The building is well-known in the architecture and property community as Massey House, originally designed by Ernst Plischke in 1954 (with a later extension by Firth in 1967), and is on the WCC Heritage Inventory and has been listed as Category 1 by the Historic Places Trust.
The brief from REANNZ and DOW was for an industrial stripped-back aesthetic, and this was pushed rigorously by REANNZ’s Chief Executive Donald Clark whose close and consistent attention to detail was both unusual and enthusiastically welcomed. Historically, the building’s floors have been fitted out conventionally, so this aesthetic was quite different and necessitated stripping out the ceilings to expose the slab and beams, and exposing all of the services which required careful co-ordination with the reticulation of the tenant’s cable tray that carried data and power.
The industrial aesthetic meant being able to use glass and metal in a robust manner. Glass is used not only for partitioning, but for whiteboards to columns that are underlit with LED lights for a halo effect. Metal cable trays and services are exposed, full height metal pipes and brackets for TV mounting are in meeting rooms, and the kitchenette wall and bar leaner was clad in Corten steel studded with fixings and left to rust. Rubber flooring is used for front-of-house, circulation, and the kitchenette, along with industrial-type lighting to reinforce the aesthetic. Generally, the paint colours were kept to a simple off-white and pale grey to allow specific elements to stand out strongly, these being the glass and metal as well as the bright red wall around the kitchenette and the “REANNZ blue” meeting room wall.