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Highlights from this issue of Commercial Design Trends

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai

Rockdale Library, Rockdale, NSW

Wallis Annenberg Centre, Beverly Hills

The Fonterra Centre, Auckland

AmGeneral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Fisher & Paykel, Sydney

UniMed, Christchurch

Lonely Planet, Melbourne

Urban planning

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COMMERCIAL DESIGN TRENDS Workplace design has never been in such a state of flux as it is currently. First came the death of the office, then the end of the cubicle – and now even the very notion of an allocated work space is fast disappearing. In this issue of Commercial Design Trends, we look at recent fit-outs that provide staff with a variety of spaces to suit the range of tasks they may perform at different times, while at the same time engendering a company’s culture and business strategy. Our Project Portfolio also includes Gensler’s Shanghai Tower. Not only does this project check in as the world’s second tallest building, its unique twisted and tapering form resulted in some remarkable reductions in construction costs and energy consumption. All Commercial Design Trends content – and much, much more – can also be accessed online at Head there now to use our extensive online resource of top local and international projects and products.

HIGHLIGHTS Editorial Director Paul Taylor – Sales Judy Johnson – Costas Dedes – Leslie Johnson – Cherry Shan –

Neuchatel brings a wide range of contemporary waterproofing solutions to the commercial market including SafeStick and Mastic. Go to to find more about waterproofing by Neuchatel.

Forman Building Systems provided a range of ceiling options for different areas in Fonterra’s new Auckland headquarters. See more examples of Forman projects at

Residents at Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter have access to a range of activities and a diverse selection of restaurants on their doorstep. We’ve got more about this waterfront rejuvenation at

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CENTRE OF ATTENTON Whether they’re small scale or supertall, new urban buildings present an opportunity to reshape our cities and their communities

Project Shanghai Tower

Location: Shanghai, PRC

Architect: Gensler

LET’S TWIST AGAIN The two layers of the Shanghai Tower’s twisting facade not only minimises energy consumption, they also bring a 24% reduction in wind loads on the buildings

It’s a common misconception that the biggest

high, 1200 metric ton Tuned Mass Damper (TMD) to

challenge in designing supertall buildings is how to withstand the effects of an earthquake. But as

mitigate the amount of sway, its design also has a second, unique way of countering the effect of wind

Gensler principal Ben Tranel points out, the tough-

– the building’s distinctive curved facade. “The tapering and twisting shape increases the

est effect to deal with is actually the wind. And Tranel should know, having recently completed work as technical director on the 632m Shanghai Tower, China’s tallest and (currently) the world’s second tallest building. While the Shanghai Tower uses a five-storey

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effect of vortex shedding,” says Tranel. “Air hits the building, clings to it as it goes round, and is then released. The sooner it’s released, the lower the pressure on the building.” Although initially being interested in the twisting

Previous pages:Sited in the Pudong financial hub, the twisting and tapered shape of the Shanghai Tower reduces sway caused by the pressure of wind on the supertall building. Below and right:Structurally, the tower consists of a stack of nine cylindrical buildings, wrapped in a double facade through the full height.

effect for aesthetic reasons, Tranel says the team at Gensler did have some intuition of how it would

nine cylindrical buildings stacked one on top of the other. The double skin facade wraps the internal

behave structurally. “We developed different iterations and tested

structure through the height of the entire tower. “The inner layer acts like a warm blanket, while

them with wind tunnel engineering. From those we

the outer layer keeps wind and rain out. The effect

determined which had the most impact within the bounds of construction outcomes. The greater the

is a bit like a thermos flask.” The outer skin is cam-shaped and the inner one

twist, the greater the complexity of construction.” The tests determined that a twisting, asymmetri-

is circular, with the buffer space between them forming atria that house public gardens at the base

cal shape with a 120° rotation was optimal, cutting

of each of the nine building sections. These sky

wind loads on the building by 24%, and resulting in US$58 million savings in building materials.

gardens improve air quality while creating desirable places for people to meet or to linger.

The facade design brought other benefits too. “Shanghai’s climate is particularly challenging

With skygardens lining the building’s perimeter, Shanghai Tower is literally wrapped in public space.

when you’re trying to achieve energy efficiency. Summers are hot and humid, winters are cold, with

Both the interior and exterior skins are transparent, establishing a visual connection between the tower’s

some snow, plus there are late summer typhoons.” Internally, the tower is organised as a series of

interior spaces and Shanghai’s urban fabric. The energy saving resulting from the double

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Below:The six-storey retail podium is a drawcard for visitors, tourists and the tower’s inhabitants. Acting as a weather barrier, the curved podium facade is glazed, allowing daylight to penetrate deep into the space. Right Lower level retail provides direct access from the street level and mass transit facilities.

facade is just one of the sustainable features that Gensler has incorporated into the design.

contribute a structural benefit by relieving wind pressure on the tower.

“The tower features LED lighting which was a technology that was not readily available at the time

Together, these measures are targeting a 40% cut in water consumption and a reduction in energy

we were designing it,” says Tranel.

use of 21%.

There’s also a very elaborate water harvesting and water preservation strategy in place throughout

Shanghai Tower completes a trio of buildings that form China’s first supertall district. While the

the tower, utilising grey water, recycling potable water and capturing and re-using all rainwater.

Jin Mao Tower pays homage to China’s past and the Shanghai World Financial Centre signifies the

Wind turbines integral to the curtain wall at the tower’s upper level power the building’s exterior lighting and some of the park areas. They also

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country’s recent economic success, Shanghai Tower has been designed to signify the boundless possibilities of China’s future.

Below:The inner layer of the tower’s double skin facade encloses the stacked buildings, while the exterior facade rotates 120° as it rises, creating the distinctive curving appearance. Right, top:The top floor of the tower provides an open observation deck and also houses wind turbines. Right, lower:Space between the two skins allows for atrium sky gardens for the office zones.

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Facing page:The Shanghai Tower became China’s tallest and the world’s second tallest skyscraper when it topped out. It joins the Jin Mao tower (1999) and the Shanghai World Financial Centre (2008) to complete the trio of distinctive towers defining the skyline of the city’s Lujiazui commercial district. Right:The tower is effectively a city within a city, comprising nine vertical zones that are each 12 to 15 storeys high.

Zone 9 Observation / Cultural facilities Zone 8 Hotel / Boutique office

Zone 7 Hotel

Zone 6 Office

Zone 5 Office

Zone 4 Office

Zone 3 Office

Zone 2 Office

Project:Shanghai Tower Client and owner:Shanghai Tower Construction & Development Co Design architect:Gensler Architect of record:Architectural Design & Research Institute Of Tongji University (Group) Interior design – retail and public space:Gensler Structural engineers:Thornton Tomasetti, MEP, Cosentini Associates Wind tunnel testing:Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Vertical transportation:Edgett Williams Consulting Group Elevators:Mitsubishi Escalators:Schindler Fire protection and life safety:RJA Fire Protection Technology Consulting Building facade:Aurecon Engineer Consulting Landscape:SWA Acoustical:SM&W General contractor:Shanghai Construction Group Steel structure construction:Shanghai Mechanized Construction Corporation Curtain wall contractor:Exterior curtain wall – Yuanda; interior curtain wall – Jiangho; podium curtain wall – Lingyun Structural system:Super column – concrete core – Outrigger Steel structure manufacture:Baoshan Iron & Steel Co; Jiang Su Huning Steel Mechanism Lighting consultant:Tower – PHA; podium crown and interior – BPI Lighting:Pana LED Acoustical ceilings:Ecophon Wall coverings:Kvadrat Carpet:TaiPing Story by Paul Taylor Photography by Connie Zhou

see more images online: search 48894 at more projects by this firm: search gensler at

Zone 1 Retail

shanghai world financial centre: search 24865 at search | save | share at

Project Rockdale Library

Location: Rockdale, NSW

Interior designer CK Design International

TURNING A NEW LEAF Much more than mere book repositories, today’s public libraries are spaces where the community can explore, learn and play – Rockdale Library is a case in point

These pages:Located next to the 1940s Rockdale Town Hall, the new Rockdale Library had to be sympathetic with the character of the town hall while creating its own distinct image. As part of this, the atrium – to the right-hand side of the library – repurposes the adjacent hall’s brick facade as an interior wall. Following pages:Trees of learning – any child would gravitate to the library’s evocative reading forest where even the recesses of the book alcoves come alive with monkeys and other animals peaking out from forest-themed wallpaper.

Faced with the competing fancy lights of smart phones and gaming consoles, today’s public library has to work hard at its role as a fertile ground for information and education dissemination. There are high-tech pluses, such as self-serve kiosks, but the real attraction is also an old one – community heart. Coordinator library and community information services at Bayside Council Paula Pfoeffer sums up what was required for the new Rockdale Library. “Bayside Council wanted a library which promotes the concepts of exploration, discovery, learning and reading; an innovative space with new technologies enabling visitors to self-manage accounts, freeing staff to spend more time on learning programs grounded in community need.” Or to put it another way, the design had to open its arms to the community on every level and not get bogged down in time-wasting administration. And every aspect of the new Rockdale Library does just that. The interior design, by CK Design International with Cecilia Kugler as lead designer,

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references the rich history of the area throughout, offers welcoming, light-filled spaces and creates a children’s area which is nothing short of magical. Entry to the library is an early example of its beckoning, community-oriented interior design. This takes the form of a three level-high internal street connecting the busy Princes Highway out front with a rear laneway. The exterior wall of the historic adjacent red-brick town hall becomes the interior wall of this street, broken up visually and for acoustic purposes by large-scale black and white photographs of a local park. Travelling through this open space provides orientation, scale and different viewing platforms to the life inside the library. There is also a narrow three-storey atrium at the other side of the library and the upper floors are set back from the front facade, letting even more light in. “In planning it was important to create zones with their own character whilst belonging to a greater overall identity,” says Kugler. “Many elements play on place, materials, and local identity.”

