General Info Blog

Innovating for the Future by Building on the Past

GQ Website Banner images Drone

Our upcoming move of premises in September is significant to us for many reasons. One of those is that it reflects our commitment to look to the future while also celebrating the past.

The new construction taking place on the corner of Dawson and King Streets is fascinating in the way that it builds upon the well-known existing structure of the former NZ Post Building.

“Leaving the structure of the existing warehouse leaves a silhouette of the previous building while creating a new modern building that suits a variety of tenants,” explains Mark Jolly of Matz Architects, the architects behind the base build*. “This helps add soul to the development and allows an interesting contrast between the two buildings making up the development.

“The previous building presented a very hard, overbearing façade to the public realm. We have stripped this away and inserted large sections of glazing and human scale materiality to soften this interaction between the building and pedestrian areas.

“We are excited to reinvigorate an important part of the New Plymouth central city.”

As a law firm that has been part of the fabric of New Plymouth since 1876, we were obviously excited at the prospect of joining a project that will help reinvigorate the city in this way.

Paul Franklin (GQ partner) confesses that it does mean we are moving from the serenity of a seaside location. “We’re giving up that tranquillity in favour of activity and energy,” he says, “with a desire to be closer to our clients and to the heart of the town.”

Being at the gateway to the CBD, means that parking is still plentiful (the site will include free client parking and even EV charging) while it’s only a very short walk to many local businesses, cafés and the court house. Plus, the building will feature its own hospitality and a double-height glazed lightwell between the old and the new building creating a common space for informal interaction.

Interaction is a key principle for us in terms of innovating our practice into the future.

Another innovative factor that attracted us to the new building is sustainability. Mark says that, as well as the aesthetics, there are sustainability motives for building on the old: “We need to be smarter with adaptation of our existing building stock,” implores Mark. “From an environmental point of view, we cannot continue to build completely new every time a building use needs to change.”

Bruce Earby, of Clelands Construction who is managing the building works on site, reflects on the achievements of the project team thus far.

"This project will set a new standard for office space in New Plymouth and our site team are enjoying being a part of delivering this new space for GQ. Every project has it's unique challenges and the Dawson & King development is no exception, but a team approach to resolving these challenges with designer, developer and client has kept the project on track and we are excited about moving into the fit-out phase in the coming weeks."

The new build will also enable us to introduce new technologies for boosting efficiencies and workplace well-being. It will be great for our team and our clients.

* Boon Team Architects are the designers behind the GQ portion of the building’s fit out.

For more information about our move please:

Contact Sophie

For GQ marketing and media relations please:

Contact Abbie