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PROJECT PORTFOLIO Liberty Place, Sydney Urban renewal infiltrates major thoroughfares and laneways of the Sydney CBD, with the new ANZ Tower the sharp end of a significant inner-city refurbishment 8


Clyde Quay, Wellington This mixed-use development pays homage to the site’s maritime heritage, while maximising the spectacular location 16 Centennial Centre, St Cuthbert’s College, Auckland The design of this new sports, health and student support centre for a girls’ school reflects an holistic approach to education, and a similarly integrated architectural response 32


CHRISTCHURCH REBUILD UPDATE Anderson Lloyd House, Christchurch One of the first of the post-earthquake new builds in the Christchurch CBD, Anderson Lloyd House has a solid, anchored presence and a sense of gravitas 44

SECTOR REPORTS Waterfront Regeneration Establishing prescriptive frameworks for developing the Auckland city waterfront is the key to sustainable urban regeneration, says Auckland Waterfront CEO John Dalzell 28

78 Cover

Workplace Strategy Is your workplace enabling productivity? Mark Grant of Jones Lang LaSalle discusses an approach to office design based on value generation 60

The outdoor area of the Matisse Beach Club in Perth, by Oldfield Knott Architects, comprises a central pool area flanked by a row of six colourful cabanas. See story on pages 92-99. Photography by Joe Barbitta

Urban Spaces Understanding the economic potential of good landscape design in the public realm is critical to urban development, says Michael Hawes of Boffa Miskell 88


WORKPLACE Aurecon House, Melbourne The interior fit-out of this global engineering firm celebrates the company’s international stature and reflects its core strengths 66 McCann Worldgroup, Bangkok Presented with a challenging floor plate, DWP has designed a light-filled workplace and a collaborative environment that is energising and fun for staff 72 NEC NZ, Wellington Innovative thinking has transformed the offices of a leading software developer, and unified a previously disconnected workplace 80


HOSPITALITY Matisse Beach Club, Perth A bold, bright and a fun place to be, this beach-side club combines the look of colourful Brighton beach huts with the razzamatazz of a South Florida resort 94 Westin Hotel, Singapore Back in town after more than a decade, The Westin Singapore hotel has announced its return with a bold, sumptuous interior designed to address the well-being of all guests 100


official awards partner


Enduring perfection. The Classic control knob by Guido Canali

CLASSIC SERIES designed in Italy

Urban renewal has transformed cities right around the world over the past decade. But two recent award-winning projects in Australasia have established a new benchmark and proved that urban regeneration is more about integration than replacement – for both buildings and industry. @DavidJideas David Johnson

In this issue we profile the Liberty Place development, which has revitalised a run-down precinct in the Sydney CBD, creating a vibrant new laneway in the process. The project has won the Completed Building – Office award at the World Architecture Festival 2014. We also present a paper on urban regeneration by John Dalzell, the CEO of Waterfront Auckland. This organisation has established a prescriptive framework to encourage developers to go far beyond minimum standards to create vibrant, sustainable urban communities. This approach has already seen Wynyard Quarter on the Auckland waterfront win three international design awards, including most recently, the Rosa Barba International Landscape Prize and the Best Waterfront Project Award at the International Society of City and Regional Planning Congress in Poland. We also profile the brand new Clyde Quay Wharf redevelopment in Wellington. We also take a look at three exciting office interiors – all different, yet with a similar focus on employee collaboration and wellbeing. And we present a paper on workplace strategy by Mark Grant of Jones Lang LaSalle, who discusses a new approach to office design based on value generation. You can also read about two hospitality projects that forgo minimalism to provide a touch of glamour – in very different ways. For more examples, check out Happy reading

Managing Editor John Williams – Editorial Editorial Director Paul Taylor Home Series Editor Kathleen Kinney Digital Editor James Gilbert Subeditor Jane McKenzie Senior Writer Colleen Hawkes Staff Writer Charles Moxham Email International Business President Judy Johnson – General Manager Trends Media Group Louise Messer Director of Strategic Planning Andrew Johnson – Executive Assistant Marinka Simunac Sales Director Asia Hans Geese – Media Sales Adrian Law – Ben Trethewey – Leslie Johnson – Shailan Patel – Sonia Fredrick – Sales & Marketing Co-ordinators Lana Tropina-Egorova, Anna McLeod Email Production Agency Manager Annette Nortje Operational Account Manager Olya Taburina Project & Client Co-ordinator Terri Patrickson Client Co-ordinator Marijana Zeba Graphic Designers Joan Clarke, Sasha Fowler Staff Photographer Jamie Cobel Image Technician Ton Veele DV Camera Operator/Production Manager Bevan Read TV Editor Gene Lewis Digital Marketing Co-ordinator Miha Matelic Digital Production Assistant Anthony Hunt Email Distribution General Manager Distribution Tina Kapp-Kailea Merchandiser Karen Arthur Distribution Gordon & Gotch Email Finance Financial Controller Simon Groves – Finance Manager Naresh Unka Accounts Manager Nina Adam Accounts Assistant Kirstie Paton

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Winner of the Completed Building – Office award at the World Architecture Festival 2014, Liberty Place is an innercity regeneration project that has transformed a neglected part of the Sydney CBD.

Auckland Waterfront chief executive John Dalzell says his organisation’s forward-thinking approach toward urban regeneration has seen the Wynyard Quarter redevelopment win three international awards.

One of the first office buildings to emerge in the Christchurch CBD, Anderson Lloyd House by FourFourSixSix, contrasts the stereotypical glazed curtain wall, high-rise office building, with a more solid-looking structure.

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From rejuvenation to modern high-rise – there’s a human scale to the diverse projects on these pages, which puts the focus firmly on the end user

Project Liberty Place Winner Completed Building – Office World Architecture Festival 2014

Location: Sydney

Architect: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp

BUILDING ON THE PAST Urban renewal infiltrates major thoroughfares and laneways of the Sydney CBD, with the new ANZ Tower the sharp end of a significant inner-city refurbishment

When the big boys move in, you can be sure a run-down precinct will gain a whole new status. In this case, it was a major anchor tenant for a new development in a neglected corner of the Sydney CBD that turned heads. Liberty Place, the new home for the ANZ head office in Sydney and Herbert Smith Freehills, has transformed an area between Castlereagh St and Pitt St, and simultaneously redefined the city skyline with a distinctive new tower block. Project architect Sean McPeake of Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) says right from the outset developer Grocon wanted the focus to be on the sustainable redevelopment of the entire precinct. “This was a rather run-down part of the city with a collection of low-rise, nondescript buildings and the heritage-listed Legion House – a YWCA hostel in the early part of the last century – and the former Angus & Sons Building, which needed to be demolished. “While the new tower was always going to be an iconic reference point, the vision for Liberty Place


