Tucked down an alleyway in a converted warehouse behind Hamilton CBD’s shopping precinct, Red Architecture’s new premise is not easy to locate.
The envelope of the ex-storage unit is nothing remarkable in itself, yet an artful and understated makeover has seen its transformation into a graphic, modern workspace, completed late last year.
Architectural designer Tane Cox believes the discreet location of the firm’s new premises will not impede new clientele. “Our best referrals have been by word of mouth,” he says, “you just do what you like and love and the people who like it will come to you.”
And admirers of the designer’s raw-yet-restrained aesthetic are numerous, with the firm taking home a swathe of awards at last year’s Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) awards, including the Supreme and People’s Choice awards for ‘Modern Barn Form’, a residential barn home located in rural Whatawhata.
The raw, stripped-back aesthetic, with an understated palette and quirky geometric paint features, is present both in the winning home’s design and in the new workspace.
Tane says materials were selected to harmonise with the space’s original purpose as a storage facility and utilities were left exposed, leaving the space in its ‘built’ form. His pragmatic approach to design means he doesn’t believe in concealing the structure; rather, he embraces the narrative of a building’s history. “There is beauty in the mechanics, in the raw form,” he says.
A collaboration with Scott Woolston from Remnant furniture resulted in the creation of steel-framed tables and kitchenette, clad in Oriented Strand Board (OSB), a material referenced from the existing storage racks, flanking one side of the unit.
Pre-loved leather furniture, rugs and quirky artworks soften the space, while handmade terracotta pendant lights by London-based Kiwi Nick Fraser add warmth to the industrial palette.