At 227 Cuba Street, a once charming, but forgotten building sat waiting to be reclaimed and transformed to her former beauty.
For a design agency that is proud to stand out from the crowd, Blacksheepdesign’s Creative Director Stacey Cottril, saw the quiet character and potential that she knew would sit well with her creative business and the people within it.
Incorporating new and old, the woolshed (as it’s affectionally named) picked up two awards at the 2013 Master Builder’s Awards, National Restoration Winner and the Best Commercial Project under $2m. And another prize at the New Zealand Architecture Awards for Interior Architecture.
Light, open work spaces combined with dedicated offices and meeting rooms are surrounded by exposed brick and utilities such as cable trays, plumbing pipes and ducting. “The location worked well, having never been attracted to indoor malls and chain stores, instead our building faces straight down George Street, which boasts a boutique, local and community atmosphere.”
“I like spaces to have a lot of light and warmth. I love to hold on to the authenticity of a space and introduce new, modern, fun and colourful characteristics. Being bold, imaginative and doing the unexpected brings a lot of joy to a space for me; such as cladding our meeting rooms (that flank our central space) with old weatherboards found on farms around the Manawatu. The juxtaposition of old and new is also beautiful if balanced well and kept simple”.
Incredibly beautiful stained glass windows were discovered, which took staff 30 hours to strip back. The original signage from 1920 was also uncovered which was pulled down and turned into a bar leaner.
The original business owners monogram was discovered hidden underneath the carpet and is beautifully retained within the woolshed.
Listed as a heritage building, there were characteristics, such as the parapet and facade of the building that had to be maintained, but were happily done so. As for the inside of the building, the only components considered worth retaining and maximising were the brick walls and the height of the ceiling. Everything else was adaptions from previous landlords that lacked inspiration.
The woolshed is a place where people wander in off the street and feel happy and comfortable to hang out. All of these things mean the space works, which in turn generates happy creatives, who generate good work and ensure clients happy. In short, Stacey feels an actively creative space enables her and the flock to do great work.
“Having a great space is so important for me and the team. Our culture has always been good and I think, with the right attitude, you can make good with almost any space, but moving into an area where we can easily share and collaborate means we enjoy our time together even more”.
The flock and friends – Blacksheepdesign