South Loft

Located above Queen Street, on the top floor of the Imperial Building, is a loft volume in which a jewel-like object sits amongst a heritage brick & timber shell. South Loft is a refined, library-like occupation for a small office of Economists.

The central ‘jewel’ is a combination of frameless glass and blackened steel providing amenity for private meeting space and social exchange. Office storage & provision is provided in long, softly-lit runs of cabinetry sheathed with a fine wire mesh. Mediated with books, periodicals & objects, these tall, blade-like elements give the space a calm & distinguished atmosphere.

Inside the jewel, subtle reference is made to the existing timberwork in the form of a recycled timber soffit with steel surrounds, softened by crisp drops of linen. Natural air & light is filtered through large skylights and from the generous, north-facing windows on the Queen Street facade, while the southern end overlooks the newly created Imperial courtyard and restaurant patrons below.

Built between 1886 and 1911, the Imperial Buildings are a rich mix of heritage spaces and building fabric in downtown Auckland. The overarching design approach has been based on creating a new network of circulation through the properties, enabling connection and interaction of previously inaccessible volumes contained within the buildings.

Project Details:

The internal floor area is approximately 200m2 and construction was completed in mid 2013. Fearon Hay’s project team was led by Doug Weir, with Rachel Higgs, Michael Huh & Rufus Knight. Tim Hay and Jeff Fearon are the design architects. Photography is by Jackie Meiring.