The alchemy of architecture & daily life
Greytown has a main street full of carefully restored heritge timber buildings dating from when it was established in the 1850s in the Wairarapa. It is so lovely that it won New Zealand's 'Most beautiful small town' award in 2017.
We worked alongside the owner of a Main Street villa, dated approximately 1894, to create a flagship store for her New Zealand fashion label of sustainably made clothing. Hall clothing is designed by Lorraine Hall on site, and made with the highest quality fabrics and craftsmanship in New Zealand. The shop also stocks other beautiful fashion labels that are commited to sustainable practices. The brief was to design a shopfront extension that was crafted, used natural materials and felt right for the heritage streetscape.
The scheme that we developed was to extend the building with a similar shopfront form, yet we felt it had to feel somewhat subservient and lower than the original heritage building, as well as having a separation between the new and old. This precedent is evident in the way the older shopfronts and verandahs along the street are positioned, creating a rhythm and urban texture. The entry remains through the heritage building, so the experience within also highlights the treasure that it is. We tried to ensure that design is subtle enough to tell the difference between the older building and its younger relative (both inside and out), but similar enough to stitch seamlessly into the village fabric of Greytown.
It was crucial that the detail was carried through between old and new for this scheme. Our CAD documentation was carefully modelled to ensure it felt the same level of quality of the original building, and to illustrate to the heritage board how it would work in relation to the street.
It is exciting to see it now completed, and to see how well it fits within the heritage environment. So if you happen to be passing through Greytown, I can highly recommend a visit to Hall. Beautiful clothing in a stunning award winning village - it is definately worth a stop.
Photographer: Elizabeth Goodall