From the Resene Total Colour Awards
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Commercial Interior — Office Award Winner Beca Fitout
Pitt Street, Auckland
Beca’s Auckland office fitout brings staff previously working out of three separate buildings into one building, occupying over 14,000 square metres of refurbished office space on eight floors, bringing new life to a 1980s building formerly occupied by both Beca and Auckland Regional Council. The large floor plates are set across two octagonal towers, with a connecting space that expands and contracts in size floor-by-floor.
The extensive fitout offered an opportunity to holistically enhance Beca’s business through their ways of working and presents a fresh, professional image of their organisation. The fitout is designed to break down the separate cellular sections created by these two towers, creating a single unified floor plate on each floor, accommodating a range of ways of working and interacting, both internally and with clients and visitors.
Workstations and furnishings to suit various workstyles are arranged around a circulation, service, and utility core in each tower, offering distinct zones through the plan for focussed and teamwork-based working, transitioning into ‘studio’ spaces, open areas to encourage large and smallscale casual collaboration.
These studio areas are minimally enclosed; in some cases by rotating screens with whiteboards to one side and pinboard to the others, encouraging functional use of the spaces that can be adapted to suit.
The middle section of each floor features a central hub space adjacent to the lift core, consisting of transparent meeting rooms as well as a kitchenette, forming the social and interactive heart of the floor. Lift lobbies on all floors are coloured with the same Resene Half Tuna grey colour, applied using Resene ArmourCat spray lacquer, providing a cohesive vertical element through the building. In contrast to the dark, moody colours of the lift lobby, the central space is an open vibrant focal point of the floors, which was previously constricted by cellular meeting rooms. A striking black cruciform-shaped kitchenette is surrounded with a variety of colourful furniture types and styles to create a bright and lively, inviting working hub. Each floor is given an identity through individual colour themes in this central space, using strong colours on lacquered walls creating a bold contrast to the dark kitchen and lobby area.
Tag colours also extend to the carpet tiles in these central areas, and are carried through in analogous colours in textiles and finishes for furniture, custom-painted and upholstered lampshades, and tabletop surfaces, as well as glazing film patterns and signage. The colours were selected for their visual impact, as well as compatibility with complementary fabrics and finishes. Colours include: Resene Troubadour, Resene Happy Hour, Resene Daredevil, Resene Curious Blue, Resene Jalapeno, Resene Hip Hop and Resene La Palma, primarily applied using Resene ArmourCat spray lacquer to walls.
The intensity of the colour application spills out into the collaborative studio areas of the office, through suspended acoustic panels painted in the feature colours, and also into the carpet accents, differentiating these collaborative work zones from workstation areas. The tag colours of the various floors are even visible from the exterior of the building at night, providing the passer-by a glimpse into the vibrant life within.
The main workspaces are primarily monochromatic in white with contrasting black joinery items, as these spaces are visually busy enough with the staff’s work materials. Brightly coloured desk screens, representing a mix of the tag colours used throughout the building, provide an injection of colour directly at workpoints. A custom white colour was created for the project by Resene, applied in a Resene ClinicalCote finish on walls and Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterborne enamel on trims and joinery. Resene Set Black was used to paint existing perimeter trunking throughout the building black, offering an economical means to refinish several kilometres of trunking length. Exposed ply sheet edges are finished in Resene Aquaclear waterborne clear urethane.
Level 6 presents an elegant public reception area and suite of meeting rooms with a high degree of A/V and technology integration. Beca’s logo stands out against the stark contrast of black and white in the reception area, amplified by the blue/green accent colours of the floor. The executive meeting rooms feature electronically switchable glass, allowing for some ambient daylight into the spaces while maintaining privacy. Discrete moments of punchy green colours animate the sleek subtle colouration of these spaces. Similarly, a sculptural gloss black lacquered reception concierge pod sits dramatically amongst colourful seating and rugs inserted in the existing grey ground floor entry lobby, creating a dynamic link between the separated visitor greeting spaces.
Even the basement carparking, a typically drab area, was enlivened with some of these same tag colours – Resene Half Stack, Resene La Palma, Resene Curious Blue, Resene Sherwood Green and Resene Jalapeno - applied to nonslip coatings to highlight circulation routes, parking, and loading zones.
An extensive fitout, delivered in a staged process, integrated with a landlord upgrade of the dated base building, was designed and built under an extraordinarily compressed timeline and very moderate budget, yet successfully presents a quality professional image of Beca as a confident and innovative organisation. The physical design and appearance of the fitout will allow long-term flexibility for Beca to adapt their offices as their workplace continues to evolve into the future.
Architectural Specifier: Studio Pacific Architecture