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also demanded a revitalised light-filled laneway and the introduction of retail and hospitality premises that would animate the entire precinct. The redevelopment needed to create a through-site link, and a significant entry to the tower from Castlereagh St. The tower itself required an internal pedestrian street that would connect through to the Pitt St entry.” Legion House, which fronts Castlereagh St at the beginning of the laneway, was refurbished and extended upwards and outwards, while the historic street elevation was preserved. To maximise the relatively small floorplates, the stairs and lifts were moved to the outside of the building. “We chose to express the vertical circulation by enclosing these elements with a curved glass screen,” says McPeake. “This acts as a signpost to the bigger development at the end of the lane.” A cantilevered extension at the rear of Legion House is clad in durable composite timber panels with large vertical louvres. The timber helps to warm the space visually and continues a materiality

Preceding pages:Liberty Place is an inner-city regeneration project that has transformed a neglected part of the Sydney CBD. The development incorporates a plaza with retail and hospitality premises. This building features a slotted plywood drum ceiling behind a steel-framed glass facade. These pages:The ANZ Tower at Liberty Place sits at the end of a new laneway, flanked by low-rise buildings, including the heritagelisted Legion House. The tower is topped with a louvre rooftop feature, which inspired the drum ceiling in the café building.

introduced on the building on the opposite side of the laneway. “With its exposed stairs, Legion House is the more articulated side of the lane,” the architect says. “The facade of the office building opposite offers a simplified rhythm of windows that is a quiet foil to the more complex shapes of the windows in the heritage structure. “The newer building has a sinuous curve at the end, where it splays out to slip in behind the sharp fin of the tower. This leads the eye directly to the tower and the grand entry.” Retail and hospitality premises enliven the street level of the plaza that opens up before the tower.


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Timber also features here, on a third building, which was designed to conceal the uninspiring rear facades of the buildings behind. “Those existing buildings were uncovered in the process of redeveloping the precinct, but the facades were never meant to be seen,” says McPeake. “So the new building is quite high, with a strong focal point that mimics the top of the tower. A large semi-circular drum ceiling in slotted plywood sits behind a glazed facade. Positioned directly above retail spaces, the drum helps with acoustic insulation. There is also a steel-framed glass canopy with timber battens on the underside, that increases the undercover seating area.”

Below:The cantilevered extension to Legion House and the facade of the building opposite both feature composite timber panelling. Top right:This timber facade curves around the plaza at the end of the laneway and slides in behind the sharp fin of the tower. Below right:A suspended neon lighting sculpture by Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans features at the Castlereagh St entry to the ANZ Tower.

Left:Cafés dot the perimeter of the plaza, animating the laneway and serving the needs of the workers. The new building at the far end of the podium screens the less-attractive rear facades of the existing buildings behind. The paving features alternating bands of light and dark grey granite. These continue up the steps and into the foyer of the tower. Below:Translucent glass walls line the 16m-high foyer. The Pitt St entry, shown here, is on the lower level, but is connected to the Castlereagh St entry by an internal street.

Alternating bands of light and dark granite paving, which begin at the start of the laneway, continue right up the steps and into the foyer of the ANZ Tower, creating a seamless transition. The grandeur of the entry is reinforced by a 16m-high glazed atrium featuring suspended walls of translucent glass. The glass panels are fixed by an innovative system of high-tension stainless steel cables and custom patch fittings. “The glass walls create a significant and dramatic interior,” says McPeake. “On the inside, the walls are illuminated by an advanced system of LED backlighting. A suspended white ceiling appears to float within the atrium, completing the architectural expression of an enclosing box.” Rectilinear and sculptural elements also define and organise the space. “The design needed to resolve a number of

conflicting requirements, including level changes between the two street entries,” the architect says. “Easy access was critical, and there were differing tenant requirements for security control. We chose to extend the white limestone floor of the upper level, folding this down to create a dramatic staircase that is expressed as a major sculptural element in the foyer. The form of the stair extends upward to join with a curving, ribbon bulkhead that wraps over the entry doors at each end. The result is a sculpturally refined space that functionally supports both the office workers and the pedestrian traffic that frequents the through-site link.” The tower itself is a rich interplay of three architectural forms, including the sharp fin element that rises from the Liberty Place plaza to the roof. The framed volume on the primary elevation orients the tower to Sydney Harbour. This elevation is

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Left:White limestone forms a sculptural staircase in the foyer. The stairs appear to turn upwards and peel off to meet with a ribbon bulkhead that links back to the two entries Below:While natural light illuminates the translucent panels at the ends of the building, the panels at the sides are backlit with LED lighting. A white ceiling reinforces the sense of the foyer being an enclosed white box. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by John Gollings

also defined by a curved rooftop feature with large Alucobond louvres that reflect different patterns of sunlight at different times of the day. The glazing on another elevation has a stepped form that articulates the levels to which the lift banks rise – there are fewer lifts to the upper levels, which consequently have greater floor areas. Sustainability is another key feature of the project – the tower is the largest building in New South Wales to achieve a 6 Star Green Office Design v2 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. Even the heritage building benefits, says McPeake. “Legion House receives little sun or wind making these unsuitable as renewable energy sources. Instead, the building receives its energy from a process called biomass gasification.” Legion House utilises the commercial paper waste generated from the ANZ tower. This is shredded and compressed to form paper briquettes, which are used in the gasification plant to produce Syngas. “This is effectively a carbon-zero energy source

as the greenhouse gases released in the energy production equal that absorbed in creating the biomass,” the architect says. Other sustainability measures at Liberty Place include two 450kW tri-generation plants that generate electricity, heating and cooling for the air conditioning, hot water systems and high-efficiency chillers. The building also has an active chilledbeam perimeter zone with low temperature VAV central zone, a high-performance thermally shielded glass exterior, rainwater harvesting, scheduled lighting to reduce power consumption, and external sun sensors and automated blinds for glare control. And to ensure a comfortable work environment, the introduction of outside air is 150% of the ventilation rate required by Australian standards.

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Project Clyde Quay Wharf

Location: Wellington

Architect: Athfield Architects

FROM SHIP TO SHORE The new Clyde Quay Wharf development pays homage to the site’s maritime heritage, while maximising the spectacular location


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Below:The new Clyde Quay Wharf development, developed by Willis Bond & Co and designed by Athfield Architects, has a form reminiscent of a large ship. The design references the original Overseas Passenger Terminal that occupied the wharf site for several decades.

