From the Resene Total Colour Awards gallery — Auckland
There were 2x key aspects to the brief. So, our challenge for this project was not only how to protect that culture and identity for Online Republic, but also not miss an opportunity to enhance it further – to take it to a new place and keep it fresh.
Online Republic provides top notch ‘Holiday Service to its clients. The design needed to provide that same message back to the business by means of the fit-out with a focus on an interior that consistently alludes to the joy we get from a good holiday.
It also needed to bring the staff together into one space and provide them with their own ‘Hotel’ or ‘Resort like’ environment, one where they can live that culture for themselves. Staff are encouraged to be involved and enjoy playing their part as both the host and the holiday maker at once. This is achieved through a hospitality industry feel but also by the concierge counter, bar, café and printer counters. Choosing to walk up and take a seat at the bar or walk around behind and host your colleagues lends to that idea of ‘helping others’ before ‘helping yourself’ creating a great sense of ‘team’ at a social level.
The previous offices had a beautiful 1920s old-world charm with deep mahogany and glass chandeliers. It had a real identity. While the new look will retain a sense of retro and eclectic, it needed to move forward a generation or two – to the heyday of 1950s-60s commercial world travel – the ‘Pan Am’ days when the world was being opened up for overseas adventure, and people actually dressed up to go on a flight or embark on a luxury cruise. This is reflected in the travel posters and mid-century detailing in the lighting, curves, wall panelling and colour scheme.
Stack wanted to ‘de-corporatise’ the fit-out through the colour selections and material choices. With a culture of relaxed, fun and committed, the new workspace aimed to showcase that culture, as well as facilitate new and current staff to ‘live’ that culture for themselves on a day to day basis. It’s not simply plastering brand messaging across the walls – to be truly effective it needs to be intrinsic in the environment.
The design is still a professional and practical space with all the requirements of a modern office, but it’s the relaxed and playful environment or ‘holiday vibe’ that really helps define the Online Republic culture.
Paint colours were very carefully selected to capture that mid-century vibe. Bright teals and salmons were prevalent at this time. Many Resene testpots were tried to ensure the colours were just right. Resene Scooter was selected for its wonderful vibrancy while still complementing the bohemian greens, planting and palms vibe. Resene Japonica was selected for being a perfect balance between a colour that would be too pink in the corporate environment, to a colour that would no longer be a salmon, but more of a terracotta.
It was also important that both colours complemented the more traditional ‘commercial office’ colours such as Resene Fuscous Grey, Resene Green Meets Blue and Resene Paddock. Fabric designs and colours were an essential element to complete this link, with pineapple curtains and palm leaf fabric sofas.
The mosaic stencil design on the concrete floor helps to link the front of house concierge/meet and greet area, with the bohemian styled hub of the café space. The colour choice and method of installation for this needed to create a sense that it had been there for a while… as well as allow the paint to wear in time. Clean white would be too crisp, and grey too close to concrete. This too was tested on site, with Resene Quarter Delta the victor, finished in Resene Uracryl 404.
The biggest challenge for this project was to ensure the design enhanced and preserved One Replublic’s culture. It had to be integral in the design for it to truly work. The material selection, as well as the layout, needed to evoke a sense of fun and togetherness, all the while still functioning efficiently as a professional business. This, we know from the client themselves, has been achieved. Productivity is up since moving into their new office, staff are saying they feel lucky to work in such a great place, and they feel proud of their new space.
Architectural specifier: Stack Interiors Limited
Building contractor: Cape
Client: Online Republic
Interior designer: Jesse James Smith & Jacquette Barrington
Painting contractor: Dave Smith, Valco Painting & Decorating
Photographer: Rebecca Swan
The Resene Total Colour Awards celebrate and encourage creative use of colour. For colour and decorating inspiration, browse through the hundreds of projects submitted...