In recent years, many former houses along 4th avenue in Parkhurst have been transformed into shops and restaurants. Here two derelict houses were demolished, the sites consolidated and the bulk maximized over two storey’s with parking at the rear.
Highly visible shops run the length of the street at ground floor level with offices above. Height and sight lines of neighbouring existing buildings inform the new building to ensure that it fits into the nature of the high street – this includes the canopy that projects over the pavement that also protects pedestrians from the weather.
The in-and-out movement of the street façade of the first floor offices animates and scales a potentially monotonous façade; the roof line moves up-and-down reflecting the rhythms of movement along the street and fragmenting the sky-line. The ‘cut-outs’ or windows of the first floor that look out West over Northcliff ridge have shade-cloth shutters that screen the afternoon sun - these are flush with the façade so as not to interrupt the 3-dimesional movement of the façade. There are two entrances to the offices (that double as fire-escape stairs) ensuring the offices have street addresses and enabling the space to be divided into 3 x 200m2 units with the further possibility of 2 x 100m2 units in the centre.
Floor boards from the old houses are re-used to make the large industrial-style entrance doors – the ground floor is otherwise quite plain to accommodate a variety of tenant corporate images. Patterned terrazzo tiles are used in the entrance halls in reference to the old houses; colours of the shade cloth screens are bright versions of the same colours found in the exposed flush-jointed stock brick. .