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Sanford Head Office


Sanford is a publicly owned New Zealand fishing company that loves seafood and supports sustainable fishing and aquaculture, in New Zealand, as well as overseas.

More than 150 years ago, founder Albert Sanford went fishing for snapper and formed plans for a business that would ultimately grow into New Zealand’s biggest seafood company. Started as a family business in Auckland in 1881, it has grown into a company of nearly 1600 people. With more than 130 years of sustained growth, Sanford has a sense of pride about its history and is also excited about its future.

Sanford reception

GHDWoodhead creativespaces was engaged to deliver the turnkey design and interior fit-out of Sanford’s head office in Auckland. The office consists of two floors located above the Sanford Fish Market and Seafood School within Auckland’s vibrant Wynyard Quarter.

This historic building required seismic restrengthening to bring it up to standard of building code, and it was during this work that the beauty of the extraordinary brickwork and unique building structure was discovered. Resene Qristal ClearFloor 2K was applied to the found timber floor uncovered during demolition. The existing brickwork was also sealed and coated with Resene Cemseal. The previous use of the building to smoke fish is still discernible in the uniquely aged colour of the exposed brickwork.

Meeting area
Boatshed utility room

The colours selected for the fitout now needed to be in harmony with the marine theme but also the smoke stained brickwork.

The designers chose to celebrate the history; designing a fit-out that highlights and complements it yet embraces the future.

Life ring wall detail on green sea colour
Sanford and brick wall

The key objective of the fit-out was an innovative design that was fresh yet familiar, with a sense of quality and transparency.

The colours, textures and finishes make reference to the maritime theme based around the fish market and seafood industry. The teal blues and greens of mussels and iridescent scales of a freshly caught fish are reflected in the colours selected for the walls and features, using a palette of Resene Carefree, Resene Dali and Resene Renew. Resene Off Piste is a neutral finish to level 2 walls.

Office space
Kitchen and meeting spaces

Elsewhere the marine blue from the Sanford branding guidelines is reflected in the meeting room entrance doors finished in Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel in Resene Bellbottom Blue.

Resene Zylone Sheen was used throughout in the feature walls due to its low VOC nature and its compatibility with graphic treatments.

Meeting space
Meeting space

The slick black understated reception counter, with vibrant graphic backdrop resolutely brings Sanford into the modern day commercial workspace.

From the utility ‘boatshed’ to the fish scale kitchen splashback, small human touches such as the life ring, and rope screens reinforce the theme.

Seating area
Enclosed office

The feature boatshed and low-height collaborative walls all feature exposed low cost timber framing which was stained with Resene Dark Oak to create a more polished aesthetic. After rigorous testing of different stains and colours, Resene Woodsman was selected for its colour options and finished delivery giving low cost timber framing a welcome facelift.

The result is a paradoxically timeless yet historic fit-out that is a joy for staff and visitors alike.

Architectural specifier: GHDWoodhead creativespaces
Building subcontractor: Cobalt Interiors
Client: Sanford
Design director: Hamish Davies and Kevin Russ, GHDWoodhead creativespaces
Interior designer: Ella Rasmussen and Mikalyla Roadhouse, GHDWoodhead creativespaces
Painting contractor: Valco Painting Ltd
Photographer: Michelle Weir
Senior CAD technician: Sean Price and Carolyn Hannah, GHDWoodhead creativespaces
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2018

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.