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NZ Racing Board
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NZ Racing Board

Wellington

The NZ Racing Board, located in Petone, Wellington, had a need to create a large kitchen function space for their staff. They wanted both informal and formal meeting areas that were adaptable to various meeting sizes. Meeting spaces needed to be designed to cater to all staff being together, 120+ people, and also in groups of 4-6. Smaller meeting groups needed to have privacy and collaboration while not being overtaken by general noise in the kitchen. The kitchen needed to allow 120 people to come and make their lunch while also accommodating a café proprietor and their commercial kitchen requirements.

Functionality was high on the priority list although high on the designer’s list was ambience. This space was enormous; to achieve collaboration, community, privacy and still allowing large function space was difficult to achieve.

Another aspect of the client brief was that the staff are spread over four floors, and this space was to bring everyone together for fun, for play, for work and for collaboration. This space needed to have multiple uses for multiple events for multiple personalities. The success of this space has far exceeded their and the designer’s expectations.

The racing industry was the basis for colours and design inspiration. On suggestion of this concept the Board was both excited and hesitant; they wanted the application to be an interpretation of the industry but not have it looking like horse racing or to make it too themed like a race day. So the office design team took elements of the horse industry that could be just that, inspiration. They looked at jockey uniforms; the bright colours and quirky patterns. This influenced the pattern of the carpet layout, and the colours throughout the space.

NZ Racing Board

NZ Racing Board

Given the expanse of the space, the ceiling was finished in black Resene Nero to push the line of sight down to the floor level where colours are played with through flooring treatments.

The space is broken into three areas through the flooring and paint treatments. The unifying black colour then ties these all back together.

NZ Racing Board

NZ Racing Board

The booths are a key feature of this space; bright primary colours of Resene Jalapeno, Resene Roadster, Resene Bird Flower, Resene Enigma and Resene Eastern Blue, are used to bring vibrancy to this collaboration corner, with Resene Half Ironsand as a background. This feature in the space is the most highly used area, which is great feedback given that when they were being painted people were very nervous about the intensity of colour. This space comes to life through the colour application.

Resene Nero
Resene Nero
Resene Jalapeno
Resene Jalapeno
Resene Roadster
Resene Roadster
Resene Bird Flower
Resene Bird Flower
Resene Enigma
Resene Enigma
Resene Eastern Blue
Resene Eastern Blue
Resene Half Ironsand
Resene Half Ironsand
Resene Mexican Wave
Resene Mexican Wave
Resene Bokara Grey
Resene Bokara Grey
Resene Alabaster
Resene Alabaster

The kitchen is also colourful with Resene Mexican Wave on kitchen storage joined by Resene Bokara Grey on the kitchen backdrop and central columns, all surrounded by Resene Alabaster. Additional storage is finished with Resene Blackboard Paint to provide a handy and practical writing surface.

The time frame for this project was incredibly tight and literally every minute available was used to deliver this on time, including pulling in relatives to drive down the large dividing walls on a Mack truck to Wellington overnight two days before opening.

It is always a challenge to change the culture of a business and how they come together when you only have access to one space in a building. This space was to be so exciting that staff wanted to be in it, to collaborate and hang out. Thankfully it’s a fabulous success.

Architectural specifier: Spaceworks Design Group
Building contractor: Neil Shackleton, Interbuild
Client: NZ Racing Board
Photographer: David Hamilton
Supplier - furniture: Ferndale Furniture

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