For over 30 years McDonald's has occupied 260 Queen Street, the site of its second restaurant in New Zealand.
This part of Queen Street comprises a diverse mix of buildings, modern high rise and low rise heritage, with the McDonald's building originally built for the Auckland Savings Bank in 1882.
It had a striking Victorian Italianate facade and an elaborate ceiling in the original banking chamber, now occupied by the restaurant.
Prior to the arrival of McDonald's, the building underwent a number of alterations, but the main facade remained intact and the banking chamber ceiling suffered little damage.
Along with McDonald's, we recognised the restaurant was due for a makeover and so began a critical investigation. As a result it was agreed that the historic shell needed to be freed of much of the detritus that it had gathered, and we were cognizant of the fact that we need to live within and around our historic buildings. This approach was in line with contemporary thinking in relation to the preservation of legacy buildings.
The design stripped out the previous restaurant and stripped off the large ungainly canopy. The fit out was installed within the shell and the ceiling was cleaned and painted.
A new lightweight steel and glass canopy was introduced, with the partly frosted, partly clear glazing allowing a visual connection from pedestrian to facade.
The whole approach preserves the works of the original artifact, which is now no longer hidden but enhanced, extending the life of the building and business for the next generation.