Waterfront regeneration in Wellington has taken a huge leap forward with the completion of the Clyde Quay Wharf development. And it’s not just that the development provides the missing link on Wellington’s waterfront promenade – it’s also about the creation of a vibrant, mixed-use urban precinct and a landmark building on a heritage site. Clyde Quay Wharf, developed by Willis Bond & Co and designed by Athfield Architects, replaces the former Overseas Passenger Terminal, which had been a Wellington Harbour landmark for many decades. Mark McGuinness, Willis Bond & Co managing director, says the company’s underlying objective for all its inner-city, mixed-use developments is to build “vibrant and sustainable communities that will stand the test of time”. “The prominence of this site and its proximity to the water made the design and quality of paramount importance,” he says. “We also had to consider the public nature of the wharf area together with the premium residential environment – these two elements needed to co-exist in an appropriate and positive manner.” Director Ian Dickson says the former terminal had become something of a white elephant, no longer suited to the large cruiseliners that come into the port over the summer. “The building did not have a heritage rating and it had slowly deteriorated over the years,” Dickson says. “It was used for industrial storage, with a function centre on the upper level. “But because it had been such a significant part of the waterfront, the resource consent required the new building to acknowledge and respond to the heritage wharf and the original building. This meant the height and scale of the new structure needed to echo the distinctive long, low proportions of the former passenger terminal.” Dickson says the brief also called for a design that would celebrate the prominent site with an integrated building-landscape response.

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“We had to provide a robust, commercially viable amenity that respected the parent structure, while supporting and complementing the public use and enjoyment of the precinct.” The design solution consequently presents a new building founded on the existing wharf structure, which was extensively repiled. The building provides 76 high-end apartments on the upper levels with a mix of retail and food businesses and maritime amenities at the wharf level. A new carpark was developed beneath the wharf – the work was combined with the wharf strengthening and repiling. “In keeping with the local requirements, the design accentuates and strengthens the gestures established by the existing Overseas Passenger Terminal, creating strong gateways to the harbour and city,” says Dickson. “The wharf level remains a public space with pedestrian access, and is integrated with other parts of the wharfscape and into the wider Wellington promenade.”


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The contemporary architecture is informed by various historical and nautical references. The building incorporates the form of a ship’s hull, structural ribs and decks. At the front, the ship’s “prow” is as bold as the prow on the original building, while the “stern” is reminiscent of the superstructure of a large ship. “There were height restrictions for the entire building, however the elevated south end gives it a slightly different feel – it’s an anchoring point that enhances the overall look of the structure,” says Dickson. Freestanding white shade canopies in the public areas have a distinctive aerodynamic form that is also fitting for the location. They are designed to deflect the strong wind off the harbour while providing privacy, both for people on the wharf and for residents in the apartments above. The salt-laden winds were a key factor in the design and choice of materials throughout the

Preceding pages:Moored yachts enliven the view on the west side of the building. Above:The white “prow” of the building and the shade canopies below are designed to deflect the wind on the exposed northern end of the building. Right:Because there is public pedestrian access right around the wharf, privacy concerns have been addressed in several ways. The shade canopies provide privacy from above and below for both visitors and residents. There are also fixed louvres on the side walls of the end apartments for added privacy.

Left:Cedar-lined soffits bring a natural warm look to the apartments. In some places, the cedar extends through to the interior. All the materials used on the exterior – from the cladding to the handrails and bolts – were chosen to resist the long-term effects of the salt-laden winds. Below left and centre:Space has been maximised in all the apartments, with services concealed within bulkheads where required. Below right:Clyde Quay Wharf incorporates a number of shared amenities for residents, including this luxury theatre.

development. Materials and colours were also selected to highlight the forms along the building’s length – providing variation and articulation while still allowing it to read as a cohesive structure. “The white colour of the prow at the north end of the wharf allows this element to appear light and floating, while materials in the central hull accentuate modulation through the body, and the south end reads quite separately,” says Dickson. Pre-weathered zinc clads the large fin-like elements on the side of the building – it was chosen for its durability and consistency of finish. Natural aluminium was also used for the roofing. Concrete edge beams were left exposed where possible, and the team also specified aluminium window systems with a white, powdercoated, extra heavy-duty coating system, stainless steel handrails, and cedar wood soffits. Wherever possible, items were salvaged from the old building and wharf, including the original spire, which has been conserved and mounted on the centre of the new building. Several large mosaic artworks and a long-forgotten world clock have also found a new home in the building. And hardwood timber from some of the old piles now features in the fishing jetty at the end of the wharf. The interior architecture was influenced by both the location and the need to keep to height restric-

tions. Dickson says Athfield Architects worked closely with other consultants during the design phase to co-ordinate the building form, apartment layouts, structure and services to ensure floor areas and ceiling heights within the apartments and tenancies were maximised. “We also created eight separate lift and stair cores down the length of the building, which enabled many apartments to run the full width, with exposure to views in both the east and west.” Colours and materials on the interior reference the views out to the sea, shoreline and sky. The carpets in the shared spaces, designed by Dilana and Custom Carpets NZ, reflect marine and coastal elements. A sense of warmth was also created by extending the cedar timber soffits through into the apartment interiors – this is another detail carried over from the original building. Athfield Architects says the success can be attributed to a great team effort, notably the close collaboration between all parties, including Willis Bond & Co, the main contractor LT McGuinness and other consultants. Mark McGuinness also says the completed building has succeeded on every level, creating a vibrant and exciting urban precinct where residents and visitors alike can enjoy the very best that Wellington has to offer.

Developer:Willis Bond & Co, Level 2, 5 Cable St, Wellington 6011, phone (04) 805 0000 Email: Architect:Athfield Architects Limited, PO Box 3364, Wellington 6140, phone (04) 499 1727 Email:

Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel

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HIGH EXPOSURE Clyde Quay Wharf’s exposed location determined the choice of durable VM Zinc cladding from Wakefield Metals Wellington Harbour is renowned for its strong winds, and the Clyde Quay Wharf development needed to be able to withstand both the force of gale-force winds and the constant battering of salt-laden sea spray. VM Zinc, a specialist in high-quality rolled zinc for cladding and roofing applications, was commissioned to come up with a suitable cladding solution for the project. The company says it worked closely with local engineers, and utilised the skills and experience of the design team at Aquaheat Classic Metal – the firm is a recommended installer of VM Zinc products, which are distributed in New Zealand by Wakefield Metals. The team specified Pigmento Brown zinc. This features on the external wall cladding and soffits. Pigmento Brown zinc is particularly well suited to a marine environment, and the colour blends well with the surrounding material finishes. VM Zinc says a bespoke interlocking panel


