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High performance protection for Auckland's most stunning warehouse conversion

High performance protection for Auckland's most stunning warehouse conversion

When it comes to historic warehouse redevelopments, consider the bar raised. The architects behind the Mason Bros project have pioneered a design that has reached new levels in both function and charm. Instead of hiding rough patina behind layers of modern building materials, raw industrial features have been exposed and celebrated.

Floor space was created by suspending a glazed steel-framed box across the length of the ceiling, separated from the original masonry walls on three sides. This respects the industrial legacy of the building and allows natural light from the saw-tooth roof to reach all three floors.

Now an innovative co-working space for small to medium businesses, the Mason Bros building was once a wharf warehouse. In its original state, the steel framework withstood decades of sun and sea spray, so the new paintwork needed to be just as durable. Graham Gates, PC’s Business Manager for New Zealand, stepped in to specify a system that could easily handle this tough marine environment.

The existing internal steel was primed with Durebild STE, a two-pack high solids epoxy that works as an effective tie-coat over previously painted surfaces. The high gloss top coat was achieved with Luxathane R, a two-component acrylic polyurethane.

Luxathane R gave the same stunning finish to the new internal steel, but it was first primed with Durepon FRX, an epoxy offering corrosion resistance and a fast dry time, even in low temperatures.

The exterior of the building features modern box windows projecting beyond the masonry walls. External steel was primed with Zincanode 402 for zinc-rich cathodic protection, before Duremax GPE was used to provide long term barrier protection from the elements. Weathermax HBR provided the high saturation top coat in hues that contrast gracefully with the rustic nature of the original bricks.

Mason Bros is part of the Wynard Quarter Innovation Precinct in Auckland, NZ. The recipient of many awards, both domestically and internationally, this precinct is often cited as a best practice example in waterside redevelopment.

The Mason Bros project was the first to achieve the highest possible rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council, with the long term durability of the coatings contributing to the overall sustainability of the building. It was also awarded the ‘Best in Category’ Green Building Property Award at the 2019 Property Council of New Zealand Awards and earned a Citation at the 2017 New Zealand Institute of Architects Awards. Not bad for a humble former wharf-side warehouse.

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