Case Study: Rangiora Post Office Building

Blog / Case Study: Rangiora Post Office Building

Something very special has been happening down Rangiora’s High Street in recent months – and the feedback from town locals upon a particular project’s completion has made this labour of love all the more rewarding! 

As specialists in both commercial architectural design and alterations, our team at RW Design are well-versed in the design of beautiful and functional spaces, and breathing new life into old buildings. This combination of skills was put to the test with the revitalization of Rangiora’s historic Post Office building – and the results are something our team is truly proud of.

The History

Constructed by CS Luney & Co and opened in September 1936 by local Member of Parliament for Hurunui, the Right Honourable George Forbes, the Post Office building was an exceptional project from the very start – having been built during the depression era, at a time when very few public buildings were constructed.

The design and scale of the two-storey building was also extraordinary, though essential, given it had to house not only postal facilities but also the telephone exchange and the postmaster's residence upstairs.

The third – and perhaps most fascinating – element of the original building’s design and construction was the inclusion of two Edward VIII insignias in the main entrance. Only one other former New Zealand post office (in Cambridge) bears this notable royal insignia…

Why? Because Edward VIII reigned for just 325 days – abdicating the throne in favour of his love for American divorcee, Mrs Wallace Simpson. Scandalous!

The Project

With development plans to transform the historic building on the corner of High and Percival streets into a retail, hospitality and office space, our team was tasked with revitalising the façade and interior following earthquake strengthening earlier this year.

Our aim was to completely renovate and transform the space – modernising it to align with the aesthetic and personality of the area’s revitalised High Street, while retaining much of the building’s charm and history.

While contemporary elements such as functional floorplans and large modern windows have thoughtfully drawn the building into the 21stcentury, some very important features nodding back to the building’s history remain. Visitors today can stop to view those rare royal insignias – as well as the Landmarks plaque unveiled in 2004 by CS Luney & Co founder Charles Luney, in his 100th year.