Wellington’s first fabric covered office block


Wellington's first fabric covered office block

Wellington’s historic 1920s Manthel Motors building on the corner of Taranaki and Wakefield Streets is getting a new spine and skin for a multi-level makeover.

The two-storey landmark on Wellington’s waterfront is being turning into a five-storey corporate HQ for global cloud computing firm, Xero.

Arrow’s Wellington team are gutting and earthquake-strengthening the 6000 square metre heritage-listed building in a project dubbed Xero 2.

In its early days the Army used the building as an army storehouse during World War Two. In its automotive heyday, as a dealership for General Motors, Manthel’s was re-fitted to accommodate a car ramp to the first floor.

Manthel Motors moved out in 1987 and the building was converted to office space in 1990.

Now the building is being enlarged, framed in steel and clad in aluminium and a transparent skin called Stamisol.

The mesh-like material will be almost opaque in bright sunlight but become more transparent at night. The fabric will highlight the heritage building’s facade during the day but give it a strikingly different look after dark.

Xero’s 600 Wellington staff have been spread around three other city buildings during the makeover.

Arrow has several residential apartment and office block projects in downtown, including a $60 million conversion of offices at 111 Dixon St to residential apartments.

chris-goldsbury_bw2Arrow’s new Wellington director, Chris Goldsbury, said the company’s focus is on optimising the outcome for clients and minimising risk.

Goldsbury has joined Arrow International after 12 years as contracts manager with Fletcher Construction, where he led major projects including the $60 million Taranaki Base Hospital acute services building.

Before joining Arrow, Goldsbury had a national role at Fletchers’ Wellington office in contract and project management, tendering, business development and early contractor involvement. Goldsbury said his focus at Arrow would be fresh thinking in the company’s development of its “concept to construction” design and build strategy.

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The Xero 2 building under construction

The Xero 2 building under construction


An example of Stamisol's translucent qualities

An example of Stamisol’s translucent qualities