Project of the Month | Heritage gem shines again

When the Department of Conservation vacated their offices at 77 Stuart Street in 2017, it was feared the Category-two listed heritage building would remain vacant, as demand for office space in Dunedin is low. Conversely, the demand for hotel accommodation is high, so the astute developer of the historic John Chambers & Son building set about creating a stunning 21-apartment, four-storey boutique hotel. The Chamberson is located on the corner of State Highway 1 and one of Dunedin’s main routes.

“Aesthetically, the brief was for the hotel to be authentically Dunedin, to be a curated inner-city hideaway for the sophisticated traveller,” says David Booth of Feldspar Associates project managers. “It needed to engage in the building’s heritage as much as possible and be a place that guests returned to on subsequent visits to the city, somewhere locals could be proud of.”

Developing a modern, efficient, edgy hotel within a 108-year-old former warehouse structure was not without its challenges. The conversion triggered a number of compliance issues – disability access, significant seismic strengthening and fire protection among them. There were also access and operational issues that the project teams had to contend with.

“Challenges were overcome by good planning and the use of reputable and dependable contractors,” says Booth, “but inevitably, with a heritage building, unforeseen items of work become apparent as work progressed.”

The building’s structure and window placement gave the design team a clear direction in terms of planning and room layout. Key aspects of the original building, such as exposed brickwork and sash windows, have been retained to become classic design features. The original stained-glass windows have also been restored to their former glory, as has the original entry floor.

The hotel is not without the mod-cons expected by paying guests. Mid-century statement furniture, clean-lined sofas, industrial-chic lighting, contemporary designer kitchens, indulgent bathrooms and luxurious beds provide the creature comforts. The result is comfortable, understated luxury in a beautifully restored building that’s alive with history.

To ensure an authentic experience for travellers, interior architect and designer Nikki Wilson took great care in including work by New Zealand designers, artists and makers. New Zealand wool products and original art are all part of the experience.

Dunedin mayor Dave Cull is rapt with the development. “This is exactly what I’ve been asking for in regards to the reuse of heritage buildings,” he says. “The key to conserving Dunedin’s heritage is to ensure our historic buildings remain useful and well-maintained. This project has done just that.”

CHAMBERSON HOTEL

77 Stuart Street, Dunedin

OWNER & DEVELOPER STUART STREET GP
CONSTRUCTION COOK BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION
ARCHITECT ARCHIDESIGN
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER STEPHEN MACKNIGHT
MECHANICAL ENGINEER AIRCOMM CONSULTANTS
PROJECT MANAGER FELDSPAR ASSOCIATES
INTERIOR DESIGN NIKKI WILSON INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
FIRE PROTECTION ASBIC CONSULTANTS (BRUCE COLLINS)
CONSTRUCTION MONITORING BECA
ELECTRICAL SERVICES DESIGN AND BUILD AOTEA ELECTRICAL
FIRE SPRINKLER SERVICES DESIGN AND BUILD SOUTH PACIFIC FIRE PROTECTION


Property Industry Awards Magazine

This article was originally published in the 2019 Property Industry Awards Magazine. Featuring all the nominees and winners from the 2019 Awards, including 29 feature articles from some of the most prestigious properties of the year.

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