The aim of this project was to transform a vacant commercial building on a busy arterial route of West Auckland into a new small scale corporate office and banking premises. The brief requested two separate parts of the business, which were typically separated, to be incorporated into one building with a singular entrance, allowing economies and efficiencies in shared resources. Additionally the workspace interiors were to have a regionally specific theme.
The aspiration for the office workspace environment was to make work more effective, efficient and more enjoyable for staff by providing space and freedom to decide how to work, where to work, when to work.
The starting point of the project’s spatial organisation was to merge two separate parts of business, retail banking and corporate offices, with very different and onerous security requirements into a seamless business centre. Divisive lines of security are concealed, blurring the boundaries between each part of business.
Three different themes were selected that characterise the region - West Coast beaches, Waitakere bush and the wine making industry that once occupied the area. These themes are conveyed throughout the interior with materiality, colour, graphics, form and space.
The workspace strategy requires all work settings to be completely shared and a range of workstation types provided for varied levels of focus and different activities. Meeting spaces are also varied to reflect the type of collaboration and formality.
Different local themes are conveyed through materiality, colour, graphics, objects and space. Each theme defines a different zone within the overall interior. One meeting space is painted in Resene Awash, another in Resene Kumutoto.
From the main entry the black sand dunes of the West Coast are referenced by a textured sculpted wall with carved out niches and caves that form intimate meeting rooms. A pixelated carpet pattern of blended greys and blues evokes images of shifting sands washing into the Tasman Sea.
Upstairs different sized timber wine vats that serve as private meeting spaces and individual work spaces are seemingly randomly inserted into the space. There are four vats in two different sizes. The larger vats contain circular meeting chambers, the smaller vats house private phone booths. The vats avoid touching the base structure and preserve the original spatial volume.
The complete structure is made from light weight poplar plywood, cut offsite using a CNC machine and assembled on site by a team of joiners. The cross sectional profile is formed using plywood ribs. The ribs are profiled to give a subtle vault to the interior and a vertical face to the exterior. Twenty four ribs radiate from a central point in plan to form a cylindrical shape. Horizontal plywood bands connect these ribs together to give lateral support.
The plywood structure is then clad on the exterior with thin layers of MDF and lined with vertical pine boards. Horizontal metal straps conceal screw fixings of the boards. The interior is lined with black acoustic blanket fitted between the exposed plywood structure.
Linear light fittings, graduated rows of carpet colours and hanging grape acoustic ceiling panels reference vineyard colours and geometries. Subsequent spaces allude to the kiwi backyard and Waitakere bush.
The painting of the envelope of walls and ceiling in Resene Alabaster allows the freestanding built objects within the spaces to float and provides a reflective surface for up-lighting from the top of the vats and the floating acoustic panels.
Natural cork tiles line a circular ceiling panel referencing the cork used in wine bottles. The Resene Oak wood stain colour over the pine vertical boards creates the dark and shadowy environment of the cool cellaring spaces found in the wine making sheds of old. Timber stairs are finished in Resene Qristal Clear to protect the natural timber.
Architectural specifier: CPRW Fisher Architects
Building contractor: Amstar Interiors
Client: ASB Bank Ltd
Colour selection: Michael Fisher, Sophie Isler, David Muir, Anna Armstrong, CPRW Fisher Architects
Consultant designer: Ellery Muir
Fire Engineer: Holmes Fire
Lighting designer: Lightworks
Painting contractor: Unique Painting
Photographer: Simon Devitt
Services engineer: WSP Group Ltd
Staircase engineer: Structure Design Ltd