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Written by Steel & Tube
on February 29, 2024


Transforming the Woollen Mills site in Onehunga into a modern industrial campus was the work of JWA Architects. Lining the signature saw-tooth roof and exterior walls, Steel & Tube’s Legacy™ profile brings a sophisticated accent to this award-winning 15,000 sqm build.

 Paying homage to an historical part of Auckland, JWA Architects has repurposed and expanded the original 19th-century Woollen Mills building, once famous for its Princess wool blankets. New materials include pre-cast concrete, glass and aluminium curtain walling, and our Legacy tray profile for wall and roof cladding.

 Retaining the original brick building as the anchor for the site, the architects introduced the unmistakable 18th-century standing seam style of Legacy, in COLORSTEEL®Flaxpod, to create a design connection between old and new.

 ‘We wanted to ensure a strong presence on Neilson Street that responded positively to the historic Woollen Mills site,’ said JWA Architects founder Jonathan Walker. ‘The new saw-tooth roof reflects the original Victorian factory roofline, giving the site a strong identity in South Auckland.’


Photographer: Colleen Tunnicliff

Product selection criteria included: durability and performance; efficient installation and low maintenance; environmental compliance; and cost-effectiveness. As an architectural cladding system and roofing choice, the Legacy profile provides a vintage character, with sleek, modern lines to blend old and new.

Using Legacy for an architectural finish

 The Woollen Mills development is a clear and distinct destination and industrial business hub, proudly winning in the commercial category at the 2023 Auckland Architecture Awards. The awards judges noted, ‘The saw-tooth roof form facing a busy road is commanding alongside its neighbours and establishes an engaging new presence in the surrounding context.’

 ‘The use of Steel & Tube’s Legacy profile was quite deliberate,’ says Jonathan Walker. ‘It’s a standard roll-form profile; however, it has the wide trough, giving a bit of a flat pan roof appearance, so it looks quite architectural.’ This means that a cost-effective, easily accessible and low-maintenance product also delivers on design quality and impact.


Photographer: Colleen Tunnicliff

Cost-effective with a beautiful end result

Legacy has a competitive price point compared to the traditional standing seam profiles. ‘It comes with a wide pan and high rib and doesn’t require a plywood substrate,’ says Steel & Tube’s Specification Manager, Roofing, Sylvan Cheng. ‘That makes it immediately more cost-efficient, but with a beautiful end result.’

Legacy supports Green Star and Home Star requirements, with all Steel & Tube profiles in COLORSTEEL accredited with Eco Choice Aotearoa. As a clip-fix system, Legacy also does not show a single screw, making it simple and time-efficient, helping projects keep within and ahead of deadlines.

 ‘It’s a great product to use,’ says Jonathan. ‘Detailed well, it withstands even harsh conditions.’ Legacy’s robustness and low upkeep requirements make the profile a popular choice for many projects.

 A signature, stand-out look

 ‘The Legacy profile doesn’t have a swage, which means you get more of that architectural look to it,’ says Jonathan. ‘You also get that slight oil-canning effect that gives buildings a more crafted, bespoke finish. Flaxpod, which is one of the darkest shade in the COLORSTEEL colour palette, helped emphasise this feature. It's nice that we can use some of the profiles in a more architectural way.’

 Oil-canning is a frequent phenomenon in products featuring standing seams or wider profile patterns, like Legacy. It is not deemed a defect and tends to become less noticeable over time with weathering. ‘Some of our customers really like that undulation,’ says Sylvan. ‘It’s almost like the building is breathing. It’s a feature you can achieve if you pick the right colour and finish – and we are always happy to advise on how to achieve your preferred finish.’

The old Woollen Mills site has a new lease of life, once again a hub of local industry amid a trendy and bustling commercial area. This pioneering rejuvenation has won praise from both the architectural industry and local community, the development bringing energy and identity to Onehunga.


Photographer: Colleen Tunnicliff

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