Company: James Hardie
Built by Priority Projects and designed by Thom Craig Architects this classy, three-storey office and retail building is located in the popular Victoria Street precinct opposite the Christchurch Casino. The owners have rebuilt after the Canterbury earthquakes destroyed the low-rise buildings on their 1,140 square metre site.
The building is tough as well as beautiful. The retail units offer a cutting edge contemporary design, while the foundation incorporates the latest refinement in base isolation – the first time this technology has been used in New Zealand.
A combination of structural requirements and aesthetic considerations have driven the redevelopment. The client was seeking a minimalist design for the building as a backdrop to the flamboyant casino situated opposite, and simplicity in addition to durability was a key driver of the building materials selected.
The James Hardie Solution
The building features a combination of James Hardie Stria Cladding and Titan Façade Panel installed on RAB board. The cladding has been installed along the sides of the building to provide simple texture and strong horizontal lines, while horizontal and vertical metal fins on the street frontage provide a contemporary, edgy appeal. This simplicity is further evoked through the use of Stria Cladding in the interior and entrance to create a look of transparency from the front to the back of the building.
The simplistic design belies the complexity of the installation. James Hardie worked with the builder, John McMillan, to develop installation solutions for fixing Stria Cladding to the fins, which are outside the scope of published specification. “This was the first time we had used Stria Cladding and James Hardie worked with us on-site to develop a technical solution to address challenges such as reduced clearance and access, including installing a dummy wall for installation training” explains McMillan.
Durability and low maintenance of product was another key factor in material selection. James Hardie products use an advanced lightweight cement composite technology that delivers heavy- duty performance. The result is a tough, beautiful building that meets all the client’s requirements and fits perfectly within its environment.