Silver Fern Farms (SFF) chose to adaptively reuse Dunedin’s former Chief Post Office as their new corporate office. This building had been dormant following the exit of NZ Post in the early 1990’s and had subsequently been gutted in 1996 for a proposed hotel that did not proceed.
The project involved the refurbishment and fit-out of the two lower floors of the old Post Office. As well as providing a purpose designed office, it was intended that this development would act as a catalyst for the further regeneration of the immediate area.
Architects Warren and Mahoney from Auckland were commissioned for the fit-out design, with the challenge being to take a usually conservative, farming focused team to embrace a modern office environment. This objective was achieved and SFF have been rewarded by the change in work culture that the new space has provided.
One of the biggest challenges was managing the interface between the base build and the fit-out works. This was all whilst delivering the architect’s vision within a tight programme. Octa managed this through careful planning of the fit-out and maintaining a high level of liaison and communication. As a result, Silver Fern Farms moved into their new offices as programmed on 21st March 2014.
The highlight of the fit-out was a self-supporting spiral stair made from 10mm plate steel. Weighing in at 10 tons, it had to be lowered in two parts to fit into the existing building. This involved Octa undertaking careful planning and coordination of its design and installation. This was successful with this stair now a major feature of the new space.