The French Kitchen

Architects: Jones Architects

Symonds Court is a 19th century double skinned brick building with period facades.  The challenge was to upgrade the existing commercial and residential tenancies and improve earthquake performance – all while retaining the period character of the important Symonds Street / Khyber Pass Corner.

Frames were placed behind the facades to transfer the seismic loads into various portal frames placed throughout the structure. Diaphragm systems were connected to the upper ceiling level, and the upper floor level, to tie the building together. Additional bracing was also placed where required throughout the structure.

What was once a stable for the gentry’s horses was transformed into an addition to the French Kitchen restaurant. Portal frames open this addition to a landscaped courtyard and added bracing strengthen the structure.

The work was staged in order to minimise the impact on existing tenants. A further challenge emerged at one end of the building where the deteriorating structure required significant remedial work. The end result is a building that is strong, safe and good for another century or more.