This 5,000m2, two level architecturally designed entertainment precinct on Brecon Street, Queenstown is now home to a bowling alley, food and beverage venues, escape rooms, karaoke rooms, Timezone gaming and function rooms. The Brecon Street, Upper Village development was designed by Brisbane-based architects BSPN on behalf of Brisbane-based Engage Group.
The Town Centre and Lake Wakatipu are only 400m from the front door along with the Skyline Gondola entrance being 150m from the site. This site features views over the Queenstown CBD, Lake Wakatipu, the iconic Skyline Gondola, and surrounding alpine landscape including The Remarkables.
Engage Group selected local Queenstown builders Cook Brothers Construction to lead this development. This statement entertainment building used a range of materials including natural stone, timber cladding, expressed painted structural steel, glass and concrete. This was a huge project that included lots of detail. Design Windows Central Otago were engaged early to work with the Australian based architects BSPN Architecture. This was 12 months prior to New Zealand’s first lockdown. In the end this project ran through two lockdowns and took 18 months to complete.
Our team worked with APL and the architects via zoom to figure out the windows and doors, spans, extrusions, glazing and the best fit for the site. Lockdowns paused site work but our team were able to continue work on the planning and the project continued. We were well aware of the Christmas 2021 hand over date so scheduling the job was critical to success.
For this commercial project the main window system used was the APL 125mm Flushglaze Suite, some of which was installed in faceted arrays. Large APL Architectural Series sliding doors are also a feature of the buildings. One door set — 4 + 4 bi-parting sliders — is 8m long and 2.7m high. Other products used included 40mm Windows (Seismic Suite), fixed aluminium louvres and Magnum Hinged Doors. The aluminium joinery was finished in Duratec Matt Black.
This project contains some amazing features. A huge 25m glazed overhead canopy on a steel frame makes a stunning feature and provides shelter for pedestrians entering the building. The curved window feature wall at the face of the building has extra-large, faced windows allowing sightlines to the views of the surrounding areas. Large sliding stacker doors without decks have internal glass balustrades to keep the public safe, while allowing for large openings and greater ventilation.
The glazed overhead canopy was a complex feature to build and was created in two locations. Initially it was constructed on the ground in our yard at Cromwell. The engineered mechanical fixings and manual cutting of the glazing bars meant that it took us two weeks to complete. It was then taken to site in kitset form to install once the steel was in place. Once the steel was in place it took a further week of installation on site and another week to glaze. Due to the height of the glass canopy all work on site was completed on scissor lifters.
Due to the Central Otago climate all the window and door joinery is double glazed which is above the norm for commercial buildings and has an r value of 0.26. The South facing windows are further insulated with Low E Max to increase heat retention.
The high-profile location of the site presented some challenges. Located at the foot of the very popular SkyLine Gondola, pedestrian and traffic management were important in this live environment. Neighbouring buildings were sensitive, being a high voltage power substation, a pre-school and the Kiwi and Bird Life Park. Management of noise and vibration had to be strictly managed. One of the biggest issues was caused by the building taking up the whole site, meaning there wasn’t a laydown area, this was overcome by good planning and management.
The completion of this project was a collaborative team effort. The Central Otago team worked together to ensure this project was delivered on time through two lockdowns: from the detailing, ordering, production to the installers and site glaziers. External relationships with APL & Metro Glass meant a great deal of expertise coming together to help this client achieve their dreams.
Walk by and this project has huge impact on the local area. It’s bold, architectural and there is nothing else like it in Queenstown.