“Varying in scale and colour, we used images of local trees and parks, streets, landscapes and

technology training spaces, the timber-clad Local History room, and meeting rooms.

maps throughout. Some of these were integrated into oversized acoustic panelling, as in the main

A palette of grey pebble-like carpets and floor tiles grounds these spaces and evokes the urban

atrium and large meeting rooms, and even on the

side of Rockdale, while softer beiges and greens

internal faces of many pendant light fittings.” Located on ground level and visible from the

again reflect the natural environment of parks and beaches in the area.

entry, the large children’s reading forest complete with reading nooks and tunnel was inspired by

Light-filled, technology-rich and responding to its local history and surroundings, Rockdale Library

a local forest at Ramsgate. Also on the ground

ideally serves its vibrant, diverse community.

floor are the electronic self-checking kiosks, and a lounging area. The level above has the main book collections and a youth Chill Zone, while the second and third floors are home to up-to-the-minute

see more images online: search 48880 at

Facing page:The library fit-out carries reminders of the local environment throughout – right down to local depictions on the inside of the pendant lights. The upper floors are stepped back from the glass frontage of the building, to optimise natural light penetration. A wall-size black and white photo of a nearby park decorates a central meeting space on the building’s top floor. Right The library’s connection to its surroundings is further emphasised by a bridge link to the administration building. This is wide enough for seating that looks back at the library and laneway and is part of the teenage-focussed Chill Zone.

Project:Rockdale Library Architects:CK Design International in association with Leffler Simmes Architects and heritage architect Stevenson and Turner International Construction documentation Brewster Hjorth Architects. Interior design and documentation CK Design International Facade design Leffler Simmes Architects design Project management Bayside Council (Major Projects Team) Construction:Kane Construction Mechanical and electrical engineer:Simpson Kotzman Quantity surveyor:Bylett+Associates Cladding and roof:Colorbond in Surf Mist Facade design:Brewster Hjorth Architects External balustrades:316 grade brushed stainless steel Columns:Off-form concrete

Flooring:Carpet by Interface; tiles by Rocks On Wallpaper:Wall Candy Paper; Muffin & Mani Wall-hung photographic artworks:Stefan Trajkovski Paints:International Dulux Veneers Spotted gum from Briggs Veneer Heating/air conditioning Eagle Air Conditioning Lighting:Satelight and Yellow Goat Furniture:Kubis, Schiavello, Interstudio, UCI, Café Culture, Stylecraft, Chairbiz, Zenith, Nineto Armchairs, NorvaNivel, Living Edge Workstations/meeting tables:Bevisco, Thinking Ergonomix Library shelving:Abax Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Stefan Trajkovski

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EXPRESSED DELIVERY Dovetailed with an historic post office building, the new Goldsmith Theatre in Beverly Hills is clad in envelope-shaped panels – together, the old and the new form the Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts

Project The Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts

Location: Beverly Hills, CA

Architect Studio Pali Fekete architects

How best to meld an historically significant building with a bold new theatre venue to create a

venue within the walls of the post office building, and to create a small annex on the site to house

dynamic, world-class performing arts centre? One

the educational components of the program. We wanted to do the reverse – take the smaller

way is to subsume the new into the old, while another is to let them both stand out in proud juxtaposition.

programmatic elements such as the rehearsal hall,

The initial idea for the Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills was to add the

classrooms, and administrative offices and locate them into the three-level historic building.

new 500-seat Goldsmith Theatre within the fabric

“This arrangement preserves and celebrates the historic architecture, as well as affording the centre

of the original building. However, Studio Pali Fekete (SPF) architects with lead architect Zoltan Pali had a bolder idea which won them the project. “Conventional wisdom was to place the new

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the opportunity to create a new and connected state-of-the-art, performing arts facility with ample back-of-house amenities,” says Pali.

Previous pages:Before Beverly Hills ever became famous for its stars, architect Ralph C Flewelling designed a post office for the town as part of its new role as a civic centre. Studio Pali Fekete architects has repurposed the post office and added the Goldsmith Theatre – a culturally intune performing arts centre is the result. These pages:Copper-coloured concrete forms reminiscent of envelopes clad the new theatre and tie in with the post office’s hues.

The footprint of the new theatre is in a T-shape,

2.75m envelope-shaped panel is repeated across

as is that of the post office building. By turning the

the façade,” says Pali.” The result is a beautiful

new T so that it fits snuggly on the site adjacent to the existing one, the architects were able to create

abstract textural pattern, engraved into a copper skin. Each envelope is slightly different; some flat,

a dynamic interplay between the old and new buildings. This in turn allowed space for a series of

some closed, some open, some turned front side out, and some turned to their backs. The design not

connecting outdoor gardens and courtyards – used

only symbolises what went before it also offers up

for various activities and providing varied outlooks. Rather than imitate or pay homage to the historic

an abstract composition and a piece of art.” The dynamic facade serves a practical as well

architecture, the new theatre celebrates the history of the site itself, and the activity that took place

as an iconic and artistic purpose. Essentially, the skin folds in and out in response to existing historic

there: the processing, sorting, and delivery of mail.

buildings on the site and at the same time conceals

This is most evident in the dramatic facade. “The skin of the new Goldsmith Theatre is an

the mechanical equipment of the building itself. “As the facade wraps around the building it

abstraction of the millions of letters and envelopes that once defined this historic site – formed in copper-coloured concrete panels. A 1.2m by

create a simplified, more cohesive form out of a complex building form that otherwise would be seen as separate, potentially cluttered, elements.”

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Legend – basement level: Separate structures above ground, the two buildings are connected at basement level. 1 stage, 2 Goldsmith seating, 3 Goldsmith lobby, 4 manager’s office, 5 dressing rooms, 6 costume storage, 7 prop shop, 8 production suite Facing page:Dramatic approach – the grand staircase on the main level of the 1930s post office building connects the historic building to the main lobby of the Goldsmith Theatre.

And in a building that is all about drama, the Goldsmith Theatre has plenty of its own over and

patrons’ senses towards the stage. The image of descending the rows towards the stage called to

above its stand out envelope-themed skin. While the buildings are separate above ground,

mind Marcel Duchamp’s famous cubist work ‘Nude Descending A Staircase’. We translated the paint-

there are multiple connections below. The box

ing’s inherent sense of movement into the design

office is in the new entry lobby in the reconfigured post office building and from here guests stroll

of the acoustically transparent wood screens inside the theatre. These create a pattern of movement,

along a promenade and down the grand staircase to arrive at the Goldsmith Lobby in style.

much like the painting – the screens lead the eye forward, at the same time showing glimpses of the

“Inside the theatre, there was a propensity to take things even further, perhaps using patterns of the inside of envelopes,” says the architect. “However, the client’s wish was to focus the

inner workings of the theatre.”

for more images, search: 48892 at

Previous pages and facing page:The new Goldsmith Theatre features dynamic internal fretwork inspired by the juddering figure in Marcel Duchamp’s famous painting Nude Descending A Staircase. The theatre’s interstitial space that houses electronic amplification, sound absorbing curtains, and lighting can be lit to visually expand the volume – transforming the space in keeping with a performance. Right:The crisp, light-filled lobby serving the new building offers little indication of the design drama within the theatre proper.

Project:The Wallis Annenberg Centre for the Performing Arts, Beverly Hills, CA Architect/interior designer:Studio Pali Fekete architects; lead architect, Zoltan E. Pali FAIA Construction:Matt Construction Civil engineer:Rothman Engineering Mechanical and electrical engineer:Arc Engineering Quantity surveyor:Calvada Surveying Landscaping:Lutsko Associates Cladding:Swisspearl Reflex in Autumn Leaves (exterior) and Champagne (interior) Roof:Roof tiles, existing and Sika Sarnafil tiles Glazing system:Arcadia Store Front T-500, bronze anodized Exterior paving:Terrazzo epoxy resin cast in place, from Promenade Floors

Interior floors:Finished floor – refinished marble and epoxy resin terrazzo; cork flooring – high-density cork flooring by Duro Design; stage flooring – custom-assembled painted plywood over sleepers, over Mason isolator pads Wallcoverings:Acoustic plaster by Fellert Wall paints:Sherwin Williams Ceiling:Hunter Douglas Techstyle Acoustic Ceilings panels Veneers:Walnut Veneer with Solid Edges Theatre seating:Custom by Series Acoustics:Jaffe Holden Wood screens Northwestern custom slat ash stained to match adjacent walnut Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Roland Halbe

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WATERTIGHT OPTIONS From cold-applied, high-performance SafeStick roofing to Mastic Asphalt, Neuchatel is the go-to source for advanced construction waterproofing

