Unispace's Auckland studio has been transformed from an ageing 1970’s office space into a new collaborative, agile and flexible workplace which is warm, opening and welcoming to employees and clients.
Centrally located in Auckland’s Queen Street, Unispace - a global design firm - has designed the studio to take full advantage of its 16th floor stunning Auckland harbour 270-degree city views to showcase the firm’s innovative workplace design capabilities to maximum effect. The amalgam of open plan, flexible and hospitality spaces within the design embraces and reflects Unispace’s fresh and energetic culture and approach to client projects.
Sarah Langford, Unispace Auckland Design Director who led the project says the new Auckland studio is a showcase for clients and allows them to see a liberated team environment in action.
“The design acknowledges that we come to work to be with other people. It liberates the team from their own desk and paper storage and encourages staff to sit somewhere appropriate to their activity and next to people they need to work with. The design enables the team to cross-collaborate across a variety of spaces designed for different kinds of working," she said.
With an emphasis on building strong and engaging connections with clients and employees, the design incorporates a variety of spaces to work, focus, collaborate and engage in private discussions. Hospitality is a key component with the space welcoming visitors into a reception that features a custom design sustainable New Zealand hard oak timber ribbon bar which acts as a central gathering space. The ribbon continues to weave through the space as a visual interpretation of the flow of a project along its journey.
A hexagonal motif is woven throughout the studio in different materials and is broken into three diamonds of different forms; flat, pyramid and rounded. The concept of the three diamonds is an expression of the coming together of Unispace’s three disciplines of strategy, design and delivery – or Think Create Make. In the meeting spaces the hexagon is vacuum formed acoustic tiles designed to absorb noise and in the lobby the hexagon is 3D routed from MDF and covered in gloss film. To the exterior of the focus booths the hexagon is 3D routed from plywood.
Light coloured timber paneling and gloss surfaces paired alongside rough industrial finishes in the ceiling and flooring enhances the warm, familiar and welcoming studio environment. Innovative custom timber joinery designed by Langford and built by local New Zealand craftspeople and manufacturers, feature throughout the studio including flex tables located in the centre which facilitate cross team collaboration and interaction. A local preference for muted colours is reflected in the palette used throughout including the New Zealand wool upholstery fabrics in the custom designed seating.
“Our space has successfully recognised the specific physical needs of our teams, while still providing a large selection of work-settings and spaces to enable a highly mobile workstyle. Our people are thriving in the space and we are enjoying the enhanced performance of our teams. As a bonus, our office has also become a hub for our industry colleagues and clients, who frequently linger and work from our space," Mr. Rowntree explained.
Constructed and delivered in-house in just three months, Unispace’s new Auckland workplace utilises the firm’s innovative application of workplace strategy, design and delivery creating a non-assigned agile workplace that showcases its in-house design and project management capabilities.