The industrial shed typology has long been the problem of reconciling the big box (warehouse) and the little box (office) into a successful building form.
When AIAL approached us to design a building for this 'landmark' site we considered carefully how we might re-evaluate the ubiquitous solution. We therefore considered how a singular building form might result in a more integrated and unified building form. Furthermore we enquired as to what context might inform this resultant form. Extensive research and design work had been undertaken by Surface Design (landscape architects) in the implementation of the landscape gateway features to the south of the roundabout bounding our site. This work sought to uncover the historical Maori stone fields and remind us of the underlying volcanic geomorphology of the region. When incoming tenant - Hellmann Logistics was introduced to the client group - notions of flight and aerodynamic form were introduced to the relevant context that we felt were appropriate to manipulate the building form.
The programme required 2 high stud warehouse volumes: one refrigerated and one dry store. The office component required was only 15 percent of this floor area. A large area of covered vehicle manoeuvring was also required.
Our solution was rather than to accommodate the office on the ground floor and the front of the shed, we opted to lift the office element to one level above the ground level and wrap it around the corner of the warehouse to float and loom out over the activated corner of the busy intersection. This gave us the opportunity to align the office and warehouse roofs and working with the ridges of the high stud warehouses we were able to create a folded form that complimented the historical, geological and aviation context that underlies the sight. Working with ubiquitous industrial materials we were able to sculpt out a singular contextual form that is both functional and expressive of its location and operation.