Fire can be damaging but leaking water is just as bad, creating expensive damage and costly repair work. There’s only one approach, a complete lockdown on any water transference – ever. In terms of commercial waterproofing, Neuchatel offers comprehensive solutions – covering everything from pedestrian walkways to complete roof membrane systems. Registered in 1905, Neuchatel is one of the oldest, most respected waterproofing names in New Zealand. Director Brian Mohan says the long-running company prides itself on its reliable quality and range of materials. “With my 40 years in the waterproofing industry, I believe I’ve sourced the best materials available, many not offered elsewhere in the New Zealand market.” “A case in point is SafeStick Prevent. This SBS

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(Styrene-Butadiene-Styrene) modified self-adhesive system combines revolutionary graphite technology with the very latest tackifier chemistry for unrivalled waterproofing, safety, and fire protection.” SafeStick is unique in that it’s applied cold and in factory state – many products require gas torching which can undermine the integrity of the product. Plus, SafeStick is faster to apply than competing systems and so presents a much cheaper option. For details, contact Neuchatel, 5a Miro Place, Albany, Auckland, phone (09) 441 4595, mobile 027 441 4595. Email:, or alternatively visit the web:

see more online: search neuchatel or 48752 at

Above left Neuchatel brings a wide range of contemporary waterproofing solutions to the commercial market. These include the tough Mastic Asphalt, which provides an enduring surface for parts of the Aotea Square upgrade in Auckland. Top Only available in New Zealand from Neuchatel, SafeStick is a cold-applied, high-performance roofing system – seen here on the roof of a University of Auckland building. Above:Negotiating all obstacles, a single impermeable layer of Permanite Mastic Asphalt protects the roof of this heritage building.

COLOUR ME SAFE Coloured concrete on the road grabs our attention, and keeps us safe. These embedded surfaces – Colourmix, by Permacolour – are the future of New Zealand road safety

Traffic islands, motorway berms – anywhere where motorists have to keep their wits sharp and their hands firm on the wheel – benefit greatly from delineation through the use of coloured concrete. Widely used overseas, this safety concept is fast becoming the expected here, too. Affordable, highly visible and low maintenance, the coloured surface is a boon to councils anywhere where road layouts are potentially confusing and tricky to react to. Permacolour manufactures and distributes a wide range of colourants and sealers for commercial application, based on over 30 years experience in the industry – and road safety is now a fast-growing part of its business, says the firm’s Anthony Kirkoff. The images seen here illustrate the diversity of the Permacolour Colourmix ranges in the application of road safety. The top picture is of a median strip, coloured Red, in New Plymouth, completed by Fulton Hogan. The middle image is of a traffic circle near Hamilton airport, using Sepia-coloured Permacolour. These projects were finished earlier this year, while the third – the Western Belfast Bypass, on the Western Corridor, part of Christchurch’s Roads of National Significance programme – is nearing completion. Laid by the firm I Pave, this is in the colour Sienna. And Permacolour also offers a range of exposed, stamped, brushed or textured concrete finishes. Plus various sealants are offered to optimise functionality and further enhance a look – such as highlighting a colour, adding a smart gloss, or a matt finish for safety. “Then there’s cement-based, coloured plasters and paints for application to internal and external wall surfaces. These are ideal for commercial fit-outs.” For detailed information on the Permacolour range, and to find your nearest stockist, go to the website:

see more online: search permacolour or 48122 at

Above:Paying attention to the road ahead is easier with the application of Permacolour’s Colourmix coloured concrete.

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TOUCH OF LUXURY Millbrook Resort near Queenstown is one of the most refined golfing getaways in New Zealand – custom door hardware by Chant completes the picture of elegance

These pages:Matt stainless steel and New Zealand Black Maire timber both feature in the exterior and interior door and window hardware custom-created by Chant for this Millbrook Resort house. Sophisticated magnetic locking systems match the hardware’s sleek designer look with high-end functionality. The Millbrook home was constructed by RBJ Builders.

Challenging golf holes, spectacular alpine scenery, and world-class accommodation and dining – this is Millbrook near Queenstown. With everything specified to the highest standard, the door handles on this featured Millbrook Resort house were not left out of the wider upmarket equation. The custom solutions were crafted and supplied by Chant. Based in Auckland but supplying national and, increasingly, international projects, Chant specialises in both off-the-shelf and customised door and window handles from its own sculptural ranges. A large manufacturing facility and wealth of design expertise means the company can shape a handle, lock, or latch to its specific environment. And such was the case at this Millbrook house, says director and company owner Graham Chant. “All hardware has been custom made for this project, using super-rugged 316 stainless steel and

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Black Maire timber, possibly New Zealand’s hardest native timber. This beautiful, rich-toned species was chosen to match the home’s wood flooring.” Similarly, the resort home’s external hardware was also custom made to suit the steel joinery. Besides looking and feeling the part, Chant’s hardware uses the latest locking mechanisms. “Our new, sleek-operating magnetic locks and latches were chosen for this project. These were designed with custom backsets, so the handles are symmetrically centred on the doors and windows. For details, contact Chant, 136 Marua Rd, Ellerslie, Auckland, phone (09) 526 4048. Email:, or alternatively visit the website:

see more online: search chant or 48795 at



INCREASING DENSITY Auckland’s population is booming and lifestyles, priorities and attitudes towards housing are changing. So how is development keeping pace? Mark McGuinness, Willis Bond & Co’s managing director, looks at this major evolution

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Below:Once an industrial area closed to the public, Wynyard Quarter is rapidly becoming Auckland’s most exciting new place to live, work and be entertained. The area reflects the growing trend for prime quality apartments.

In terms of liveability, Auckland ranks among the biggest and most well known cities in the world – behind only Vienna and Zurich in the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. Yet in response to rapid population growth and increased demand for the convenience of inner-city living, development is still catching up. That’s both a challenge and an exciting proposition for Auckland. If new inner-city development is executed well, it could boost Auckland’s prospect of becoming the most liveable city in the world. In Auckland’s CBD, the number of apartments is expected to grow by more than 20% over the next three years. This not only reflects growth pressures, but also changes in lifestyles, priorities and attitudes towards housing. Many more Aucklanders are embracing innercity apartment living. These people don’t want to spend their weekends mowing lawns or their days on long commutes to work. They are celebrating downtown’s great new precincts, restaurants and entertainment, and are demanding high quality and sustainable homes that will stand the test of time. High Quality, Inner-city Apartments There’s growing demand for apartments with the level of quality and amenity usually found in traditional, suburban homes. These apartments are spacious and light with well-designed indoor and outdoor living areas and high quality fittings and finishes. Whereas previously in New Zealand, most apartments were assumed to be small and of average quality, many are now known to be generous and luxurious. The average annual supply of prime apartments (premium and A-grade) over the next three years is expected to increase by 76% compared with the last 10 years. By comparison, the average annual supply of secondary apartments (B-grade and C-grade) is only expected to increase by 44%. Also revealing is that the average annual supply of C-grade apartments, which currently make up 60% of all Auckland apartments, is expected to decrease by 37%. The growth of high quality apartments is being driven by owner-occupiers rather than investors.

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These apartments are particularly attractive to baby

this has been Auckland City’s waterfront. Residents

boomers, whose priorities change as they get older and their children leave the family home.

here are able to save time commuting, walk or cycle to the inner city and work, and embrace the

The option to downsize to a low-maintenance apartment that is easy to lock-up and leave is per-

city’s best restaurants, culture and entertainment.

fect for those wanting to spend more time travelling

Building Inner-city Communities

and at holiday homes. However, the real difference between these apartments and small, lower quality

Shifting New Zealanders from the quarter-acre dream towards denser, inner-city living requires

ones, is that they are designed to be permanent residences.

exceptional, nearby amenity. Auckland City Council has focused on creating high quality public spaces

As in many major cities around the world, one of the first areas for development of apartments like

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that make it possible to imagine living in a smaller home or in a previously undesirable location.

Below left:A perspective of an apartment in Willis Bond’s 132 Halsey development. Below, lower left:A perspective of an activated laneway in Willis Bond’s Wynyard Central – one way to create a greater sense of community. Below:Residents at Wynyard Quarter have access to a range of activities and a diverse selection of restaurants on their doorstep.

In Wynyard Quarter, council-controlled organisation Panuku Development Auckland has invested

compactly. Charles Montgomery, author of Happy Cities, says it’s these places that allow for the social

in new parks, playgrounds, public transport and entertainment programmes, such as Silo Cinema

connections that make people happy. By activating the street edges of apartment developments with

and Silo Markets.

small shops and services, we create opportuni-

This has turned the former industrial area into a vibrant and diverse waterfront precinct where

ties for chance interactions with neighbours and a greater sense of belonging to a community.

people now want to live. The public spaces along with new cafes and restaurants, make smaller

Sustainability For Quality

homes viable by creating a home away from home

The need for high quality, sustainable and energy

where residents to relax and unwind. Shared amenities don’t just allow us to live more

efficient homes has never been so important. There is a growing expectation from purchasers that

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apartments will incorporate the latest sustainable

design ratings. A key focus for achieving this is

design thinking to ensure longevity and efficient

good passive design, which results in apartments

running costs. For those reasons, sustainability is now a key measure of quality.

that require no artificial heating and cooling for 80% of the year and no artificial lighting in living spaces

Willis Bond partnered with the New Zealand Green Building Council last year as the principal

for 80% of annual daylight hours.

sponsor of a new Homestar design rating tool for

I believe many Aucklanders are wary of greater

apartment developments. The tool provides a way for home buyers to rate the sustainability and qual-

density in the inner city because of poorly executed past projects. The challenge for the development

ity of different homes. A typical new home built to minimum Building

community is to take this on board and deliver high quality density that all Aucklanders can be proud of.

