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Left The building’s natural light and neutral palette make it a calm and productive workplace.

Below Informal meeting points are dotted around the office; whiteboards are a practical touch.

Bottom Part lunchroom, part test lab, the Social Kitchen is the heart of the building.

CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE Fisher & Paykel’s new design hothouse encourages innovation and collaboration.

Fisher & Paykel has placed insight-led design at the heart of what it does. How does this new interior support that?



Every aspect was considered to create an environment where our people can explore, innovate and collaborate. At its heart is the Social Kitchen, providing a touchpoint for our designers, engineers and evaluators – they get to use the very products they had a hand in designing and these insights impact how and what we design. The new centre brings together


our diverse functional teams – engineers, designers, evaluators – to work more collaboratively. We believe this will deliver huge benefits in our finished products.

of natural light, furnishings and colour. We wanted to reflect the high-quality materials and insight-led design that are inherent in our product and brand.

What was the building before, and how did you go about turning it into a modern workplace? Formerly an electronics factory, this building presented a large and rather daunting blank canvas: at 5000m2 it is thought to be the biggest single office footprint in the country. Fisher & Paykel’s senior team and Custance Associates combined expertise to form the key principles that we knew would work for our people and culture. We needed an agile open plan that was also inviting and inspiring. Practical elements from desk layouts, to project pods, to multi-use whiteboards were considered equally alongside how we maximised some of the softer elements

The company marks 80 years this year and you’ve hired 80 more designers and engineers in Dunedin and Auckland. What is it about New Zealand that makes it such a good place for this? Fisher & Paykel’s design heritage is founded on a pioneering spirit and a culture of curiosity that has long been inherent to the New Zealand way of life. We are recognised as challengers and leaders, and so entrenching our design expertise here is a natural decision. The new centre underlines Fisher & Paykel’s long-term commitment to research and development in New Zealand and enables us to continue to develop world-leading appliances.

Profile for HOME NZ

HOME NZ Oct / Nov 2014  

A special issue featuring the homes of New Zealand architects.

HOME NZ Oct / Nov 2014  

A special issue featuring the homes of New Zealand architects.

Profile for home_nz