Press House


The former “Press House” is an important building in Wellingtons architectural heritage.
Originally built in the mid 1920’s, the reinforced concrete structure required a seismic upgrade. The building occupants had to move out for the duration of the work, so it was critical that the work was thoroughly planned and documented to avoid delays.

The key areas that Wright & Gray: Architects Ltd. added value to the project were:

Architectural Scoping and Documentation

The extent of non-structural work in strengthening projects is often underestimated. The owners and the project manager understood the value in engaging us to fully scope and detail work such as partitioning, ceilings, services, and weatherproofing. This allowed the contractor to price the work and plan ahead. We believe their investment in our time, paid a multiple dividend in terms of avoidance of delays and unexpected cost variations.

Architectural Advice and observation during construction

Inevitably with alteration work like this, there will be changes during construction made by clients, and areas of uncertainty within the building, until uncovered by the contractor. During construction our service extended to provide advice, comment, attendance at key meetings, and additional detail on specific parts on an ‘as required’ basis. This included tanking advice, decorative construction, public access and management of certificate of public use, among other crucial tasks and roles. We understand that this service provided yet again great value for the contractor (Fletcher Construction Company Ltd) and the client to have the right answers at your fingertips.

Colour Scheme

The building frontage was repainted as part of the project. Previously, the colour scheme did little to show the original features of the façade. We detailed a new scheme of subtly graded shades, making legible both the overall order and the detail. The darker tones show the Classical subdivision of top, middle and base (the vertical order), and the ‘tripartition’ of sides and middle (the horizontal order). The most important architectural details are separated tonally.

The interior steel work colour was sensitively chosen to recede in order that it did not overtake the historic rhythm of the façade when viewed through the windows from the street. It is successfully difficult to determine that immediately behind the front windows there are large K braces stacked up on most floors – can you find them in the photo and would you know walking by? The subtle skills we provide can help to mitigate the visual effects of strengthening your building.

All this was presented to the owners in a series of computer renderings, so that they could have full confidence in the colour scheme before work began.