Code requirements would rate around 3 or 4 Homestar. Yet high quality apartment developments are achieving at least 6 or 7 Homestar

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Below:This perspective of Wynyard Central illustrates the variety of high quality apartments and townhouses now being created. There is a growing expectation from purchasers that apartments will incorporate the latest sustainable design thinking to ensure longevity and efficient running costs.

LOCKED AND LOADED To make sure commercial premises are always safe and secure, a leading global name in door hardware – Assa Abloy – has created the tough yet easy to install Selector 3700 Mortice Lock

The security of your commercial premises is not something to be addressed lightly. Reliability, strength, ease of use, and ease of installation are all key factors to consider for your peace of mind. Globally recognised Assa Abloy specialises in customised door and window products. The company’s new Selector 3700 Series Mortice Lock is the ultimate lock for security and versatility, says New Zealand and Australian president Simon Ellis. “Australia made, and tested for rugged durability, the removable faceplate and in-door configuration capability allows for quick and easy installation,” says Ellis. “The precision-engineered Selector 3700 is testament to our commitment to innovation through extensive research and development.” The lock is designed to meet Australian and New Zealand Standards and has been accredited with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), meaning it will contribute to the overall points calculation for a Green Star rating. EPDs take a full life cycle approach to a product’s environmental impact – from initial production processes right through its working life to its disposal at end of life. “Assa Abloy sees a great opportunity in the commercial sector – especially aligning with business with a sustainability focus, as customers look to partner with companies that are proactive in terms of the planet and green practices,” says Ellis. The firm’s extensive range of Selector mortice locks is suitable for heavy duty use in industrial and commercial buildings, institutions, clubs, schools, hospitals, hotels and similar buildings. Assa Abloy also has a full manufacturing facility in Auckland. For further details, contact Assa Abloy, phone (09) 448 9188. Email:, or go to the website:

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This page:The Selector 3700 Series Mortice Lock boasts a removable faceplate and in-door configuration for easy installation.

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INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE The workplace is no longer a uniform space – instead companies are providing staff with a variety of environments that also reinforce their brand and culture

Project The Fonterra Centre

Location: Auckland

Architect: Jasmax

NEW WAYS OF WORKING Fonterra’s Auckland headquarters embody the company’s key values, branding, business performance and its commitment to its people

At the point at which a company decides it’s

it was looking for to empower its people. Jasmax

time to move to new purpose-built premises, there’s a window of opportunity to consider the

worked closely with Veldhoen to translate the workplace strategy into the design of the building

whole relationship between the proposed building,

and its interior. Jasmax senior associate and designer Sarah

the company’s brand values and business strategies and the culture it aspires to create. That’s an opportunity global dairy company Fonterra embraced when it engaged Goodman and Jasmax’s interior architects to help it combine its operations from split locations around Auckland to new corporate headquarters on the CBD fringe. Initial work with Sydney-based consultants Veldhoen + Company identified Activity Based Working (ABW) for Fonterra to deliver the outcomes

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Bryant says this resulted in the project transitioning from being property-led to a cultural programme which prepared Fonterra for the future. “The key driver behind this was identifying how we could enhance the work culture to deliver business performance and shareholder value,” she says. Working across architecture, landscaping and interior design allowed Jasmax to deliver an integrated design outcome.

Previous pages:Fonterra’s new 15,997m2 Auckland headquarters bring together staff from previously split locations. Each of the six work floors is divided into two large unobstructed rectangles separated by a bright, naturally lit atrium. Flowing through the atrium, the undulating main staircase represents Fonterra’s connection to river systems. These pages:Owned and developed by Goodman and designed by Jasmax, the building has four distinct elevations.

Facing page, top:The ground floor cafe is open to the public, offering an environment and menu that are aligned with the Fonterra brand and products. Facing page, lower:Also in the ground floor public space is Fonterra’s Diary for Life display area. Designed by Designworks, the interactive display tells the Fonterra story for visiting groups such as school children. Below:The ground floor represents Fonterra’s connection to land and water, as signified by this punga (Maori anchor stone) at the base of the staircase leading to reception and the work floors.

The building has four unique elevations, each responding to its specific orientation. Inside, the

The land element informed the ground floor, which connects with the landscaped plaza in front

floorplates are divided in two, separated by a large, naturally lit atrium.

of the entranceway, also designed by Jasmax. The public are welcomed throughout the ground

Within this, the distinctive staircase zigzags

floor and to reception on level one. The ground floor

through the seven-storey space. Reinforcing Fonterra’s commitment to health

public cafe promotes the Fonterra brand, while a Dairy for Life exhibition celebrates Fonterra’s products

and wellbeing, the stairs are strategically placed to encourage staff and visitors to use them rather than

and global presence. Designed by Designworks, this interactive display gives visitors the Fonterra story.

the lifts, which were moved to one end of the build-

Water is an important element to Fonterra, and

ing in the initial design process. Bryant says that Fonterra’s logo was interpreted

is introduced through a punga (Maori anchor stone) at the base of the stairs that lead to the first floor

into a framework for organising the building. “The logo represents three elements: the land,

reception. The main stair springs from the punga and is designed to represent the flow of a river and the

water and sky. This was translated into spaces within the building and directly relates to Fonterra’s

energy and connections of people in the building. The sky is represented by a four-level structure in

people, place and ambition.”

the north-west corner of the building known as the

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Lantern. This glazed structure houses work areas on each floor that have been specifically designed

“Each of these activities needs a slightly different ambience. They range from calm, through

to encourage generation of new ideas. Fonterra’s logo colours also inspired the colour

modest to expressive, and they have been carefully

palette within the building.

positioned within the building to create synergistic adjacencies,” says Bryant.

“Rather than strong contrasts, we wanted subtle tones like those you see in nature.”

Calmer settings are near the edges where it is slightly quieter, with the more modest settings in the

This is also obvious in the carpet, which resembles the patchwork pattern of fields in an aerial view.

middle towards the atrium where activity is greater.

The Fonterra colours were also used for way-

The expressive settings are in the Lantern and wrapping round the atrium where there’s more buzz and

finding, an important aspect of ABW in which there are no fixed workplaces. Staff can set up in any

movement of people. One of the positive outcomes of everyone being

position in the building, and potentially change this from day to day or even over the course of a day.

able to choose their work setting is that the space

There are seven different types of work settings, including spaces designed for highly focussed tasks, process-oriented tasks, working with one other, casual conversations, or making private phone calls.

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doesn’t have to be completely uniform. “The way this building is designed empowers Fonterra people to work where they want, when they want – achieving Fonterra’s aspiration of enabling its people to be as good as they can be.”

Below:The Activity Based Working approach means the current 1414 staff don’t have allocated desks. Instead they can select wherever they want to sit during the day. Facing page, top:Work areas on four floors in the glazed structure in the north-west corner of the building have been specifically designed to encourage generation of new ideas. Facing page, lower:Staff can choose from a variety of spaces designed to suit different activities ranging from focussed individual tasks to settings for collaboration or brainstorming.

This page:The main staff food hub aims to bring people together over food. The fit-out also includes two other kitchens.

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Below:All lifts are at one end of the building, encouraging staff to use the stairs, and reinforcing a commitment to wellness.

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Project:The Fonterra Centre, Auckland Architect:Jasmax Interior design Jasmax Owner and developer Goodman Construction:The Fletcher Construction Company Structural engineer:Holmes Consulting Group Mechanical and electrical engineer:Beca Quantity surveyor:Aecom, Rider Levett Bucknall Landscape design:Jasmax Landscaping:The Fletcher Construction Company Fire consultant:Beca Fire design:Protech Cladding:Precast concrete – Concretec; curtain wall – Thermosash Roofing:Colour coated profiled metal roofing – Colorcote BB900 from Dimond Industries Glazing system:Glass Projects Security system:Fortlock Lift services:5500MRL from Schindler Lifts Air conditioning Temperzone; installed by Economech Partitioning system:Timber framed walls Window and door joinery:Jones & Sandford Blinds NZ Window Shades Tiling:Lava Code from European Ceramic & Stone Flooring:Cubic Colours, UR, Regupol, Noraplan, Dalsouple, Tarkett, Timspec. Suppliers – Inzide, Timspec, Jacobsen Wallcoverings:Autex Quietspace and Vivid Ecoustic

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Ceilings:Kanuf, GIB, Triton, Woodtex, Armstrong, LVL Hyspan, Decortech. Armstrong from Forman Building Systems Veneers:Bestwood Radiata Clear Pine Paints:Resene Double Alabaster Lighting:Sylvania, Lightyears, Energylight, Austube, Thorn Lighting, DOT Downlight, Nimbus Lighting, KKDC Workstations:Engage from Vidak Office chairs:Steelcase, Formway, Humanscale, Herman Miller. Suppliers – Workscape, Zenith, Kada Reception furniture:Sage Manufacturing Additional furniture:From Simon James, UFL, Kada, Vidak, IMO Kitchen equipment:Skope, Starline, Fisher & Paykel. Suppliers – Impact Refrigeration, Fisher & Paykel, Southern Hospitality Awards:NZ Interior Design Award winner – workplace over 1000m2 ; PCNZ 2016 Award Excellence in Commercial and Merit in Green Building categories; 5 Star Greenstar Office Design Rating

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Above:Fire escapes and services – seen on the right of this shot – were placed on the exterior of the building to increase the overall rentable space. The glazed structure to the left is the Lantern. Each of the four floors in this sunny corner structure houses a space designed to encourage staff to generate new and different ideas. Story by Paul Taylor Photography by Jamie Cobel

Below:The semi-enclosed lift lobbies at Fonterra’s new offices achieve a bright feel with Resene Double Alabaster wall finishes.