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system was required, as the project called for an engineered panel that was larger and thicker than standard to meet the wind loads – the gauge of this zinc is 1.2mm. “The curved panels at the bottom of the western facade were another tricky design element, which required a specially designed structural fixing system. Aquaheat Classic Metal, which also fabricated and installed all the zinc cladding, was able to accommodate these custom designs and provide the precision work skills required for a highend project of this nature.” For details, contact Wakefield Metals, Private Bag 92918, Onehunga, Auckland 1643, phone (09) 633 0301. Email: Or visit the websites: and

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Above:VM Zinc features on the external cladding and soffits at Clyde Quay Wharf. The preweathered Pigmento Brown zinc was supplied by New Zealand distributor Wakefield Metals, and fabricated and installed by Aquaheat Classic Metal. Wakefield Metals has premises in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

FRAMING THE VIEW To weather the climate extremes and salt-laden winds off the harbour, the Clyde Quay Wharf development features APL Vantage aluminium joinery

Good views invariably come with strong breezes and a wharf location is no exception. So it’s not surprising that durability was a key consideration for the door and window joinery selected for the Clyde Quay Wharf development. The specifiers chose APL Vantage aluminium joinery from the Architectural Suite, supplied and installed by Wight Aluminium. This joinery is particularly well suited to homes and apartments where size and strength are priorities. Doors and windows are designed to meet the tough weatherresistance requirements of specific building environments. Doors can be over 2.7m, depending on the wind exposure. The Clyde Quay Wharf joinery features a Dulux Fluoroset® powdercoating in the colours Pewter Pearl and Electric Cow. This is a fluoropolymer product designed specifically for applications where colour and gloss retention are critical. Aesthetics were a key factor, says Wight Aluminium director Murray Wight. “The APL Architectural Series profiles reflect contemporary preferences for clean-lined, flush surfaces, continuous sightlines and square-edged forms,” he says. “The various products have been designed with aesthetic unity in mind – doors and windows have a similar look and line, so a seamless co-ordinated appearance is achieved.” For details, contact Wight Aluminium, PO Box 4101, Wanganui 4541, phone (06) 345 3195. Email: Or visit the website: Or contact Architectural Profiles, PO Box 10080, Hamilton 3241, phone (07) 849 2113. Email: Alternatively, visit the website:

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Above:APL Vantage aluminium joinery from Wight Aluminium was specified for the Clyde Quay Wharf development in Wellington.

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SMOOTH RIDE With eight separate lift cores, access to apartments at Clyde Quay Wharf is easy. It’s also a smooth, quiet ride to the top, with the latest lift technology from Otis.

High-end apartment developments require high-end vertical transport solutions with the very latest smart technology. To meet this requirement for the Clyde Quay Wharf apartments on the Wellington waterfront, Otis Elevator Company supplied and installed nine Otis Gen2™ elevators. These lifts use belt technology in place of ropes. With no lubrication required, they provide a particularly quiet, smooth ride. Otis says the elevators are also an energy-efficient option – they have regenerative drives that provide power savings. Otis installed a Remote Elevator Monitoring System (REM) to help maintain equipment reliability – Otis says this system is like having a technician checking out your lift 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The REM system allows the company to identify potential problems remotely, and in many cases Otis can attend to these before any breakdown, or before the tenant knows there is an issue. To maintain reliability of lift communications at all times, REM carries out frequent voice checks. The company also provides the Otis Elite™ Service for elevators at Clyde Quay Wharf. In addition to Otis-trained field technicians, remote engineers are on hand 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday. These engineers specialise in remote technology diagnostics, and in many cases can restore a lift back to service more quickly than sending a technician. If a technician is required on site, they know exactly where to start, thanks to the REM technology feedback. For more details, contact Otis Elevator Company Limited, PO Box 25, Shortland Street, Auckland 1140, phone (09) 259 6200. Email: Website:

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Above:Otis Elevators supplied and maintains nine Otis Gen2™ elevators in the Clyde Quay Wharf development.


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C O N S T R U C T I O N 路 R E F U R B I S H M E N T 路 F I T- O U T

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IMPROVING THE OUTLOOK Establishing prescriptive frameworks for developing the Auckland city waterfront is the key to sustainable urban regeneration, says Auckland Waterfront CEO John Dalzell


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Left and below:Auckland Waterfront chief executive John Dalzell says the organisation’s progressive approach toward urban regeneration has seen Wynyard Quarter win three international awards.

Auckland is known as the City of Sails and the city is, in many ways, defined by its harbours and water-based activities. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the waterfront is held incredibly close to many Aucklanders’ hearts. And with the CBD located right on the water’s edge, the waterfront deserves particular attention and creative thinking to realise its potential as a key social, environmental and economic component of the city. Waterfront Auckland recognises that we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform the city by regenerating this strategically important area in a holistic, complementary and sustainable way. To meet this goal, we have established a number of frameworks, in consultation with our local communities. These ensure that we have clearly defined outcomes that we aim to achieve with the help of key partners, including the property industry. Right from the outset, Waterfront Auckland has believed that all of us involved in the process need to challenge ourselves and the way we have traditionally approached urban development. By being very clear about our outcomes, in particular the need to create vibrant, diverse and sustainable urban communities, we have completely inverted the normal developer focus. Traditionally, such outcomes are secondary to profits. But we have thrust them to the fore. These outcomes need to be the focus of every development. We are targeting developers who share our vision – those who want to be part of an exciting

future creating sustainable, liveable and lively urban communities. Land trade-offs for smart precinct initiatives We see these outcomes as a minimum standard, and are prepared to make trade-offs if the market chooses to innovate and go beyond our established framework. For example, we anticipate trading off land value for smart precinct initiatives that achieve these objectives and show a good cost-benefit ratio. This is something Waterfront Auckland is currently evaluating. If we are comfortable with a proposal, we form a special partnership with a developer whereby we share the risk and the reward. As shown to date with the developers engaged for a mixed-use development on a 3.5ha site in the centre of Wynyard Quarter, this means we share in the success and receive incremental returns, rather than a single, one-off payment for the purchase of the land. Such partnerships are rare in other countries, not just in New Zealand. In fact one would struggle to find any examples of this in Australia. We studied global best practice and visited Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK, USA and Canada, and it became clear we are pioneering a new vision for urban regeneration. We can see that adapting this approach sits well in this operating environment. To progress such an initiative with a developer there needs to be a broad alignment on philosophy. We look for partners who agree on the bigger issues, which have a cascade effect – every

