Spark Square is an expansive 9,900m² five storey plus basement building with an impressive central atrium. It accommodates 500 workers as the new South Island headquarters for Spark, and also has extensive retail and hospitality space, including a rooftop bar and restaurant. Built to be strong and sustainable, the building is base isolated using a mix of rubber bearings and sliding plates connected to a structural steel grill, and is set to achieve a NABERSNZ 4.5 star energy efficiency rating.

The major challenge we found was that the services were not coordinated with the structural steel and double tees in the design. We fully modelled the services in collaboration with our subcontractors to identify the clashes, then worked with the consultants on solutions, including re-routing the services to ensure that they didn’t penetrate through the structural beams. This proactive approach ensured that issues were identified before building began, preventing expensive re-work.

The stunning spiral staircase in the atrium was another element of the building that benefited from our team’s buildability input. We ran collaborative workshops to adjust the details so the stairs could be built economically while maintaining high quality standards and preserving the “wow” factor of the design.

We promoted a culture of “no surprises” with all of the project participants throughout this project, working collaboratively to identify and resolve issues. This allowed us all to work as a team to fully understand non-standard details in the low-damage design and to identify methodologies such as temporary works and build sequencing to keep the programme on track.

The combination of collaboration and craftsmanship have delivered an exceptional building for Nexus Point and Spark in the first new commercial building to open in Cathedral Square since the Canterbury earthquakes.

Client: Nexus Point
Completed: February 2020


Christchurch, Commercial, Interiors / Fitout, Pre-Construction, Retail, Seismic