Press Release: Box
Box™ Designs Their First Commercial Building
The ribbon has been cut on the opening of the first commercial project for boutique design-and-build company Box™. The two-storey building in Peterborough Street, central Christchurch features the same modular parts and modernist aesthetic that Box™ uses to create their stand-alone houses.
A structural palette embraces the company’s distinctive post-and-beam framework, with stainless-steel cross-braces for added support. “In the event of an earthquake, an exposed structure gives the advantage that any damage can be readily assessed and repaired,” says Dan Heyworth, CEO of Box™.
The owners of the property were forced to demolish their previous headquarters after it was red stickered following the February 2011 quake. A number-one priority for the client was robustness and resilience. They were also keen on a modern-looking result different to the pre-cast concrete, glass and steel buildings of the past.
A low-tech approach was taken – an honest, humanist design using locally sourced materials. While timber piles at the correct depth are important to deliver stability, the exo-skeleton provides strength, while the lightweight plywood timber walls have the ability to flex. Heyworth: “You don’t need high-tech engineering; this way any faults from a shake will be easy to diagnose and cost-
The 450-square-metre office building is planned around an internal courtyard which serves a dual purpose. It is a gathering point for the workers to socialise that is private from the street and simultaneously allows natural light into the core of the building. Double-glazed sliding windows and doors can be open and shut, just like in a home, to provide passive ventilation. A roof garden is another people-friendly feature.
Using prefabricated components meant there was less material waste to landfill and a speedier build. The light commercial project took only six months to from go to whoa. Already, it has drawn tenants that appreciate its modernist good looks and functional form.
Fox and Associates Surveyors occupy the upper level while Cymon Allfrey Architects moved in to the ground floor. “The amenity that will be in the area initially attracted us but it’s a nice bonus that from an environmental perspective, the building made a statement that was consistent with our beliefs as a company,” says Allfrey.
The Cymon Allfrey Architects’ team is particularly enjoying the summer when they can share a glass or two with their fellow tenants in the communal courtyard on a Friday evening.
Images provided by Guy Frederick Box™
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