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Catalina Café


Location: Hobsonville Point
Client: Hobsonville Land Company
Completion: August 2010

seamlessly integrates historical references with modern design touches and technology, to create a space which is a joy to be in

As part of the Hobsonville Point residential development the RNZAF DBFI (Deployable Bulk Fuel Installation) Building has been recycled into the new local Catalina Café. Since 1963 the building and the adjoining community space have both served various purposes, before eventually becoming a somewhat derelict aviation fuel store. In August 2010 the Hobsonville Land Co redeveloped the space to form Catalina Café, but thankfully chose to retain the bulk of the original design including gorgeous high stud ceilings, sash windows and native timber floors.

The challenge associated with retaining so much of the historic charm of the building, was bringing it up to a standard which was compliant with current building regulations. ACH prepared and lodged a Building Consent Application for the change of use/refurbishment of the building. The application included details of:

  • Earthquake strengthening, including new shear walls and steel frames
  • A new commercial kitchen including wastewater plumbing and drainage
  • Removal of some internal walls and installation of structural beams
  • A new entry and entry canopy
  • Fire protection and egress

ACH also had a presence on site during construction, observing the engineering aspects and providing certification upon completion. The project ran smoothly and was completed within time and budget targets.

The result was a stunningly refurbished, functional café space which is still frequented by Air Force personnel. It is fitted out entirely with energy-saving and eco-friendly technology.

The café have enhanced their history by commissioning artist and designer Mike Petre to produce tables and countertops from the old rimu tongue and groove walls, and to fashion stools with cushions made from old army blankets. All in all, the building seamlessly integrates historical references with modern design touches and technology, to create a space which is a joy to be in.