Mt Eden’s amazing $15m refurbishment
If the walls could talk, there would be a lot of stories to tell.
This spectacular new penthouse in the former Mt Eden Borough Council building in Auckland was once the council chamber.
It was where councillors met to debate every decision pertinent to the borough for more than 60 years.
But the building itself is more than 100 years old.
Built in 1912, it was joined 12 years later by the fire station next door.
As with most old buildings, these two have been through numerous additions, alterations and alternative uses.
But none as dramatic as the most recent $15 million refurbishment.
Project director Nigel McKenna of development company Templeton Limited, and an investment group led by Warwick Goldsmith and Jackie Gillies have completely refurbished both buildings.
They’ve set up six luxury apartments including a first-floor penthouse featuring a rooftop terrace with outdoor fireplace.
McKenna says from the outset the team, with A Studio Architects, tried to respect the spaces.
They’ve retained the original scale and proportion, returning each space to its full grandeur.
‘‘Most of the original ceilings were 4m high, but at some point there was some ‘modernisation’, which saw these changed,’’ McKenna said.
‘‘We uncovered four false ceilings in one space on the ground floor.
‘‘After we had pulled out three, we thought we had found the original ceiling.
‘‘But no, we had to remove yet another one.’’
The project director also says the fire station building had become a mass of little offices and corridors.
‘‘It was hard to see the original dimensions of the space.
‘‘We even discovered two key structural columns had been removed to open up a wall.
‘‘The engineers said it must have been ‘luck’ holding up this part of the building.’’
McKenna says the entire building has undergone seismic strengthening.
A green roof now covers the car park, which was dug out through basalt from ancient lava flows.
Project director Nigel McKenna of Templeton Ltd says all the original decorative plaster has been restored.