Kevin Russ, Creative Spaces
From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery of entries
The Auckland House project is one part of a large CBD real estate consolidation for Auckland Council. The ex ASB headquarters building was purchased by the council in 2012 for accommodation of up to 2500 council corporate employees, most from third party leases throughout the Auckland CBD.
Creative Spaces were firstly engaged to provide a workplace strategy to the council and then won the commission for the refurbishment design of the 34 level building. Arguably the largest Auckland interior refurbishment ever undertaken, 27 levels of the building were converted to 5 Green Star rated workspace, incorporating over 2000 staff, the executive leadership team, Councillors, Mayoral and Deputy Mayors’ offices.
Over 28,000 square metres of interior space was repurposed within a very modest budget. The fit-out includes wellness, recruitment and staff cafeteria at podium level, three floors of common meeting space and contains no individual offices for corporate staff. Technology and individual storage solutions allow either resident or roving workstyles. Collaborative working and communication is encouraged, through the use of concentrated work zones, social hub areas, quiet spaces, casual meeting areas and storage areas on each floor.
By using an activity based strategy to design, i.e. providing fewer workpoints than people, a greater utilisation of space and a reduced environmental footprint has been achieved. For example, there are now over 2,000 staff located in a space that formerly held only 1,800, even there are now additional full floors dedicated to meeting and collaboration spaces. The workpoint density (square metres per person) across a typical team floor has reduced from 13 square metres to 10.1 square metres, which is less than the current government objective. However employees' satisfaction with their physical work environment has increased from 67% to 83% (employee engagement survey).
The central core circulation space provides orientation, display areas, and a backdrop for artwork for the Auckland Council collection. A Wellness Centre on Level 3 provides yoga and Pilates classes, therapeutic massage, and seminars on budgeting, diet and nutrition. Level 3 also includes a faith room to support the organisation's diversity.
The brief for this project was complex and included multiple workgroups, a need to create light reflective interior surfaces (to minimise interior light fitting usage), and a wish to give each floor a sense of individual character. With this in mind the building was divided up into five groups of floors, representing Earth, Forest, Sea, Wind and Sky.
Feature colours included – earth – Resene Double Fossil, Resene Triple Parchment, Resene Double Sisal and Resene Triple Sisal, forest – Resene Nirvana, Resene Miso, Resene Aspiring, Resene Coriander, Resene Neutral Green and Resene Linen, sea – Resene Altitude, Resene Half Escape, Resene Escape and Resene Awash, wind – Resene Tasman, Resene Half Emerge, Resene Breeze, Resene Cut Glass and sky – Resene Quarter Akaroa, Resene Half Fossil and Resene Parchment, with perimeter sills in Resene Internet using Resene Imperite.
Each central core circulation area was then covered in a textured glass reinforced wallpaper and painted a neutral individual Resene colour to reflect the theming. Graphics to lift lobbies further enhanced these themes. General office areas were kept to a very neutral off white, Resene Merino, to enhance reflectivity and provide a general sense of spaciousness.
A main driver for this project was to achieve a lasting interior while providing subtle individual floor themes and high reflectivity for Green Star ratings. The use of Resene neutral colours to the central core areas achieved this aim in a very simple way.
Architectural specifier: Creative Spaces
Building contractor: Fletcher Construction
Client: Auckland Council
Painting contractor: Clark Decorators
Other key contributors - acoustic metal ceilings: Forman Architectural
Other key contributors: Evolution of Surfaces
Other key contributors - feature pendant supplier: Tim Webber
Other key contributors - feature rugs supplier: Designer Rugs
Other key contributors - flooring: Jacobsen
Other key contributors: Laminex Group
Other key contributors - workstation supplier: Vidak
Photographer: Simon Devitt