We take you inside 131 Queen Street — Downtown’s vibrant new office space and hospitality precinct

Sitting pretty at one of Auckland’s most iconic addresses, 131 Queen Street is a masterfully transformed commercial office building offering an unparalleled working environment, a vibrant hospitality precinct, and Andrew Krukziener’s magic touch. 

Here, a sense of elegant grandeur prevails — perfectly befitting its heritage address. In fact, the building was originally home to one of the country’s finest department stores, Milne & Choyce, who traded successfully from the site for over 70 years. The cutting-edge structural design featured mushroom headed octagonal columns which provided minimal intrusions into the trading floor and a fully glazed store front.  

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131 Queen Street

Since the 1840s, Queen Street has long been Auckland’s centre point, connecting the harbour with the CBD, offering a vibrant arts precinct, and housing the City’s most striking heritage buildings. It’s this last fact that captured the attention of Andrew Krukziener, with the visionary developer adding another Queen Street heritage site to his incredibly impressive oeuvre — furthering his ambitious reimagining of the historic street. Over the past decade, this vibrant and centrally-located end of Queen Street has seen a complete transformation — with many of the world’s most renowned luxury brands finding a home amongst the character buildings. 

Simply named for its address, 131 Queen Street is a luxurious city office development set in one of the City’s most character-filled heritage buildings, boasting what is arguably the most striking lobby in the Auckland. The opulent touches and historic architecture speak to the rich history of the 1924 building, while Krukziener’s reimagining of the space ushers it into the modern day. 

Left: Restored original elevators. Right: Andrew Krukziener

Here, the architecture is enriched by ornate, sculptural detailing — from grand columns to steel arched windows and Art Deco motifs, animated by refined materials and textures. The building’s 4.2-metre ceilings, European wide board oak flooring and expansive windows make for an exceptional foundation, while its elegant yet relaxed feel makes for a more than perfect working environment. 

Labelling Krukziener as a visionary feels fitting, given his incredible foresight when it comes to development, and the part he’s played in progressing Auckland’s built environment. Responsible for the purchase and development of over 130 residential and commercial buildings throughout Auckland over the last 38 years, with projects totalling more than NZ$1.5 billion, the developer pays special heed to the preservation of historical buildings through discerning renovation. He has restored and redeveloped many recognised landmarks in Auckland City including the Old Magistrates Court Building at The Metropolis, the Contemporary Art Gallery on Lorne Steet and DFS Galleria on Customs Street. These days, the revitalisation of Queen Street is where Krukziener’s attention is turned, with 131 Queen Street raising the bar.

The entrance lobby.

When approaching the ten-story heritage building, Krukziener looked to the iconic Art Deco architecture of New York for inspiration to craft a design narrative that pays homage to the site’s history while bringing it into the present.  

The Office Lobby is where Krukziener was able to evoke the grandeur of the 1920’s — marble, macassar ebony and bronze have been artfully crafted alongside custom-designed chandeliers and wall sconces. The original bronze elevator signage was even uncovered during the works and repositioned to the office lobby. Whilst creating impeccably detailed interiors is the element of the project Krukziener most enjoyed, the first step was a hefty seismic upgrade. Strengthening the building to 100 percent New Building Standard (NBS) from the foundations to the roof was achieved with the installation of post tension steel bars imported from the United Kingdom, paired with new sheer walls and GRP wrapping of the columns. Seismic engineer, Ioannis Prionas of Tekton Consulting Engineers worked alongside Krukziener to minimise the intrusion of the new elements — so successful was he, that the new steel bars look as if they have supported the building for the past century. The heritage elements including the intricate plaster and steel facade were preserved, the canopy restored to its original design and new custom-designed features were created by craftsmen in Auckland from bronze, plaster, timber and stone.

131 Office Space

In the offices there is a symphony between modern technology and striking character features. A new air conditioning plant was designed to provide state of the art control to tenants — but it’s the bathrooms, clad with the deepest green marble and fitted with traditional tapware and fixtures, together with octagonal mirrors and bronze door hardware that are the most commented on.

The lower-level floor plates have been divided to create offices ranging in size from 150 square-metres to 400 square-metres. The lofty stud height and expansive windows flood the spaces with natural light.  

The National Business Review followed Krukziener when he decided to move his offices to 131 Queen Street — the two businesses have been neighbours since 2009, with professional service companies Accenture and Cyber CX also both leasing full floors on the upper levels of the building, joining boutique investment bank Montarne and Five V Capital. The top two levels — the finest character spaces in Auckland, are available for lease, both boasting private terraces overlooking Queen Street towards Albert Park and the harbour.

Left: Entrance lobby details. Right: View from 131 Queen Street

The Ground Level will house luxury retail and on Level One a food and beverage destination is being created, starting with a sophisticated whiskey bar to be run by the team behind The Jefferson. Award-winning hospitality designers, Izzard Design are responsible for transforming Level One into a culinary meeting place. Drawing inspiration from global metropolises where city centres are vibrant hubs of activity around the clock, here you’ll find a diverse mix of elevated eateries as well as a boutique, luxury tearoom, offering both tenants and central city visitors a taste of New Zealand in an entirely unique setting. 

131 Queen Street sits as a beacon of style offering businesses an exceptional base right in the very heart of the City. The combination of innovation, sophistication, and entrepreneurship that Krukziener has employed in his latest project is just what our city centre needs to usher in the new era of downtown Auckland. 

To secure one of the few remaining luxury office spaces at 131 Queen Street contact Ollie Mawson on 021 740 031.


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