ARCHITECTURAL ALLY The crisp white wall surfaces in the lift lobbies at the new Fonterra offices are by Resene, a company that underpins New Zealand design in many ways Off-whites are a versatile backdrop for offices, allowing occupants to add their own finishing touches. In Fonterra’s fit-out, the lift lobbies and meeting room exteriors feature Resene Double Alabaster, from the Resene Whites & Neutral collection. However, Resene does even more for the country’s designers than provide high quality wall and ceiling finishes. An integral part of the commercial architecture industry in New Zealand, Resene is also behind key events in the design community’s calender. For example, it sponsors the prestigious Resene Timber Design Awards – an annual event that show-

cases the best and most innovative in architects and designers working with this sustainable material. Resene also supports the Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival – a showing of international films focussed on the world of architecture and design generally. For details on Resene’s variety of wall and ceiling surface options, visit a Resene ColorShop, or freephone 0800 RESENE (737 363),

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FUNCTION MEETS DESIGN Our all-important dairy system has been given a major boost by Fonterra’s move to inclusive, modern premises – the tricky wall and ceiling systems were by Forman

While expansive architectural structures

Building Systems from the outset to create a ceiling

can be striking, ensuring they are fit for purpose requires customised solutions. Through collabora-

system which would ensure a productive working environment in keeping with the design aesthetic.

tion and some out of the box thinking, Fonterra has

The specifications included some design flare like metal ceilings in the foyer, perforated acoustic

created an award-winning new building in Auckland which provides its staff with productive work spaces, without compromising on design. One of the greatest challenges when designing open-plan commercial buildings of a large scale is ensuring the workplace ambience and performance are given equal weight in the design. Expansive surfaces like ceilings are major factor. Getting these right can be the difference between creating a productive workspace or creating a workspace with poor acoustics, where even every-day conversations become challenging. So in the design phase for Fonterra’s new head offices, architects Jasmax collaborated with Forman

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metal ceilings in the open plan office space and Armstrong Ultima acoustic ceiling pods between concrete beams in various floors. The brief to Forman was to offer a comprehensive range of tailored solutions to the various interior spaces of the building, each fulfilling a particular function and hence requiring specific acoustic and design performance. Perhaps one of the most striking examples of Forman’s ability to deliver solutions to this brief can be seen in the vast foyer that surrounds the central atrium on the ground floor level. Making a good first impression was important, so Armstrong

Below:Working within Fonterra’s expansive floorplates, Armstrong Metalworks perforated ceilings were installed in different areas and in various configurations. These were supplied by Forman Building Systems. Right:For an industrial touch, the foyer features the Armstrong Metalworks Open Cell system. Lower right:Behind the scenes – Installed between concrete support beams on various floors, Armstrong Ultima Acoustic Ceiling tiles bring noise control to the open-plan workspaces.

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MetalWorks Open Cell was selected to create an eye-catching metal ceiling. This on-trend industrial

chosen and installed in pre-arranged patterns to help delineate areas of use in the large spaces. The

look was achieved by installing Armstrong 15mm Suprafine grid, which is hidden from the eye to

innovative aspect of this solution was using different size perforations to achieve different aesthetics,

create the illusion of a continuous ceiling plane.

so an overall look and feel could easily be achieved.

While this clever ceiling solution was adopted in the foyer, the architect and client wanted to create

In other areas of the fit-out, Forman’s team opted for Armstrong Ultima Acoustic Ceiling

visually striking acoustic ceilings in other areas of the building. However the challenge with these

Pods – floating acoustic ceiling pods which were installed between the concrete ribs in the roof. They

ceilings was to find a solution which was easily

combined Armstrong Axiom aluminium perimeter

demountable to allow access to services for the maintenance team. As these particular areas house

sections, Armstrong PeakForm grid and Armstrong Ultima rebated edge tile, as Ultima is a high perfor-

a number of staff, a high level of acoustic treatment was also required.

mance tile that offers a sophisticated look and is extremely durable.

The team at Forman tackled this challenge by first installing a primary plasterboard ceiling to

Another feature of the ceiling solutions was the use of the Armstrong 150mm by 150mm Aluminium

hide the services. Several acoustic access panels were installed in the plasterboard ceiling to allow Fonterra’s team to service these areas as required. A secondary ceiling was then installed directly over the plasterboard ceiling, further enhancing the

pelmet. Installed around the perimeter of various floors, this creates separation between the window façade and the various ceiling systems. The Armstrong pelmet is designed to be used in conjunction with plasterboard ceilings and exposed

acoustics in these spaces Armstrong’s MetalWorks One Way Hook-On perforated metal ceiling was selected for this design. The Hook-On system offers a great level of demountability and, thanks to its suspension

grid ceilings. It’s easy to install and conceals fixings to provide a visually superior finish when compared with most on-site fabricated options. The customised solutions Forman delivered to this project have contributed to an impressive well-

system, large panel modules can easily be installed. In addition to this, Armstrong’s MetalWorks Perforated Metal Tiles were selected in a 13.50mlong format and installed in linear formation. The tiles easily unhook and swing down for access to

functioning space and environment for staff. For details, contact Forman Building Systems, phone (09) 276 4000. Website:

the service space. Three types of perforated metal tiles were

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Below:Also supplied by Forman, Armstrong Aluminium perimeter pelmets bridge the gap between ceiling system and wall plane.

ENJOY A TEMPERZONE ENVIRONMENT PROVIDING COMFORTABLE, WELCOMING SPACES THROUGH AIR CONDITIONING SOLUTIONS. Temperzone Ltd is proud to be associated with the PCNZ Property Industry Awards 2016. A long-established supplier of air conditioning systems built for New Zealand conditions, Temperzone has also built a reputation for its willingness to customise products to suit client requirements. The company carries a wide range of products to suit every application, including Temperzone air distribution systems and Hitachi air conditioners.

C e l e b r a t i n g 6 0 Ye a r s o f M a n u f a c t u r i n g

Auckland 09-279 5250

Wellington 04-569 3262

Christchurch 03-379 3216

GIMMIE SHELTER Staff at Fonterra’s new headquarters can make the most of the sixth-floor entertainment deck thanks to LouvreTec’s rain-or-shine 200 Super Roof Lite

Part of a design programme that offers diverse work and relaxation options for staff, the new Fonterra offices feature a roof deck that looks out across the harbour. Naturally this had to be an enjoyable place to be, come rain or shine, and four LouvreTec operable blade roofs ensure that’s so. LouvreTec supplied and installed the mechanically operated roofs to the level six entertainment deck, says LouvreTec’s Mckenzie Collins. The 200 Super Roof Lite opening roof was specified for this project – times four, says Collins. “This particular operable roof is perfect when an attractive 200mm-wide, flat bottomed louvre blade is preferred. Another feature of the roof is that its motor is hidden from sight, thanks to our new ‘Down Under’ system.” The Super Roof Lite was also selected for its extended blade span which maximises the openroof areas when good weather allows. “The roofs were specified in a Gull Grey powdercoat colour – a light, contemporary tone,” she says. The whole project ran without a hitch – the only tricky part being getting the roofs up to the sixth floor. This was achieved by working with the lead builders on the project, Fletcher Construction, who craned the four roofs up to the top of the building. “A rain sensor is used to protect the deck’s outdoor furniture – when precipitation reaches a certain level, sensors activate and the roofs close automatically,” Collins says. LouvreTec brings together a range of products with a team that can customise individual elements according to an architect’s or specifier’s needs. For details, contact LouvreTec, 23c Douglas Alexander Parade, Auckland, phone: 09 415 4949, email:,

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Above:One of the four 200 Super Roof Lite operable louvre roofs supplied and fitted by LouvreTec at Fonterra’s new headquarters.

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Project AmGeneral head office

Location: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Interior design: SL+A

BETTER TOGETHER When a large motoring insurer and general insurer come together at one address, an attention to transparency and connection creates a strong company ethos

Merging two companies into one multi-floor

and dealers, as well as via its online presence.

business location provides opportunity to reinvent everything from hierarchies to design aesthetics.

