With the lease due to expire at their Wiri Head Office, Honda saw an opportunity to combine two previously separate parts of their business – Honda Cars (retail) and Honda New Zealand (wholesale).
This was a first not only for Honda, but for the automotive industry in New Zealand. The project focused on creating a positive internal culture, promoting teamwork and productivity, and enhancing the working and retail environment for staff and customers.
The building is located in Newmarket, Auckland and has a large showroom, several offices, meeting rooms and workshops. Respond was assigned three unused areas to redevelop into three new offices for the Wiri relocation. The brief was not just to redesign the spaces to accommodate 70 relocated staff members, but to provide a workable, modern building with a great cultural environment.
The initial challenge was transforming empty automotive engineering workshops into a functional office space. Respond had to decide where to put staff and how to configure the space, where meeting rooms would go and which spaces would be used for formal or informal gatherings.
The design team spent a significant time ensuring that Honda’s staff had appropriate workspaces for their roles. While the brief was for an open plan office, human resources needed private spaces available to meet with staff and the finance team’s computer screens needed to be concealed from onlookers.
Functionality was not the only key driver: Honda wanted to reconfigure the existing building to create a modern office environment that reflected the Honda culture and values and which both parts of the business could be proud to work in. This meant a light, bright, open space that would promote teamwork and lift staff morale.
Honda did not have any existing brand guidelines which could be used for the project, so the design team developed a brand colour scheme specifically for the project, one that can be rolled out in the future.
The Honda branding is epitomised by the strong red of the Honda logo, reflected in the use of Resene Poppy as the cornerstone of the interior colour scheme. It was proven a good choice with Resene Poppy now recognised as the chosen ‘Honda Red’ for future Honda fit-outs.
The recent launch of the new Type R Civic rebranded Honda as a whole. Honda wanted to target the youthful market and did so by introducing new cars. The interior colours were inspired by the new automotive colour range of the Type R Civic. The Civic colours of ‘Championship White’ and Polished Metal Metallic’ were achieved by using Resene White and Resene Quarter Fuscous Grey.
The interior design concept was based on traditional Japanese interiors reinvented in a modern environment, so the chosen Resene colours were blended with matching Autex wall coverings and with timber finishes in natural, black colours and black powder coated aluminium joinery.
Instead of simply demolishing the old building and using new resources to build from scratch, Respond took what was there and made the most of it. The building has been transformed from wasted space into an occupied, modern and future-proofed office building. In keeping with the sustainability ethos, Environmental Choice paints – Resene Zylone Sheen and Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen waterborne enamel – were chosen.
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