LocationWellington, New Zealand
Design TeamStuart Gardyne, Stephen Poulopoulos, Michael Bennett, Andrew Camberis, Iain Hibbard, Arnie Makan, Nick Whiting, Claudio Holzer, Mervyn Rothwell, Ben Crichton, Lucy McAuliffe, Bridget White, Kim Manford, Rachel Logie, Kirsty Chamberlain, Craig Thomson
From the architect. Telecom Central is a 14 storey 35,000m² (including car parking) commercial office building built on a 3660m² site in central Wellington and designed to a 5 NZGBC Green star rating for design. The building was completed in December 2011, and features two office towers, one on Willis and one on Boulcott streets, joined with a north-south orientated atrium. The Willis building comprises the reinforced structural frame of an existing 1980’s office building (the Airways Building) which has been added to and extended, and also incorporates the majority of the heritage listed Tisdalls Building including thefaçade and historic internal stairway.
The building accommodates parking for 75 cars in a basement car park and a range of retail tenancies accessible directly off Willis and Boulcott streets. An internal pedestrian link through the building connects both city thoroughfares.
The building incorporates a number of architectural design innovations including the use of coloured anodized aluminium screens which provide both sun screening to the north and a strong visual element to the north and south façades generally. Depending on the location of the observer the screen can appear as a solid gold coloured element when viewed at an oblique angle and almost transparent when viewed from straight ahead. This adds a very dynamic quality to these boundary façades.
The glazed street façades to the east and west comprise a unitized curtainwall glazing system spanning floor to floor. This is either vertical or sloping inwards or outwards by 400mm per floor, set as a series of vertical glass ribbons. The glazing, although providing significant visual and thermal performance, is highly transparent, offering a clear view of activities within the building when viewed by passersby.
The other major architectural innovation is the central atrium, which is open to office floors with either a glazed balustrade or full height glass (in the case of non Telecom tenants). This space is up to 10 stories high, offering significant visual drama whilst still being narrow enough to maintain a high degree of visual connection between floors, allowing natural light to filter into the office floors and providing dramatic views to the south and north.
The perception of space and height in the open plan office areas has been greatly enhanced by eliminating the need for suspended ceilings, exposing the carefully considered and set out integrated chilled beam HVAC system.
The building accommodates nearly all of Telecom’s 1800 Wellington staff in 80% of the available office space. The large floor plates of approximately 2500 - 2800m² at levels 7 to 11 provide the opportunity for Telecom to realise significant accommodation efficiency gains.
In addition the building also offers the opportunity for smaller organizations to be accommodated on commercial office floors of approximately 1150m² and a variety of street level retail tenancies