商业   Commerce   Commerces   Commerz

The Imperial Buildings, Auckland by Fearon Hay Architects

2013-10-15 17:50 Pansy


The Imperial Buildings, a group of heritage buildings on Auckland’s Queen Street which have been restored and revived by Fearon Hay Architects, received this year's New Zealand Architecture Medal, which is awarded to the most outstanding of the New Zealand Architecture Award winners. Alongside the awards bestowed upon exemplary buildings, the institute’s Gold Medal for career achievement was conferred on Auckland architect Pip Cheshire.

The Imperial Buildings succeeds on as many levels as the complex structure seems to possess. It is a building restoration project which has had an urban revitalization effect, a commercially driven scheme which enhances the civic realm, a hermetic world which provides a public path through a city block. The generous ramped walkway from a hitherto dingy lane serves as an internal plaza which offers to pedestrians passing through and guests seated at tables intimations of the labyrinthine spaces above. The architects have not merely respected the heritage fabric of the buildings, they have reveled in the opportunity to reveal original materials and celebrate historic structure while introducing light and air into a wonderful array of working and hospitality spaces.

The Imperial Buildings also received the Heritage Award:
This exemplary project has been awarded in the heritage category, but such is its revitalizing contribution to its downtown neighborhood that its sustainable, commercial and urban design virtues could just as deservedly have been acknowledged. Buildings lost from the city’s memory have been conserved and reprogrammed to provide a richly atmospheric interior environment and connect Auckland’s main street with a rear alley that no longer has to be navigated with trepidation. The architects have rescued buildings from neglect without erasing the traces of their history.  
 
The design provides for new lane ways and public courtyards that link the 5 levels of commercial office space with multiple restaurants bars and retail spaces. FHA have worked extensively with incumbent tenants Gucci and Louis Vuitton, Auckland City and the NZ Historic Places Trust to deliver new commercial space that engages with the heritage fabric and is connected to the public space network of central Auckland.


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