It’s become the talk of Arrowtown.

A new custom-built office building on Wiltshire Street, opposite the fire station, for Roost Mortgage Brokers, has been designed to look like one of the miners’ cottages on nearby Buckingham St.

It’s also been a major collabbetween the developer/builder, architect, client and the Arrowtown Planning Advisory Group (APAG), which signed it off, as it’s in the town’s historic management zone.

Queenstown couple Gayle and Rick Pettit have owned the property for about 20 years.

Rick: ‘‘Right at the beginning, I said I wanted to replace the two horrible-looking flats — well, it took until Covid for me to actually have time to even think about it.’’

Enter Arrowtown architect Justin Wright, of Assembly Architects, who’s a neighbour and client of Roost founder, Mark Pullar.

Having started in a garage in 2007, then outgrown two successive Arrowtown offices, Pullar had engaged Wright to see if he could fit his team of 15 into the town’s former Mantra restaurant.

During the due diligence period, Wright also checked out the Pettits’ Wiltshire St property, knowing they were keen to redevelop it.

Within 24 hours, he’d sketched out what, by and large, Rick’s building company, Mainframe, subsequently built.

Wright says he followed Arrowtown’s heritage-zone design guidelines.

The centre of the building’s like an old stone cottage, and it’s flanked by an old-style galvanised iron lean-to on one side and a modern Corten steel, gabled shed-form ‘box’ on the other.

The interior’s been designed to suit Roost’s needs with a reception area, boardroom and directors’ offices on the Wiltshire St level, and open-plan offices on the ground floor.

Rick: ‘‘Slightly like the Tardis, it might be small on the out side but pretty big on the inside.’’

He’s also proud of his five-man team who handled all aspects of the build including the stonework and Corten flashings.

APAG chairman David Clarke, also director of the nearby Lakes District Museum, says his group had no trouble signing off the design.

‘‘Justin’s done some nice little contemporary tweaks but still used the traditional stone and gable-roof proportions — the result, we think, is fantastic.’’

Clarke says he’s also aware Arrowtown’s become very short of office space ‘‘as more and more people want to relocate here’’.

Fortunately, the site — part of a larger parcel owned by the Pettits — had been rezoned ‘commercial’ through the district plan process.

Pullar’s also thrilled he could remain in Arrowtown — ‘‘it was very, very difficult to find any space that would fit a business of our size’’.

‘‘We’ve never really had an opportunity to work together, really, and now, after spending 15 years getting thousands of Queenstowners into their own home, Roost finally has its own home.

‘‘It’s also pretty cool to have been part of creating something we can all be very proud of for years to come, and which will no doubt outlast the lot of us.’’

Clarke: ‘‘Rick will admit it himself, the previous buildings here were in no great shape.

‘‘It’s been an amazing transformation, and everyone you talk to is saying, ‘have you seen this building on the corner?’’’

Rick adds: ‘‘I’ve never come across a building that has had so much public interest — people stop, toot, wave, give me the thumbs-up, ask questions, and many of these people aren’t local.’’

[email protected]

- Advertisement -