Herriot Melhuish O’Neill Architects - Wellington, Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga

161 Cuba St


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HMOA has added two spacious, light-filled penthouse apartments to this heritage-listed, neo-Classical building in central Wellington. 161 Cuba St was originally designed by Wellington architect Joseph McClatchie Dawson and the building was completed in 1912.

Both apartments (one two-bedroom, the other three-bedroom) are north-facing, optimising sun and views. HMOA faced a challenging resource consent process, finding clever solutions to maximise space within the heritage requirements. The facade is set back to create wrap around decks and enhance privacy. The materials palate is sensitive to the existing building and includes a combination of zinc, cedar and Swiss pearl cement sheet. 

Earthquaking strengthening of the entire building was also completed, with a vibrant mix of commercial tenants now occupying the lower levels.

"Shows the way forward for sensitive urban renewal," NZIA Jury, Wellington Awards 2019. 

Read more about this project and the history of the building on our blog.

Photos: Andy Spain. 
Awards: NZIA Wellington Award 2019.



Built for Wellington businessman T.G. Macarthy, who died the year it was finished,  founder of firm King and Dawson. McClatchie was an inaugural member of the NZ Institute of Architects (president from 1938-40) who also designed Wellington’s T.G. Macarthy Building (1913) and Hope Gibbons Building (1925).


HMOA also designed two interior fit-outs for tenants in the building, with Creature Design's interior winning both a 2018 NZIA Award and a Best Design Award.

The project included seismic strengthening of the existing grade 2 heritage-listed building that was originally designed by Wellington architect Joseph McClatchie Dawson and built in 1911.