Rescued after years of neglect, Charter House has been almost completely rebuilt and is now integrated into the new Charter Customs Building.
The original build date of Charter House is unknown, but at the turn of the twentieth century it existed as a single-storey building on a site fronting Breakwater Road, now known as Britomart Place.
Engineers Carter & Brooks and coppersmith and brazier William Menzies operated from the premises. In 1905 they also purchased the lease to the neighbouring site, on the corner of Customs Street East.
In 1920 the leases for the two properties were taken over by importers Richards and Upton. They built a four- and partly five-storied building as major additions and alterations to the original single-storey structure. Initially known as the Richards and Upton Building, it subsequently housed numerous engineering and importing firms.
Painters, decorators and renovators
From 1929 the building began a long association with painting and decorating firm R. & E. Tingey. Tingeys operated from the building for almost 50 years, until 1976. However, by the end of the twentieth century the building was virtually derelict.
In 2008 Charter House underwent a substantial rebuild, overseen by Australian architects Johnson Pilton Walker in association with Auckland heritage architects Salmond Reed.
The external facade and roof were saved and integrated into the new Charter Customs Building, part of Westpacs head office complex Westpac on Takutai Square. Today a Westpac staff cafeteria and break-out area sit within the original roof space of Charter House, featuring original exposed beams, sarking and brickwork.
Charter House, as part of the Charter Customs Building, holds a u2018Green Star – Built rating by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). It was the first heritage building ever to achieve Green Star NZ certification.
Find Charter House
Cnr Customs Street East and Britomart Place