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Herd Street Office

The functionality of a work space with the comforts of a home...

Located within the monastic Herd Street building in Wellington, directly adjacent to a central city marina, this space previously held a restaurant.

Meeting room

The brief was to turn it into a versatile modern office space, without the trappings and feel of a corporate office. The clients wanted the functionality of a work space with the comforts of a home. The office set up also needed to be sufficiently flexible to allow for the business to evolve and adapt without any further disruption to the overall design. This included the possibility of sub-leasing desk space to other businesses or having the office used as a function venue. All of these possibilities were served by the final design.

In keeping with the brief to incorporate the comforts of home, the kitchen was made a centre piece of the design. Its location took advantage of the natural light and the prevailing views of the marina. Like any household kitchen, this one was to act as the focal point of the office. In order to satisfy the functionality element of the brief, a large ‘box’ was inserted which houses the utilities (i.e. bathrooms, meeting room, storage), allowing for the main open plan space to be flexible in its use. The furniture selection reflected the relaxed and non-corporate directive of the brief.

Office kitchen and table

Reflecting the marine surroundings, several traditional maritime references were infused throughout the space. This included the tongue and groove panels, brass fixtures and marine style lighting. These maritime-inspired fixtures also reflected the clients’ respective personal interests and it was important that this was included in the fit-out. One client is a deep sea diver so some of his underwater finds are part of the final touches - portholes adorn the walls, a partial propeller greets guests on arrival and ship windows are transformed into bathroom mirrors, among other treasures scattered throughout the office.

With the backdrop of a busy marina, the colour scheme was pared back to two simple, but striking, colours.

Hall and porthole feature

Resene Zylone Sheen low sheen in Resene Ship Grey (mid grey) was used to provide emphasis to the inserted ‘box’ that houses the utilities for the office. The kitchen formed a key feature of the ‘box’ and also inherited the dark colour. This palette was again applied to the bathrooms to create a deep canvas to let the brass fixtures shine. In contrast, the rest of the office is finished in the all-time classic Resene Black White (grey white) to allow the ‘box’ to stand out and to let attention to be drawn to the unique maritime inspired artefacts. The steel beams and concrete floor were both finished in Resene Uracryl clear.

This project meant satisfying the needs and interests of two clients with somewhat differing requirements. One client was principally focused on the function, with a more restrained vision; the other client was more enthusiastic about having his personality represented in the finished product. Achieving both visions was an invigorating and interesting challenge.

This office won the Resene Total Colour Neutrals Award. The judges said: “An instant favourite, this neutral palette draws you in and makes you feel at home. The neutral hues wrap empathetically over the industrial architecture for a commercial space that feels domesticated and restful, without the normal stress of a busy office. Beautifully finished, this project captures the power of neutrals.”

Architectural specifier: Amelia Minty
Building contractor: Zeal Commercial Interiors
Client: Duncan Forbes and Garth MacIntyre – Go Native and Portion Pack Foods
Interior designer: Charlotte Minty Interior Design
Photographer: Bonnie Beattie
Winner: Resene Total Colour Neutrals Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2018
From the Resene News – issue 4/2018


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