As part of the physical merger, the companies were to combine in new corporate offices in the

AmGeneral Insurance came into being when general insurance provider AmG Insurance united

Menara Shell building, located at the KL Sentral transportation hub.

with Malaysia’s leading automobile insurer Kurnia Insurans (Malaysia). The new and improved com-

Interiors company SL+A addressed the fit-out. Senior interior designer Stephanie Goh says their

bined company is Malaysia’s largest motor and general insurer, providing its products and services through an extensive network of branches, agents

brief was to work with the firm’s senior management to develop a workplace that would help build and nurture a new shared culture and way of working.

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Below and right:A sense of light, colour and transparency runs right through the offices of AmGeneral Insurance. The reception and other high-traffic areas have stone floors with other spaces carpeted. Pops of blue and red reference the colours of the pre-merger firms. Lower right:The staff cafeteria on the communal floor features vibrant seating and padded booths.

To complicate the project, the company’s new 13,200m2 of floor space runs over several – in some

core, ensuring the perimeter workstations achieve optimum natural light.

cases non-contiguous floors – a geographical separation that actually served as a positive in the

The open-plan layout on these floors, along with low partitions between individual workstations,

attribution of different roles to different areas.

further the egalitarian feel and fosters effective col-

Customer service is located on the fifth floor of the Menara Shell building, physically set apart from

laboration between staff on these floors. Demarcations have been created between office

the back offices on floors 7 to 8 and 10 to 15, with level 9 designated as a community floor.

areas, collaboration zones, meeting and discussion rooms and breakout areas on these floors so that

“Overall, we wanted to avoid the hierarchical

there is no interference to the different modes of

structures seen in the two pre-merger companies,” says Goh. “Enclosed management offices have

communication used between groups. An underlying theme of the fit-out is the sheer flexibility of

been done away with completely, with these senior roles now more subtly delineated by larger desks.

spaces. A loss of privacy is one potential down-side of open, flowing workspaces and there are phone

Also the senior management desks all have meeting areas located nearby, providing a degree of intimacy

booths where staff can make private calls. The community floor includes the reception, the

and making up for the lack of private office space.” Shared and support functions are centralised, with the few enclosed spaces such as meeting rooms and individual floor pantries pushed to the

boardroom, a cafeteria, and training areas. Here, too, formal and casual collaborative space are intermixed. The boardroom features an elaborate spiral ceiling design developed from the corporate

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Previous pages:The boardroom’s swirling feature ceiling is an abstraction of the company logo. Below:Meeting rooms on the customer service floor have their own touches of vibrancy. Right:Training rooms on the community floor feature honeycombed ceiling elements. These provide accoustical buffering in the open-plan, often noisy training environment. Lower right:While the café on the communal floor naturally creates a one-team ethos, small pantries on each level also create a sense of togetherness on individual floors.

logo. This room has padded panel walls, and both ends of the space feature writable surfaces.

carpeting in the meeting rooms runs from the floor up over the walls for a modern, dynamic feel.

Given its use, the 5th-level customer service floor is designed along more formal, dignified lines.

There’s also a sense of visual excitement in the colour and form of the loose seating, and the

“The use of bold colour was an inherent part

application of non-standardised colours for dividing

of the fit-out,” says the interior designer. “While a monochromatic palette forms a backdrop for the

panels at workstations. Bright green carpets on the main office floor walkways act as way finders and

offices, aesthetic vibrancy has been injected in several ways. For example, the colours of the two

further add to the dynamics of the spaces.

pre-merger companies – blue for the car insurer and red for the general insurer – are interwoven throughout the AmGeneral fit-out. And patterned

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Left:A waiting area on the fifth level. Natural light and views are optiomised throughout the fit-out. Lower left:A typical back-office floor – the vivid green carpet acts as a wayfinder through the expansive, egalatarian spaces. Right:This community floor shows the workstations set around the perimeter with services and private meeting spaces located near the core.

Project:AmGeneral Insurance Berhad, Malaysia Interior design:SL+A; senior interior designer, Stephanie Goh, design team; Liza Eusope Construction:ISG Malaysia Mechanical and electrical engineer:J Roger Preston (Malaysia) Sdn BHd Quantity surveyor:SL+A Sdn Bhd Fire consultant:Mui Fong Architect Blinds:Ferlite Sdn Bhd Tiling:Niro granite Vinyl floor and wall treatments:Tian Cern, Be Decor, Goodrich Global

Stone floor and walls:Century Stone Industries Carpet – floors and walls:United Carpet Sdn Bhd Paints:Nippon Paint, Dulux Paint Lighting:Astontec Industries Workstations:Technigroup Office Furniture Additional furniture:Haworth Industries, Technigroup, Benel, Kian Contract, Kehs Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Tree, Alex’s Enterprises Sdn Bhd, Moem, Sunperry Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Shea Studio

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PRACTICE SAFE DESIGN. USE A CONCEPT. Petrula Vrontikis — Designer

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Project Fisher & Paykel offices

Location: Sydney, NSW

Interior designer Custance Associates

SOCIAL AGENDA Boasting an ergonomic Social Kitchen at its heart, Fisher & Paykel’s new Sydney offices combine a flexible approach to business with hands-on inspiration

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Below:A 3D plywood ceiling, curving in two directions, adds a sculptural feature to the fit-out of Fisher & Paykel’s Sydney offices.

The idea of the Social Kitchen is at the centre of Fisher & Paykel’s vision for our kitchens of today and tomorrow – a versatile hub of the home where we cook, prepare food, help our kids with their homework and entertain friends. Gone are the days where appliances dictated limiting work triangles – instead advanced appliances are seamlessly integrated into a wider, more user-friendly vision. And the company has taken this concept literally to heart in the fit-out of its new Sydney offices. The brief to designer Jonathan Custance was for a flexible, collaborative workplace for 65 staff that could accommodate a growth in numbers to 90 without need for hard fit-out alterations. The project also had to include F&P and Haier showrooms and embody F&P’s vision and brand values. In response Custance transformed a standard rectilinear 1340m2 floor into a light-filled, fluid space where there’s a sense of discovery and connection. Visitors or clients arrive at the first-floor offices via a rear lift core, with the reception straight ahead. From here they’re guided either towards the showrooms to left and right, or around the reception station to discover the Social Kitchen and pod-like meeting rooms directly behind the reception wall. “The Social Kitchen is symbolically placed at the heart of the design as a place of sociability, collaboration, creativity and eating together,” says Custance. “Staff use the space to both cook in and to socialise, and at the same time – whether clerk or salesperson – get the feel of F&P’s latest models.” The Social Kitchen and eight meeting room pods together form a central zone that neatly bisects the entire room with desking running back on both sides. “A richly toned sweeping, curved plywood ceiling provides an organic element within the standard flat ceiling and adds to the central focus – highlighting the conceptual and physical heart of the facility and achieving a sense of volume and height in this area.” The 3D ceiling was created using 2D elements in a simple, effective way. 3D software and a CNC cutting machine achieved the precision cuts required. The flat pieces were then slotted together, prior to hanging – no interlocking fixings required.

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“Overall, the fit-out exudes light, transparency and connection,” says the interior designer.

informal meetings at the large tables beyond the Social Kitchen or at casual furniture beyond that.

“Half of the pods to left and right of the Social Kitchen are transparent on both sides – allowing

All workstations take advantage of views and natural light, while the office utility spaces are

occupants to look out to the central kitchen and

contained in timber-slatted pods within the work-

also office workers to look right through them to the other side of the office. Desks are also positioned

station areas. Any future expansion can be easily and inexpensively accommodated by clipping a

clear of the glass perimeter wall, creating another circulation corridor to complement the connectivity

double bay to each workstation cluster and repositioning freestanding storage elements.

of the central zone and several cross avenues.” As well as chatting in the acoustically treated meeting pods, visitors, staff or clients can have

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Much as the offices’ strong interconnectivity reflects F&Ps modern kitchen thinking, so too does the fit-out call to mind the design of its appliances.

This page:Plan showing how the Social Kitchen and meeting rooms form a central zone bisecting the two symmetrical sides of the offices. The elevation shows the curved plywood ceiling extending through the centre. Facing page:Designed for a new era in cooking and entertaining convenience, the Social Kitchen is used by staff to cook in and chat in. While half the meeting room pods are transparent, some have opaque walls for visual privacy.

Below:The central zone extends right to the glass perimeter wall. Backlit stretched skins in the ceiling have the look of skylights.

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“Black and white finishes are central to the colour palette,” says Custance. “Rolled white Alucobond, black aluminium framing and precision glass sliding doors on the meeting room pods call to mind the crisp design and close attention to detail seen on all of F&P’s advanced appliances.” The lift core is also clad in a soft-curving wall of moveable white Alucobond panels. These can be quickly slid aside to store appliances, but also create a smooth, seamless effect when closed. And the two-tone theme is also continued in large black and white inspiration lifestyle photos

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dotted throughout the contemporary office spaces. Colour highlights are seen within the meeting pods, on low seating elements, and on dividers in the workspace areas. The timber feature ceiling adds natural warmth and provides the perfect backdrop for the domestic kitchen appliances. Other areas in the fit-out include a branding wall seen upon initial entry and the two appliance showrooms – one for Haier and one for Fisher & Paykel. In a design that is all about discovery as well as connection, these are first glimpsed through a vista shaped by the curving walls of the lift core.