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decision right down to the small details is based on achieving those key outcomes. Waterfront Auckland has been challenged on its framework, with some people suggesting we are “too prescriptive”. But we are already talking to developers and getting alignment on our philosophies and principles. And the resulting proposals we are seeing go way beyond our prescribed minimum standards, which is incredibly exciting. Innovative approach rewarded In the eight years since it was established, Waterfront Auckland has earned a reputation for innovation – it has never just been “business as usual”. We were one of the first organisations in the country to adopt integrated reporting, which identifies our capital – our environment, assets, intellectual capital, people and relationships – and takes an holistic overview of our business, carefully analysing how we do what we do. Our emphasis on creating vibrant, sustainable, mixed-use communities is reflected in the success of the Wynyard Quarter development, which has won three international awards recently. The two most recent awards, announced at the end of September, include the Rosa Barba International Landscape Prize. This was presented to our landscape architects on the project, Taylor


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Cullity and Lethlean (Melbourne) and Wraight and Associates (Wellington and Auckland) at the International Biennial of Landscape Architecture in Barcelona. Wynyard Quarter also won the Best Waterfront Project Award at the International Society of City and Regional Planning congress held in Gynia, Poland. All of the judges in these awards have noted the successful way the existing industrial elements on the waterfront have been retained, and how these businesses engage the public and contribute to the success of the thriving urban community. None of these awards has occurred by accident. A lot of careful thought went into establishing the physical and social infrastructure necessary to create such a community. And the success can be also be attributed to the “buy-in” of everyone involved, from the board and shareholders to our precursor agency Sea + City and Auckland Council. The challenge now is to sustain this momentum and incorporate the approach that has been so successful in Wynyard Quarter into the revitalisation of the rest of the public parts of the waterfront and city centre.

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Below and lower right:Opening up the waterfront while retaining key industries has been a major focus for Waterfront Auckland. Right:Already a bustling mecca for locals and visitors alike, Wynyard Quarter is now set to benefit from further expansion. A framework for new developments, including apartment buildings, has been established and Waterfront Auckland is currently looking at proposals.

Project Centennial Centre St Cuthbert’s College

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Architect: Architectus with Architecture HDT

TO GOOD HEALTH The design of this new sports, health and student support centre for a girls’ school reflects an holistic approach to education, and a similarly integrated architectural response

It’s only natural that a school campus will grow in stages as student numbers rise, new courses are introduced and old facilities replaced. But it can be challenging for design teams looking for a successful integration between the new and existing buildings. St Cuthbert’s College in Auckland addressed the potential problem by commissioning Architectus to develop a master plan that would provide a framework for the future development of the campus. The architecture firm was already familiar with the site, having designed the college’s multi-award winning Performing Arts Centre, completed in 2011. Architectus architect Damian McKeown says the new framework for St Cuthbert’s College was also established to guide refurbishment and landscaping works that may be undertaken alongside the new-build projects. The development of this framework led to the commission for Architectus to design the new St Cuthbert’s Centennial Centre for Wellbeing. The


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centre needed to accommodate the Margaret Beale Aquatic Centre, with its 25-long pool, 15m learners’ pool and spectator seating, a fitness centre, sports office, health education facility and the Beattie Centre student support centre. McKeown says the brief was both challenging and innovative. And in light of the specific technical issues presented by the pool component, the firm invited Architecture HDT to work alongside Architectus. “The brief went well beyond just constructing a swimming facility,” he says. “It considered physical wellbeing and sporting endeavour in a wide context that incorporates the college’s social and pastoral care roles. These centre on the wellbeing of the whole student.” The architect says the position of the Centennial Centre activates a previously under-utilised part of the college campus. “One of the most important objectives was to knit the new building into the existing context of the

Below:The new St Cuthbert’s Centennial Centre for Wellbeing, designed by Architectus with Architecture HDT, incorporates a large pool and fitness complex, with a completely glazed lower level. Right:Kingspan panels wrap around the top of the pool building. The glazing helps to articulate the function of this part of the centre and provides a strong visual connection between the new and existing buildings on campus. Below right:The Beattie Centre within the Centennial Centre is purpose built for student support programmes designed to encourage “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.

gymnasium, outdoor courts and playing fields, to create what is essentially a wellbeing precinct. The material selections, including the white brickwork of the support centre, are sympathetic to the nearby college buildings. But we also used contrasting materials to define elements that are clearly specialised in their function, hence the use of Kingspan panels for the pool building. “Scale was also critical. The Centennial Centre building is organised around three volumes – the wellness centre, pool complex and ancillary and spectator spaces. Each of these relates to the scale of the nearby college buildings.” McKeown says the team ensured that the organisational make-up of the building was carried through clearly in the finished work. “From a design perspective, it’s the clear articulation of the building and how it is used that makes it successful. The Beattie Centre for Wellbeing, for example, is a discrete and legible element. We also gave a lot of consideration to how glazing could be employed to achieve this for


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the pool – by allowing views both in and out, and by visually linking the building with its context. The glazing creates enhanced social and visual connections between players, occupants, spectators and staff both within and around the project.” One entire double-height end wall of the pool building is glazed, and there are glass doors and walls along both sides. When viewed from the courts, the upper level appears to float above the transparent base. On the inside, a glazed wall on the upper level provides views of the pool to students working out in the fitness centre. And there are glazed walls between the main pool and learners’ pool. Laminated timbers also feature – 34m-long glulaminated beams support the roof of the complex, while the western elevation features glulaminated fins. “These function as sunscreens that are needed for the late afternoon sun,” says McKeown. “They manage both glare and heat gain, and provide privacy for the centre and neighbouring buildings.

Below:Now you see it, now you don’t. A moveable floor covers a large section of the pool in the Margaret Beale Aquatic Centre. It can be raised to lower the depth of the water for water sports, or raised to create a platform that sits on top of the water. Right:Spectator seating and the fitness centre occupy the upper levels around the side and end of the pool. The roof is supported by 34m-long glulaminated beams.

Left:Glazed walls allow a view of the pool activities from the fitness centre above. Lower left and below:Sliding doors open out to a deck on the upper level of the pool complex. The large glulaminated timber fins provide sun control, minimising glare and direct sunlight in the late afternoon. Below right:A crisp interior palette of timber and glass features throughout the centre. In the reception, classrooms and support centres, it is enlivened with colourful furniture accents. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel

They also offer opportunities for students, staff and visitors to occupy the exterior deck space on this level in a number of different ways.” The latest technology was incorporated right throughout the centre, including hydraulic and mechanical services. The main pool features a moveable floor that can be raised to lower the depth of the water to cater to sports such as water polo, one of the college’s fastest growing sports. The floor level can even be raised to create a platform resting on top of the water. The pool was also designed and built in accordance with the requirements of FINA, the international governing body for water sports – it can be used for official time and record keeping. For the reception area, classrooms and student support rooms, design consistency was key. “Following discussions with the college we established an overarching and consistent framework for the interior design of the centre that could be tuned to suit the different social and physical

activities within the building,” says McKeown. “This approach determined that the work and counselling spaces in the Beattie Centre would employ timber and glass, with a bright colour palette for the furniture. We needed to create an environment that would be both welcoming and comfortable, and also provide privacy. “The aesthetic adopted for the pool area uses similar materials, with timber, glass and bright coloured steel, chosen to reflect the more physical activities in and around the pool.” For St Cuthbert’s College, the Centennial Centre is fulfilling its proposed holistic role, encouraging every student to reach her potential, with “a strong mind in a healthy body”.

