Chambers and Station

A heritage project and a passion project for McKenna, which saw the careful and considered revitalisation of a former council chambers and fire station. The ambitious and delicate project yielded six high-end, character-filled and widely applauded apartments in Auckland’s Mt Eden. The project retained character features while infusing aspects of modernity to become a celebrated feature of the popular central locale.

The apartment’s address is located in a sought-after part of Mt Eden, close to both the city and the Mt Eden village- neighboured by popular amenities and within the desirable double-Grammar zone. It stands today as a striking centrepiece of the Mt Eden community.

The former Mt Eden Municipal Council Chambers building was built pre-World War 1 in 1912, with the Mt Eden Fire Station being constructed in 1925. The two buildings constitute a unique and significant part of Auckland’s history, so the goal of the project was to restore them into enduring residences that would take the buildings through the next century while maintaining their unmatched heritage features and appeal.

With the intention of keeping the historical buildings as the predominant focus, a new link was designed in structural glass and applied using lightweight construction techniques. Seismic requirements saw multiple structural steel cross bracing, floor and ceiling diaphragms, while maintaining the buildings’ heritage façade throughout. The original building was built before modern seismic codes were in place, so they needed to be retrofitted to withstand the force of an earthquake. The comprehensive system of steel bracing and diaphragms Nigel and his team installed brought the buildings up to seismic requirements. Additionally, the work undertaken on the buildings brought them up to exceptional acoustic and thermal standards.


The Chambers and Station project was not just about repairing two historic buildings. It was also about creating a sustainable development that would benefit the local community and add to the neighbourhood in a positive way. The buildings are now fully energy-efficient- they are equipped with a multitude of green features, such as solar panels and rainwater harvesting. They are an illustration of both the fastidiousness and enduring nature of McKenna’s projects, built for many, many decades ahead.

The resulting apartments feature liberal spaces as living areas, superior architecture and design that has been delivered with the utmost detail and care. The interiors are characterised by vaulted ceilings, ornate columns, detailed plasterwork and timber-framed windows which were all refurbished and reglazed. The apartments were the recipients of premium appliances and fittings, marrying the old and new seamlessly. The exterior strikes a stunning balance between tradition and modernity to form a remarkable landmark that has inarguably contributed to Mt Eden’s appeal.  Two penthouse apartments have been afforded remarkable views to the west and to the cityscape of Auckland’s CBD.


The project was awarded Winner Best in Category at the 2017 NZPC Property Awards.