Above:A circulation corridor runs around the perimeter of the offices. Larger than life black and white photos complement the two-tone decor. Facing page top:Curvaceous Alucobond panels reconcile angles and dead corners around the lift core. These slide to one side to provide space for easy appliance storage. Facing page lower:One of two showrooms in the modern fit-out.

Project:Fisher & Paykel offices, Sydney Interior design Custance Associates; design team – Jonathan & Nicola Custance, Alan McCorkindale, Calvin Li Construction company:Corporate Interior Projects Mechanical and electrical engineer:Arup Quantity surveyor:Cuesko Fire consultant:Arup Tiling:Armstrong Excelon Designer vinyl tile Flooring:Tajine carpet by Carpets Inter; Color Tone nylon carpet tile Ceiling:Plytech custom lattice ceiling by Ambry Furniture Core panels:Alucobond Veneers:Plytech Keruing Paints:Dulux quarter Manorburn, Double Manorburn, Piha

Heating:Seair Workstations:FrameOne Enhanced by Steelcase Office chairs:Think by Steelcase Reception furniture:Gather Around modular seating by Zenith Additional furniture:Zenith, IMO, Steelcase Kitchen equipment:Fisher & Paykel appliances Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Ian Carlson

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Project UniMed

Location: Christchurch

Architect: Wison and Hill Architects

LOOKING FORWARD The new UniMed building pays homage to a classic building a few doors down, but in other ways it signals the bold new future of Christchurch architecture

The UniMed building incorporates what it

Pursuing this, the owners asked Wilson and

needs to in terms of building compliance integral to a not-so-long-ago earthquake-decimated city.

Hill Architects to create a 50% bigger, four-storey building, with UniMed’s own offices on the top,

However, the gleaming structure is the model of

two levels of rentable office space below this and street-engaged retail spaces at ground level.

modern commercial architecture in other ways too. While the existing UniMed building was irrevocably damaged in June 2011, the narrow buildings to left and right both collapsed. Too small to merit a rebuild, these adjacent properties were bought by UniMed, allowing space for a larger, taller building.

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Wilson and Hill director Chris Wilson says the steel frame building has a light but strong steel-andglass facade with a side tower in light but strong Glassfibre Reinforce Concrete (GRC). The tower’s mass balances the lighter aesthetic of the facade.

Below:The four-level UniMed building by Wilson and Hill Architects offers contemporary office floors and retail spaces in the heart of Christchurch. Facing page:With a tall window and a glass ceiling, the staircase in the tower at the corner of the building is flooded with light. The wood-lined interior offsets the coolness of the GRC cladding.

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“The facade’s materials and proportions are a strong architectural nod to the thankfully still intact

Besides bringing balance to the glass facade, the tower is a key aspect of the building’s modern

Isaac Theatre Royal up the road,” says Wilson. “Terracotta fins on the new building reference the

appeal for the business and retail community. “The stairs, lifts, and toilets are all located in the

brickwork of the Isaac, and the proportions are

tower clearing the way for large, open floorplates,

similar. For example, the slender canopy on the new frontage echoes the top ribbon of the theatre.

which are the ideal for contemporary office design,” says Wilson. “In addition, a light well is tucked

And both buildings have strong bases.” Another aspect of the facade is that its perceived

between the front and rear sections of the tower flooding light down through the floors, and the

levels do not actually correspond to the floor levels

staircase has a tall glass window and glass roof,

behind – this helped keep the relative proportions to the nearby theatre and added visual interest.

adding to the abundance of natural light. This lightfilled stairwell acts as a mini atrium for the building.”

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Below:Meeting rooms on the UniMed floor have floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. Openness and natural light are at a premium throughout the office spaces. Facing page:The wood-finished pod behind the reception desk in the same material is home to office equipment and supplies. The yellow pod houses two quiet rooms that double as casual meeting rooms. For visial interest, both appear to break through the ceiling plane.

Part of UniMed’s brief to Wilson and Hill was that the building have a strong, uncomplicated appeal

the offices without appearing overbearing.” The pods are clad in vertical slatwork, one wood,

– as befitting the premises of a medical insurance company. And the same applied when they briefed

the other in yellow, and as with the facade the pods also create a sense of illusion. Both appear to push

the architects for their own fit-out on the top floor. “Naturally we wanted to make the most of the

up through the ceiling plane. In addition, the reception desk and pod behind it are further delineated

good bones of the new building – optimising the

by a raised ceiling area with hidden lighting.

natural light play and long sightlines set up by the open floorplates,” says Wilson. “As part of this we

Checkered carpet tiles create a wayfinding element on the otherwise neutral carpeted floors.

put all the messy aspects of office life in two central curvaceous pods. The timber pod conceals office machinery and the yellow pod, two quiet rooms. “The pods also strategically screen out areas of

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Left:Terracotta fins on the UniMed building reference the brickwork on the nearby Isaac Theatre Royal. The base, central elements and canopy also echo the facade of the historic theatre. The GRC tower brings weight and balance to the light front facade.

Project:UniMed, Christchurch Architect and interior designer:Chris Wilson, Wilson and Hill Architects Structural engineer:Lewis & Bradford Mechanical/ electrical engineer:Powell Fenwick Consultants Quantity surveyor:Rawlinsons Fire consultant:Powell Fenwick Consultants Cladding:James Hardie ExoTec Roof:Dimond Veedek Longrun steel roof; Equus membrane Facade design/construction:Alucobond – aluminium composite panel Glazing:Canterbury Aluminium, Southern Steel Windows Lifts:Schindler Partitioning systems:Potters Interior Systems; Lindsay and Dixon Ltd – Southland Maple Beech

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Hardware:Hettich from Sopers Macindoe Blinds:Window Treatments Drapes:James Dunlop Tiling:SCE Stone & Design Flooring:Polyflor vinyl Wall treatments Polyflor vinyl, Ecoustic panels by Vivid Textiles Drapes:James Dunlop Ceiling:Forman Armstrong Ultima ceiling tiles Paints:Resene; intumescent paint by Leigh Paints Workstations:Aspect Furniture Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Stephen Goodenough

Wall | Ceiling | Insulation | Whiteboards | Wall Coverings



Potter Interior Systems proudly supplied innovative solutions including aluminium partitions and sliders, flexible plasterboard and steel stud into the Unimed project.


Building business together since 1966. | | 0800 POTTERS




Project Lonely Planet offices

Location: Melbourne

Interior designer: Siren Design

SPRINGBOARD TO ADVENTURE Vibrant, imaginative and yet in tune with its heritage surroundings, the offices of Lonely Planet Melbourne incentivise visitors and staff alike with destination-inspired vignettes

From alcoves evoking the lush tropical rain forests of Borneo to an icy-white Icelandic retreat inside a repurposed silo, the fit-out of the Lonely Planet offices in an historic brewery takes you on a world journey without ever leaving the country. The design stimulates travellers but also reminds staff of the exciting places that its publications promote. Siren Design was asked by Lonely Planet to design its new Melbourne home within the iconic heritage-listed Malt Store, in Carlton. The historic brewery was chosen as a physical reminder of the city and as such was seen as an apt springboard for travellers’ dreams of exotic, faraway places. Siren Melbourne director Nicole Pollak says the

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intent was to create an environment that would promote interdepartment connection, foster culture, and reflect the core business values of Lonely Planet. “The company’s motto is ‘the thrill of discovery can be found almost everywhere’, and we took this as a design starting point,” says Pollak. And Pollak means that literally. Mock luggage tickets form the wayfinders in the two-level space neatly slotted into the red-brick building. Front of house – reception, casual seating, meeting rooms and the cafeteria – is on the upper floor, with workstations and offices on the floor below. Via floor cutaways, upstairs balconies look down on the work floor and over the tops of concrete silos.

Above and lower right:The fit-out of the new Lonely Planet Melbourne offices by Siren Design in a heritage protected building features custom joinery and cutouts that accentuate the original structure alongside the bold, contemporary insertions. Above right:Japanese Edoperiod architecture comes to life in the two upstairs back-to-back flexible boardrooms. Tables and chairs can be reconfigured to suit intimate or large gatherings.

Facing page:From grains to ice floes – a repurposed silo offers an immersive snapshot of Iceland. Walls feature maps by Lonely Planet’s own cartographers. Right:The upstairs floor-plan shows the back-to-back boardrooms, while the downstairs plan shows the concrete silos, desk layouts and meeting rooms. Following pages:White-painted exposed services on the workfloor add to the fit-out’s airy feel and complement the original brickwork.

On both floors, Siren’s design approach was to feature destination zones – each one bespoke in

by a stark, white Arctic landscape. Here frosted white chairs resemble icicles and a light show

terms of design and delivery. This level of detail is particularly evident in the upstairs boardrooms.

depicts the swirling, flickering Northern Lights. Part of the project brief was to not interfere with heritage

“These both have the character of Japanese

elements so the white boards in the Iceland-themed

Edo-period architecture. Custom tatami mat graphics cover the floors while wall-size panels glide

silo are supported on proud structures to avoid compromising the protected surface of the wall.

back to reveal whiteboards or views of the red brick walls and a circulation corridor. The full-size panels

And the journey continues in breakout spaces with lush wallpaper of the Borneo rainforest and a

feature vibrant photos evoking Japanese culture – a

custom digital-printed forest-floor carpet. Even the

pagoda among trees, or iconic Mt Fujiyama – while operable wall panels reflect Japanese calligraphy.”

casual stools are shaped like tree stumps. Another example, is a run of desking set amongst the sights

Downstairs, one of the silos has been overtaken

and signs of a New York taxi rank in Times Square.

