The two storeyed building is designed in the Edwardian Italianate Palazzo style with a rusticated ground floor walls and pilasters and a central projecting entry and upper floor with pilasters, deep cornice with brackets, parapet and a central broken triangular pediment. The central entry has a semi-circular pediment and ground floor windows have panelled spandrels. The upper floor windows have bracketed sills. The main two-storied section is symmetrical about the entry, however there is an eastern single storied extension, constructed after the original building, which follows the same style.
Plans from the BNZ Archives show the ground floor comprising a front vestibule, the public area with tellers, manager's office, stationery room and a strong room. The rear half of the building has a side ent1y and corridor, dining room, kitchen, pantry and scullery for the Bank Manager, while the first floor has three bedrooms, a bathroom and two other unidentified rooms.
This Italianate commercial style was a part of the classical revival of the nineteenth century, which was championed by Sir Charles Barry from the 1840's in his design of clubs and smaller office buildings. His preferred style was the sixteenth century Italian Palazzo and he was also influential in using this style for large country houses for the wealthy. Commercial buildings, particularly banks, preferred the use of classical architecture, and the design of C R Cockerell's Sun Fire and Life Assurance building of 1839-42 in Threadneedle Street confirmed the Italianate Palazzo style. The design of larger structures using classical language was easily solved using the Palazzo style and quickly saw warehouses and multi-storey offices and other buildings adopt the Italianate Palazzo style. Architects such as Edward Waiters, J E Gregan, Edward I' Anson, and John Gibson, popularised the style in England while Scottish architects also took up the style with gusto. The High Victorian period saw additional classical styles such as the French renaissance become a significant style, however the popularity of the Italianate Palazzo style for commercial buildings was maintained until the Edwardian period, when the style evolved into the Inter-war Commercial Palazzo style. This was developed by American architects McKim, Mead and White initially for Chicago high-rise commercial buildings, and this style became popular throughout the 'New World'.
Elements comprising the street and side elevations are the most significant including:
rendered plain and decorative walls
timber doors and toplight
timber fixed, casement and double hung sash windows
metal wall vents
Although not visible the rear elevation and roof are also of significance.
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.