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FOR THE RECORD Precision construction of the St Cuthbert’s Centennial Centre for Wellbeing by Dominion Constructors ensures the pool meets FINA record-keeping standards

Left:The St Cuthbert’s Centennial Centre for Wellbeing was built by Dominion Constructors. In addition to the main pool and training pool, the complex incorporates classrooms, a fitness centre, student support centre, health education centre and sports office. Below:Spectator seating is elevated – the acoustics were designed to minimise the noise normally associated with indoor pools. Below right:The 34m-long laminated beams over the main pool were manufactured locally. Their installation required close collaboration between riggers, crane drivers and builders.

A tight timeframe and challenging logistics are to be expected in a school construction project. But the St Cuthbert’s Centennial Centre for Wellbeing project added an extra challenge for the main contractor Dominion Constructors – the pool had to meet the official standards of FINA, the international governing body for water sports. Dominion Constructors site manager Trevor Mould says accuracy was critical to the construction. Preset dimensional tolerances needed to be adhered to so the pool can be used for official time and record keeping. “There were other significant factors to take into account,” Mould says. “This was a major construction project, which also included a learners’ pool, fitness centre, student support centre, health education centre and sports office. It was a very busy operational environment with residential neighbours. Deliveries were restricted to school hours only. And the programming had to accommodate international deliveries and ensure these were on time.” The stainless steel gutter and filtration systems for the pool were imported from the United States, and the moveable fibreglass pool floor came from Germany.

“The floor was installed by a small team who came from Germany,” says Mould. “There are two motors in the basement that turn a spindle, like a screwjack, which jacks the floor up to the required height. Small gaps in the floor allow the water to flow through, so the displacement is relatively easy.” Mould says the installation of the extra-long 34m glue-laminated roof beams in the centre was another logistical challenge. It involved special road access permits to get the beams on site, and a lot of collaboration was required between riggers, crane drivers and builders. “The entire build needed to keep to a very tight timeframe, so each phase could proceed on time. The concrete pour, for example, need to happen in stages. Because concrete shrinks, we had to pour sections in a chequerboard pattern, and wait seven days for these to cure, before proceeding. This has ensured we have delivered a completely waterproof pool interior that meets all the FINA regulations.” For more details, contact Dominion Constructors. Email: Or visit the website:

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IN THE NEWS In the past few months there have several firsts for the Christchurch rebuild. Here’s a summary of some of the more significant developments

Knox Church – good for another 100 years

Design for world-class family playground

Work to restore the Knox Presbyterian Church in central Christchurch will see it meet 100% of the Building Code, and hopefully stand for another 100 years. Wilkie and Bruce Architects director, Alun Wilkie, says Aurecon has designed a resilient structure, with a thick raft foundation, new lightweight cladding and post-tensioned buttresses; all of which will allow the structure to flex in a major earthquake before returning to its original position. “I think some people may struggle with the fusion of new and old, but that is a by-product of the earthquakes. They have decimated the exterior to a point where it had to be rebuilt, but the interior is being retained. It’s a wonderful story of how a surviving heritage interior can be rebuilt for another 100 years.” Source: Future Christchurch

Climbing towers connected by bridges, a 4m-wide slide and a double flying fox will be among the exciting features of the planned new inner-city Christchurch playground. A consortium led by Opus has worked with CERA, the Christchurch City Council, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and the playground equipment supplier PlayRope in coming up with the playground design. The ideas of local children were also gathered through the Amazing Place competition, and the stories of prominent authors Margaret Mahy and Elsie Locke, and those of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, are also drawn on in the design. The playground will take up about 1ha of a 2.5ha block bounded by the Ōtākaro/Avon River and Manchester, Madras and Armagh streets. It will include a café and amenities block. Source: Future Christchurch


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NZ-Italian team win village design contest A partnership between a dynamic young Christchurch building company and an award-winning Italian architecture firm has been named as the winner of the Breathe – New Urban Village design competition. The entry from the Holloway Team, led by Riccarton-based Holloway Builders with architects Anselmi Attiani Architettura and engineers Cresco, both from Italy, was hailed by judges as well-designed and structurally innovative, as well as an affordable and sustainable option. The brief for the project was for teams to come up with a financially viable benchmark design for 21st-century inner-city living, offering an exceptional quality of life. The winning partnership, subject to finance, will now be able to build and market the development on the 8,149m2 site on the corner

of Madras and Gloucester Streets, opposite Latimer Square, in central Christchurch. The village will include 72 timber-clad dwellings combining medium-rise apartment blocks with two- and three-storey housing. It will incorporate cutting-edge seismic-resistance techniques known as Amadillo™, which is both earthquake resilient and offers a fast way of re-levelling and stabilising dwellings post-earthquake to allow re-occupation. The innovative Pres-Lam construction technology – developed in New Zealand – is being considered as part of the lightweight, sustainable structural solution. Breathe is an Anchor Project, as listed in the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. Source: Future Christchurch.

New bus interchange – concrete slab poured The largest continuous concrete pour to take place since the earthquakes marks a significant milestone in the city’s rebuild, as work gets underway on the new Christchurch bus interchange. After developing a detailed design brief mid 2013 Architectus and Aurecon are now working to deliver this key anchor project. The design of the bus interchange is guided by four principles: urban integration, customer comfort, operational excellence and value. Operational from winter 2015, it will be a place for people, not just buses, and will use state-of-the-art technology to make buses as efficient as possible. Sustainable and futureproofed, the facility will be able to cater for up to 70,000 passengers per day by 2041.