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Left:Playful and inviting, these collaboration booths feel like they’re immersed in the Borneo forest. Bespoke digitally printed carpets evoke the forest floor while the stools look like repurposed tree stumps. Lower left:These workstations appear to be in the middle of the bustle of a New York taxi rank. Below:The staff cafeteria is also a social hub. The table is the proportions of a table tennis table while the mural depicts Melbourne and its highlights.

“These scenes are as much about inspiring the staff as visitors and potential travellers,” says Pollak.

The culture of inclusiveness is further extended by encouraging use of the café upstairs. Small tea

However, the immediate location of the building is never forgotten, with views of the inner city and

stations are provided on the ground floor. A mix of reclaimed and recycled furniture from

surrounding architecture captured from most work-

Lonely Planet’s previous office was adapted for the

stations. The laneway-inspired café showcases the Lonely Planet history alongside recognisable

fit-out. All products and materials were chosen for their sustainability while workstations are set around

Australian landmarks in a street-art style mural. In practical terms, the layout is open-plan to

the perimeter to optimise use of natural light.

foster maximum connectivity, permeability, efficiency and equitability amongst staff, while individual, linear workstations are highly versatile.

Project:Lonely Planet offices, Melbourne Interior designer:Siren Design; design team, Nathalie Suizu, Nicole Pollak, Tess Carpenter, Ellie McFee, Rachel Wilson Construction:Capabuild Project manager:Client Based Solutions Mechanical and electrical engineer:Aston Consulting Workstations:Centric by Schiavello Office chairs:Zenith Life Chair Specialist floor treatments Jungle, New York, Japan – custom-printed carpet by Passo Flooring; Polyflor Saarfloor Noppe Stud rubber tile in lobby; existing concrete floor ground and polished to achieve random aggregate exposure with commercial grade slip resistant seal Wall finishes:Recycled timber cladding in Borneo booths by Eco Timber; core wall and boardroom panelling – Woodwall veneer wallpaper by Elton Group; tea points – glazed ceramic wall tiles in Venice Cobalt Blue by Classic Ceramics

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Paints:Low VOC paint finish by Dulux Furniture:Borneo collaboration booth stools – Hourglass stool by Curious Grace; public area seating – Alloyfold; breakout seats – Rio chair by Map Furniture; breakout table tennis table chairs – Feelgood Aki Stool by Curious Grace; Bellawood custom Cucina Table, table tennis size, by Café Culture; boardroom chairs – Reaction Executive highback armchair, by Stylecraft; meeting tables, by Schiavello; casual tables – Baso coffee table by Something Beginning With Lighting:Borneo collaboration booths – custom Basket Weave Light; Taxi rank desk area – custom Taxi Light Acrylic Cube with graphics both by Artefact Industries; Scissor Pendant Light by Jan Flook, from Zizo Home; breakout area lamps – Catapult Me pendant light in handcast concrete by Catapult Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Tom Blachford

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LIVING IN THE HUB Drawing on his experience of working and living in London, Hong Kong and Singapore, Aedas chairman Keith Griffiths deduces that we require a different mindset to planning where people live if we want our cities to operate efficiently

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Below:High-density city hubs circling the CBD will be the answer to congested major cities according to Aedas chairman Keith Griffiths. Shown here is a hub in the Wuhan Kunlun City Master Plan, part of a larger master plan for the China Optics Valley Central Area.

Depending on which city you live in, you or

I believe it’s about choice. I think you have many,

one of your friends or associates may have wasted up to three years travelling to work by the time you

many choices for what you do in the city. Because we have so many choices, nice things can happen

retire. If you could take that time back, I wonder what you would do with it? Theoretically, you could travel to Mars and back in three years; I build many buildings in three years; you could go back to university and get a degree in three

all the time. But do we all choose to live in the suburbs? Presently in our cities, most people do live in residential suburbs. But they don’t all have the same requirements.

years … instead of sitting in a train, car or bus. I started my career in London – a low-density city. It took me 1.5 hours from my bed to my desk every morning, and 1.5 hours back. I spent three hours a day travelling – more than I spent eating and recreat-

Younger people probably want to live right in a core, where it’s really buzzy, next to clubs and bars, and close enough to work that they can walk there. If you’re older and have children, you will want to be in the suburbs near to good schools. But then

ing. My whole life was governed by travelling. Then I moved to Hong Kong – a high-density city. It’s extremely well connected. People live next to their work. The downside is they don’t have much recreation space nearby. The upside is a very

when you retire, you probably want to be in a connected place again. We’re all different, with different demands. So why is it that all the housing looks the same? Something is wrong – the city isn’t meeting our

short travel to work – less than half an hour. Only one hour a day wasted on the extremely efficient public transport system. In the 1990s, I started working in Singapore. Singapore is also a high-density city, the same as

expectations. Most cities put housing outside of the business district so, in larger cities like London or Shanghai, it can take 1.5 hours to get to work. We have to find a way to solve this problem.

Shanghai and Hong Kong. But it’s a little more difficult to get to work, taking about one hour. In Shanghai, it’s about 1.5 hours from your bed to your desk. So, some cities are not quite performing for us. But what do we want them to do? In the past five years or so our lives have changed dramatically. We’ve been brought together by the internet and all the internet devices we use. We connect and do things quickly. We make connections we could never make before. And that’s changed our lives. We’ve become very, very efficient. Unfortunately, the cities we live in are not efficient. They’re not keeping pace with the change. They were planned and built for a different way of life; they just cannot keep up with our new ways. Five hundred million people have been urbanised in China in the last 20 years, so now over a half of China is urbanised. In the western world, 80% of the population is urbanised. We need to understand why people like cities, why people enjoy cities.

There have been some very interesting developments recently, which include residential and serviced apartments, SOHOs, lofts, hotels, shopping centres and offices all clustered together. They are not huge, but they are live-work developments, and they are the seeds of a new way of life. I predict that this is the way cities are going to cope with the pressures of the changing Internet generation, bringing people together into a livework-recreation way of life. How does that work? Well, these city hubs as I call them are higher in density, a little bit like mini versions of Hong Kong. You have more people in there, more things going on. You work there, live there, spend your leisure time there. Young people who want to live that connected city life would leave the suburbs to be in these city hubs. And that would create less pressure in the suburbs, which means suburbs will have more parks, more openness. It also means reduced pollution

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Facing page:Evergrande Huazhi Plaza, Chengdu is a mixed-use project containing retail, office, hotel and residential elements.

because now most of the people who live in the suburbs are no longer travelling to work. The young, working population live in a city hub and walk to work. That’s much more sustainable, and keeps people fit too. I predict cities will develop a network of these hubs around the central business district and that network will grow naturally because the pressure of travel on the central business district will force this issue. It won’t be the old type of ‘new town’, but it will be a true high-density community where everything happens in one place without the need for extensive travel. Further out, those in the suburbs will have an even better quality of life than now, with more parks, openness, and more space for schools. We’re just starting to see the seeds of city hubs now. They exist. They’re not big but they’re starting to grow. They can have elevated parks that connect buildings, so you don’t have to walk down the road, or you don’t have to travel by road. You can walk across the city hub at an upper level connecting all your facilities. Public rooftops are now being made available and rooftops can even be connected across buildings. You see where this is leading. Buildings are starting to dematerialise. They become open to the public at all levels. What’s missing is the glue, the glue that holds all this together. What’s going to bring all these fledgling ideas together to make the city hub, and to make the new city? Maybe to answer that question we need to consider where the city hub will be located. It’s not a matter of putting pins in a map; we have to approach this scientifically. A city hub requires connection. We all need connection. So a city hub

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must have a good road system and a great subway system, and be where the road system intersects

make our cities become truly porous and public. How do we start?

with the subway system. Then you’ve got choice, and you’ve got connection.

Those who have children, or work close to the suburb where they live, will probably want to remain

Sounds reasonable. But what’s it going to look like? All these people? All these towers? A city hub

in those residential areas. But those who want to be in a live-work-recrea-

could be a crazy place.

tion community will probably want to take up this

We’ll need more public space. Buildings have to become porous to people. No longer fortress-like

city hub choice. That means them living in a smaller apartment, taking less space; walking to work; and

towers, they have to be perforated and opened up between buildings, with bridges or connected

enjoying that connected life style. So when they come to retirement, they will know

rooftops. Even parks.

that they did not waste three years of their life.

For example, in Hong Kong there’s an elevated park connecting over 20 buildings – at level four. It’s an entire park system about 30m above the road. These concepts exist. We can do it. We can

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Below:Buildings in a city hub can reflect the connectivity of its residents. For example, The Forum in Hong Kong connects to an elevated park and walkway, as well as to surrounding commercial buildings.

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New zealand commercial design trends series nz commercial design trends vol 32%2f03c  

Commercial Design Trends is aimed at our professional readers, and showcases commercial buildings. The book features regular sections on off...

New zealand commercial design trends series nz commercial design trends vol 32%2f03c  

Commercial Design Trends is aimed at our professional readers, and showcases commercial buildings. The book features regular sections on off...