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Microsoft Wellington Office
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Microsoft Wellington Office


Wellington

Microsoft is challenging the way technology can liberate traditional offices. To do this they developed the ‘Workplace Advantage Programme™‘ - a philosophy enabling people to work and think more collaboratively and independently using mobile technology. Microsoft chose to remain in their existing 600 square metre office located on Vodafone on the Quay, and revamp it into something which inspired them to promote how their technology can liberate the workplace.

The Stephenson&Turner design team has transformed this space into a hub for collaboration, reflecting the company’s culture. We had vision, we had aspirations, and we wanted to change the world through this little office in Wellington. The design had to accommodate working zones for collaboration between Microsoft staff and their clients, meeting rooms which offer different comfort levels, emotions, and functions, café type spaces where staff can meet in a relaxed manner, but can be also be transformed to hold formal and informal functions for both staff and clients. The floor area was designed to accommodate a flexible floor plate.

An inspirational environment is about developing functional ideas through the creation of emotion, a space must welcome and encourage visitors to relax, engage and ultimately remember the experience of visiting your company. The environment should encourage conversation, collaboration, create relationships and allow the company to evolve and grow into the future. An inspirational environment is a delicate balance of emotional and functional experiences within the built environment.

Microsoft Wellington reception

The Microsoft Wellington Office was designed in four zones based on the specific activity of that zone. It was important to Microsoft staff that when you entered a new zone, you ‘felt’ like you had entered a new zone. Continuity needed to be retained throughout the fit-out to ensure the design was not just a mix ’n’ match.

Microsoft Wellington areas

To achieve this continuity, a neutral wall colour of Resene Merino was carefully selected, which would be carried through the entire fit-out, and the colour of each zone would be achieved through carpets, furniture, joinery and wall graphics. The neutral tones of the walls would then enhance the effect of the coloured elements living within them.

Microsoft Wellington areas

The colour scheme design for the Microsoft Wellington Office was based on the four zones, designed to suit how Microsoft’s people inhabit their working environment. The zones were designed to function for specific tasks, initiated by perceptual sensorial emotions through colour, seating arrangements, materiality and lighting.

Microsoft Wellington areas

‘The Greeting Hub’ is the first glimpse into the company’s ‘heart and home’. This space is active, inviting and dedicated to client interaction. It proceeds through a glass sun filled corridor to ‘The Café Hub’, a more relaxed space to meet and eat with a mix of colours. Travel through the next doors and you reach the Workzone, which offers only 20 desks for its 40 team members. This space is split into two zones, ‘The Active Workzone’ - the fast paced active work space and ‘The Quiet Workzone’ - where one can concentrate on detailed and more extensive work. Touch down seating is scattered throughout the office so staff are able to work from wherever they please.

Metal spandrels and timber doors are finished in Resene Archive Grey, internal decking trellis in Resene White and joinery is highlighted with Resene Groovy, Resene Bowie or Resene Outrageous depending on which zone you are in. Lockers finished in blackboard paint can be personalised by staff.

Resene Merino
Resene Merino
Resene Archive Grey
Resene Archive Grey
Resene White
Resene White
Resene Groovy
Resene Groovy
Resene Bowie
Resene Bowie
Resene Outrageous
Resene Outrageous

Microsoft Wellington Office

Microsoft employees love the flexibility, and Microsoft’s experience with activity based working around the world has shown that there are some very concrete business benefits too. Microsoft is able to accommodate more customer and partner meetings at their premises, which was a very real struggle with the previous space. Staff can commute outside rush hour or work from home more readily, saving time and petrol. This working model even has the potential to reduce leased office space, saving on rent and energy use.

Microsoft has stepped forth into the future and it is pleasing to see how their staff has made this space uniquely theirs.

Architectural specifier: Stephenson&Turner New Zealand Ltd
Building contractor: Alaska Interiors
Building services: Norman Disney Young
Client: Microsoft
Painting contractor: Blackstar Painting & Decorating
Photographer: Paul McCredie
Project Manager: Jones Lang LaSalle

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