Heritage Grand Tearooms Conversion


    • Architectural Design
    • Project & Cost Management
    • Construction & Delivery



Floor Area




Gaze undertook the architectural design, build, and project management of the penthouse atop the Heritage Hotel, a project famously featured on the television show Grand Designs. Transforming the space, originally envisioned as tearooms for the Farmers department store in the 1930s by architect Roy Lippincott, into an aspirational home required navigating heritage constraints and regulations while maintaining the space's grandeur and elegance.

Preserving the heritage space mandated adhering to council guidelines, requiring any new additions to be reversible and respectful of the original architecture. Gaze utilised laser scanning technology to create a comprehensive 3D model, facilitating client and council approval by visualising proposed changes in detail.

A unique self-supporting steel structure, weighing 10 tonnes, was introduced to partition the space into private rooms while preserving the tearooms' integrity. Careful placement of steel beams ensured structural stability without compromising the original features. Open-plan living areas and a mezzanine space allowed for an appreciation of Lippincott's design, while modern amenities such as concealed pipework and air conditioning were seamlessly integrated.

A new entrance was developed for private access, enhancing convenience for residents. The final result is a contemporary living space that honours the heritage of the tearooms, marking a new chapter in Auckland's architectural history through Gaze's meticulous attention to detail and respect for the original design.

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