Christchurch-based construction company Corbel Construction (Corbel) moved into their new purpose built head office at 213 Lichfield Street earlier this month. The new building, which has attracted critical acclaim for its design, was officially opened by Christchurch Mayor Hon. Lianne Dalziel yesterday, Wednesday, 8 April.
The building comprises two stories of office space (600sq/m) with a full height warehouse for Corbel’s joinery factory to the rear of the site (500sq/m) and 16 car parks. Fittingly, the building was constructed by Corbel Construction who worked with Beca Architects and ENGCO Consulting Engineers.
Corbel’s Managing Director Craig Jones says, “The building has won accolades for its innovative design, distinctive exterior cladding and, perhaps more importantly, its functionality.”
The building’s exterior is clad with perforated aluminium façade panels depicting the original Christchurch City Plan from 1874. The panel design blends out to an abstract interpretation of the braided rivers that flow through the Canterbury Plains and forests.
The building’s design concept was developed following the Canterbury Earthquakes. The surrounding area had been flattened and, knowing that the adjacent sites would be rebuilt, the design had to future proof the new building against high, blank surrounding walls that could constrain views and natural light.
The warehouse was set to the rear of the site, providing both the joinery and construction aspects of the company with a workshop and vehicle drive-thru access that is connected to both floors of the office building.
The office building is centred on the site to maximise natural light into both the ground and first floor spaces. First floor balconies on either side offer a sheltered external environment. Skylights introduce additional natural light into the first floor office and the internal garden from where the feature stair rises.
The south facing staff breakout area captures views of the surrounding area with the Port Hills providing a dramatic backdrop through the bespoke perforated aluminium façade panels.
“As a business implementing a rapid growth plan, we knew from the outset we had to plan for increased space for our staff when we purchased the Lichfield Street site two years ago and started working on the building’s design.
“With our goal of being an employer of choice, we wanted to provide a working environment that our people could enjoy and be proud of. This has been achieved, judging from the extent of positive feedback received from staff about both the building itself and the excitement it has generated in the wider community. The design has also helped promote a more collaborative approach amongst the Corbel team and the business has benefited greatly through the open plan environment and break-out spaces.
“Most importantly, the new building provides an opportunity to show our commitment to Christchurch and what the rebuild can produce if we put our mind to it. The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive; with many saying that they’re so pleased to see a new building that is not just another concrete box.
“We’re very proud of the commitment shown by the team responsible for the new building and that it has achieved all the objectives we had for our new office,” Craig Jones said.
Under Construction January 2015