A Dramatic Transformation: The Birdwood
Located off the well-trodden path of most new hospitality ventures in Christchurch today, this recent winner of the ADNZ – Canterbury/Westland: Commercial Interior Design Award, The Birdwood is comfortably nestled into the heart of suburban Beckenham.
This re-purposed old building has two establishments consisting an eatery and a pizzeria. Both venues hinged around a central kitchen designed to service both facilities during their alternate times of trade – a requirement of their resource consent and project brief.
The ambience of the eatery is based around a light-drenched open space scattered with tables, providing a clean fresh, vibrant feel, while the pizzeria presents a darker more intimate space. Acoustic consideration in both venues delivers spaces which can cater for large groups while still maintaining a comfortable volume.
The most obvious design feature in both venues are the ash timber chairs and stools. Supple ochre leather was chosen for the cushions to give a punch of colour in the lighter eatery but still provide a warm natural tone in the darker pizzeria. Roma Imperiale Granite stone benchtops and local lime stone around the woodfired pizza oven add a lovely combination with the varied black and brown finishes throughout.
A prominent feature of the eatery is the bespoke Woodtex ceiling. These fine fibre strand acoustic panels are arranged at 45 degrees then set at varied widths to provide an acoustic absorption surface area greater than that below. This provides a visually dramatic acoustic solution to an unresolved problem in most busy cafés.
Louie and the team from Mckenzie Builders worked closely with Nic Curragh from Objects Ltd on the fit out and Dean Cowell from Three Sixty Architecture on the extensive remodelling of the original building.
Louie says the challenge in the job was dealing with the old building and all its flaws, trying to drag it into the 21st century by adding steel beams, opening up large spaces and trying to level out seven different floor heights while installing a three-tonne pizza oven imported from Italy, all under very tight timeframes.
McKenzie Builders loved the challenge and is extremely proud of the finished product. The company has just walked away with a gold medal in the Master Builders House of the Year competition, which Louie says was a great result and recognition for all of his team. Louie says most of his work comes through word of mouth which is a great testament to his business.
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