26 Bell Ave
26 Bell Ave
Rebbeck Dunn Watters
Built in the 1920s, this office building near the shores of the Manukau Harbour in Mt Wellington was in need of a major external revamp and a new roof when Haydn & Rollett took on the project. The demolition of a neighbouring building had exposed some fairly rough looking services at the rear; water had got in behind the drummy plaster façade system and caused issues; the timber joinery was in a poor state, with several sills needing replacing to help make the building watertight; and the brickwork needed repointing. While the roof wasn’t quite as bad, it had also seen better days.
Some of the project’s challenges were obvious and easily dealt with: the building was tenanted, for example, so any really noisy work had to be left for Saturdays. Other challenges proved more of a handful. In particular, the state of one beam responsible for holding up part of the building was below par – a tap with a hammer would result in concrete chipping away.
The team’s response was to prop that area and then ‘hydrovac’ away the bad concrete, followed by the pouring of new beams and columns. Meanwhile, a new internal gutter was fitted to redirect the flow of water off the roof into new downpipes.
As per the client’s instructions, the exposed original brickwork on the side of the building was given a thorough but gentle clean and left on show. Likewise for the original ornate concrete screen at the front door. The new plaster system was painted in a reflective and durable Resene product – colour: ‘Quarter Masala’ – and the new sills finished in Resene triple ‘Sea Fog’. The final result? One of Mt Wellington’s most characterful office spaces gets a brand new lease of life.