Armstrong Downes Commercial Ltd. Head Office

Construction company, Armstrong Downes Commercial’s brief to us was to create a facility to support their business and allow it to grow in the future. The brief called for a design that expressed honest materials, a playful and engaging interior and a design to showcase the client’s construction skills and reflect the company’s core values of being an reputable, innovative construction company. With many of their staff located off site working on projects, the solution needed to provide onsite parking in an area where street parking was at a premium.

Our solution was to create a first floor office floating over parking and storage below. The floating first floor is defined by a rectilinear plan kicked out at the front to create a void for entry stairs. The stair with its exposed steel structure and timber treads welcomes visitors as they ascend to reception on the first floor.  A strong vertical element in the form of precast panels along the boundary separates the building from their industrial neighbours.

The walls of the floating upper floor are angled off vertical, sloping inward toward the meeting room and outward to the open plan office area providing a dynamic expression of the plan form, creating a dynamic folded form like a piece of origami.  The material palette makes reference to the industrial area within which it is located. These everyday materials are presented in a refined form with down pipes and gutters integrated into the metal longrun cladding and edges carefully trimmed in matching flashings.

Glazing to the front façade gives visual transparency to the activities within while vertical timber louvres provide visual privacy and solar shading.

The resulting building provides Armstrong Downes clients with an insight into their technical abilities and their appreciation of good design.


  • New Zealand Commercial Property Award - Gold, 2016

  • NZIA Wellington Architecture Award, Commercial -  2016


a design that expresses
honest materials, presents

a playful and engaging interior and showcases the client’s construction skills