The Australian owners of the Old Bank Arcade, the refurbished and strengthened BNZ bank building in the heart of Wellington, struggled to find an architectural solution to the planning requirement for footpath shelter on Lambton Quay and Customhouse Quay. They required effective weather protection that didn’t disguise or debase the heritage facade and supported high end shopping frontage with good light and signage.
The hooded canvas tents of the previous development made the lower level displays too dark, offered few signage opportunities and was out of phase with the rhythm of columns that distinguishes this landmark shopping centre. A minimalist steel and glass approach was also rejected as being out of keeping with the classical frontage.
Our scheme for a sequence of translucent PTFE hyperbolic paraboloids in cantilevered steel frames met all those criteria, won the approval of the owners and dramatically increased foot traffic and retail trade.