, laundry, dining and living areas. The upper level incorporates a bath-room, two sleeping areas and storage space.