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Project Anderson Lloyd House, Christchurch

Owner: Amherst Properties

Architect: Fourfoursixsix Weirwalker Architecture

LEADING BY EXAMPLE One of the first of the post-earthquake new builds in the Christchurch CBD, Anderson Lloyd House has a solid, anchored presence and a sense of gravitas

Change is inevitable when a city CBD is rebuilt virtually from scratch. But it’s the innovative architectural solutions that are turning heads in Christchurch as the first of the new buildings come on stream. Anderson Lloyd House, owned by Amherst Properties, is one of the first of the new office buildings to arise in the CBD – it replaces two buildings at 70 and 72 Gloucester Street that needed to be demolished following the 2011 earthquake. Managing director Lindsay O’Donnell says the company required a significant building that would have a substantial point of difference from other architectural forms that have emerged post quake. “We wanted a building that would convey a sense of extreme solidity,” he says. “It also needed to maximise the site in terms of lettable areas, and it needed to be future-proofed against other new

buildings that may arise on the adjoining sites. In that respect, this is more like a greenfields site – it’s a blank canvas for developers.” Architect Tim Ridd of FourFourSixSix, the international firm that provided the concept design, says the project provided a perfect opportunity to invigorate commercial architecture in the CBD. “Prior to the earthquake there seems to have been a period of apathy in terms of design. There wasn’t a lot happening and rents had softened and stagnated. We could see this project could be part of a core nucleus of exciting new buildings.” The design team chose to contrast stereotypical glazed curtain wall high-rise office buildings, with a more solid-looking structure. “We felt the building needed to project a certain amount of gravitas and weight,” says Ridd. “It needed to be solid, so it could relate to the scale

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of the civic buildings that remained. The nearby Centre of Contemporary Art building, with its Brutalist architecture, was also an inspiration. But while we wanted this building to have a similarly strong presence, it couldn’t be too austere.” The subsequent architecture reflects these design influences. The project, which was documented, delivered and project managed by local firm Weirwalker Architecture, presents a solid, square-framed, Cubist-style building clad in Alpolic composite aluminium-plastic panels in Galaxy Black. The panels have a metallic finish and a clear coating that gives the building a reflective high-end finish and a crisp look. “We broke the cladding into thinner profile panels to avoid the more standardised module

sizes of composite panel systems of this type, thus maintaining the scheme’s overall bespoke feel,” says Ridd. To reinforce the black form of the projecting framework, Weirwalker, in conjunction with Fourfoursixsix, proposed a cassette format with negative detailing. This allows the fixings to be concealed, so the strong forms, not the finer detail, are read – this makes the box shapes pop a little more. On one side, these box elements appear to stack one behind the other – an effect created by 4.4m deep recesses in the upper levels, which form light wells. These light wells break up the overall massing of the building and future-proof the provision of light in the building, taking into account any future development on the adjacent site.

Below left:A timber batten ceiling conceals services in the lobby of Anderson Lloyd House and defines the through circulation. This neutral zone, available to all tenants, is equipped with comfortable seating and a table. Lower left:Greenery reinforces the eco-friendly design of the Anderson Lloyd office. Right and following pages A textural timber wall and ceiling create a welcoming reception area in the Anderson Lloyd office. Lighting strips enhance the warm glow of the wood. This fit-out was designed, project managed and constructed by Unispace under design director Sarah Langford.


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Michael Doig of Ganellen, the company that was contracted to undertake both the design management and construction of the building, says the recesses also perform a structural function, breaking up the eastern elevation. “This enables the building to move more easily in the event of an earthquake,” he says. “As the height of the building increases, there is a need for greater flexibility and ductility.” At the first-floor level, the composite aluminium cladding is perforated to ventilate the car parking facilities behind. The lighter look of the perforated cladding contrasts the substantial look of the box forms above. But the solidity is not just about the way the building looks – it’s also about the way it has been built. Structural engineering firm Lewis Bradford designed the building to IL3 level, which is 130% of the National Building Standard. “We purposely over-specified the required strengthening,” says Lindsay O’Donnell. “It was a commercial decision that we feel will pay off – and in fact Lewis Bradford is now a key tenant,


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along with legal firm Anderson Lloyd and the Mediterranean Shipping Company.” Michael Doig says all parties involved in the design and construction wanted to ensure the best structural outcome for the site. “This is a highly efficient, highly engineered building with a concrete and steel-framed structure and a very robust CFA pile ground improvement system. This brings strength to the upper layer of soil that can be prone to liquefaction. The building foundations are not physically connected to the piles, which are shallow and numerous. These small piles are topped with a layer of compacted aggregate, and a concrete slab. The hard fill spreads the load over the entire site, so in the event of an earthquake there is no single point of weakness.” Similar attention to detail has gone into the office fit-outs, starting with the entry lobby. “Right from the outset we wanted to make this a specialist building, with the lobby an extension of the occupied areas,” says O’Donnell. “We have equipped it with comfortable seating and a high table, so it functions as a neutral touch-down

Below:Folded powdercoated aluminium panels reference shipping containers in the reception area of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) offices. Right:The offices, designed by Weirwalker Architecture, also feature curved elements that recall the curve of a wave. LED lighting highlights the intersecting forms. Lower right:This corridor snakes its way through the office, providing a sense of anticipation – it is impossible to see what lies beyond until you turn the corner.

zone. People are more transient today – they can sit down with a take-away coffee and a laptop, or meet visitors.” The lobby, designed by FourFourSixSix, features a suspended timber batten ceiling. This defines the circulation route, and also hides services. Weirwalker Architecture designed the fit-out for the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC). “The reception area features sinuous curved elements that reference ocean waves,” says Weir. “We continued these down the passage, which helps to lead you through the space. Because the corridor has a curve you can’t see what follows, so it generates an air of anticipation. LED strip lighting gives the corridor a visual lift. Textural wallpaper also enlivens the circulation area, and contrasts the smooth painted Gib board on the other side.” Other shipping references include folded aluminium panels behind the reception desk, which

recall the form of a shipping container. The office also reflects a focus on employees and staff retention. There is a café-style breakout area and a large outdoor terrace for staff. In the work areas, cedar screens help to provide a sense of enclosure and minimise distractions. The joinery was built by MWF Manufacturing, a specialist in the design and manufacture of joinery for commercial and residential applications. “MWF worked on the base building joinery and the MSC fit-out,” says Michael Doig. “Much of this work was bespoke and the company went out of its way to ensure it was of an exceptionally high standard. The MSC fit-out provided a few challenges with the different curved elements, but the end result cannot be faulted. We have taken future clients through the floor to demonstrate what can be achieved. Everyone is proud of every aspect of this building, for good reason.”

Owner:Amherst Properties, 28B Moorhouse Ave, Christchurch, phone (03) 377 4958 Email: Concept architect:Fourfoursixsix, 43 St John Street London EC1M 4AN, phone (+44) 207 323 2060 Email: Design documentation, project management: Robert Weir, Weirwalker Architecture, 138 Bristol St, Merivale, Christchurch, phone (03) 355 6012 Email: Main contractor:Ganellen, Level 7, Press House, 158 Gloucester St, Christchurch, phone (03) 377 3373 Email: Interior joinery:MWF Manufacturing, Unit 3, 11 March Place, Belfast, Christchurch 8051, phone (03) 365 6218 Email:

Anderson Lloyd fit-out design, project management and construction:Unispace, 3 Paragon Pl, Sockburn, Christchurch 8042, phone (03) 344 0608 and 7 Waokauri Pl, Mangere, Auckland 2022, phone (09) 255 4111


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Below left:Cedar screens help to separate workstations in the MSC office. Architect Robert Weir says they also help to minimise distractions, yet allow employees to glimpse what’s happening elsewhere in the office. Below:Similar screens feature in the staff breakout area. All the joinery in the office was built by MWF Manufacturing. Story by Colleen Hawkes Photography by Jamie Cobel


Green ProPerty Summit 2015 Save the date - thursday 26 march 2015 The Green Property Summit is New Zealand’s foremost green property event. Now in its fifth year, the successful partnership between Property Council New Zealand and the New Zealand Green Building Council delivers valuable information on building sustainability and education to New Zealand’s property industry. GPS15 is a one-day event that brings expertise from the global and local industry, offering unparalleled insights and updates on the latest knowledge and practice. It also provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading industry professionals. DAte thursday 26 march 2015 Venue Crowne Plaza Auckland Keynote Jeffrey homes - director of Woods Bagot, New York Further details to soon be released, visit

eVent SPonSor

ContACt uS! Property Council New Zealand +64 9 373 3086 | | New Zealand Green Building Council +64 9 379 3996 | |

works of art you can walk on Design by Mr Christian Lacroix


0800 377 753

SOLID STANDING Weatherproof, sustainable and energy efficient, brickwork and related products from NZ Brick Distributors offer a refined, durable aesthetic

In a world where speed and novelty can overshadow traditional building values, brickwork will always evoke an air of solidity and permanence. Once offered in traditional red, contemporary bricks are now available in an array of colours, textures and sizes to suit every commercial application. NZ Brick Distributors (NZBD) was formed in 2013, as a joint venture between two of Australasia’s largest building product manufacturers, says marketing manager Thomas Mitchell. “Today, we have a nationwide presence and carry an extensive range of bricks, lightweight cladding panels, natural stone and paving product. “While brick has been around for hundreds of years, advanced brands, such as Monier and Austral, offer many pluses for contemporary projects. Modern bricks are low maintenance and cost effective, with excellent thermal properties. In addition, they are manufactured in an array of colours that range from Heritage Monier in classic red, to the bold Austral Distinction Series.” NZBD’s many stone and wall-panel solutions also offer eye-catching architectural possibilities. “Designer Series is fast becoming one of our most popular cladding options and is easy to install,” says Mitchell. “The system consists of pre-finished cement-bonded fibrous wood particle panels. Surfaces available include the ultra-modern Smooth, Textured, and Urban.” Designa Schist and Designa Basalt, both from Austral Bricks, bring the textural appeal of stone to a project, without the usual issue of installation time. Again, NZBD has a comprehensive selection. For details, contact NZ Brick Distributors, phone 0800 274 257. Email: Website:

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Above:From bold patterns to classic brickwork and lightweight prefinished wall panels, nationwide NZBD carries a range of options.


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SMART THINKING Is your workplace enabling productivity? Mark Grant of Jones Lang LaSalle discusses a new approach to office design based on value generation

With the Auckland and Wellington office markets experiencing some of the lowest vacancy rates ever recorded, it’s no secret that occupiers are turning to workplace strategy to find the key to making the most efficient use of their space and to improve productivity. Prime vacancy has reached its lowest point ever in the 26-year history of the office vacancy survey carried out by real estate consultancy JLL. Mark Grant, JLL national director of markets, says with such a critical shortage in prime office space and limited new supply in the short term, New Zealand businesses are embracing the international trend toward implementing a successful workplace strategy. “Workplace strategy used to be a buzz word, but in the current market it’s a practical reality,” Grant says. “It is becoming the norm, not the exception, with more than 72% of companies now looking for workplace productivity.”


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Grant says a successful workplace strategy not only helps companies reduce their occupancy costs and space requirements, but 61% of companies now look to their workplace to increase employee productivity, satisfaction and retention. This creates a culture ready to adapt to future business evolutions. “We are seeing the workplace strategy trend in corporates who are implementing more efficient space solutions to combat a business expansion when the cost of moving is prohibitive or, in the case of Auckland, where there are no available alternatives.” Resilience essential Grant says resilience in a changing economic climate is required, and business agility provides significant competitive advantage. A workplace strategy that accommodates tighter budgets, a shifting workforce and other occupancy challenges

Above:Mark Grant, Jones Lang LaSalle national director of markets, says New Zealanders are embracing the international trend towards implementing a workplace strategy to maximise productivity. Below:The award-winning ASB North Wharf building on the Auckland waterfront reflects the new thinking that is transforming modern office interiors. Right:Sky bridges and open stairways increase opportunities for staff interaction at ASB.

will better enable a company to meet short- and long-term business objectives. “In New Zealand’s current market, the success of workplace strategies all too often comes down to crude calculations of reduced cost per square metre or increased utilisation rates. This does not come as a surprise since there is often an absence of a clear link between workplace strategy and value generation. Many companies struggle to define how to otherwise measure the success of these initiatives.” Su Lim, JLL’s Asia Pacific’s head of strategic workplace services, recently travelled to New Zealand from Singapore to convey her expert advice to companies who wanted to optimise their space for efficiency and effectiveness. “Focusing purely on cost can easily lead to missed opportunities for productivity improvement, such as better, smarter, more innovative and faster solution development,” she says. “It is unrealistic to


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say that cost is not important, but a sole focus on cost could hinder your organisation from supporting actual business needs.” Does your workplace support the highest value activities? JLL says many firms are investing heavily in workplace strategies that are better designed to support the work that their people do. However, what some companies are failing to consider is whether or not the work their employees are doing is actually the work that will create the most value for the organisation. A recent poll undertaken by JLL reveals a staggering disconnect, with 74% of respondents saying that thinking, talking and brainstorming create the most value for an organisation, while only 24% are spending most of their time on these high-value activities. Creative collaboration, concentrated work and face-to-face interactions

Below:Brightly coloured meeting areas and a range of open, semi-private and private spaces provide plenty of collaborative areas for employees at the new ASB North Wharf offices.

Below:Lively office interiors that offer diverse workplace settings enhance productivity and help with employee retention. The ASB North Wharf offices were designed to achieve such goals.

have been identified as the activities that create the most value for organisations. One size does not fit all Current strategies around flexible, mobile or collaborative working are sometimes a one-sizefits-all approach. JLL proposes a new approach that starts with considering which work processes create value for your organisation and clients, and then designing a workplace strategy that best supports them. An approach that is structured around what makes your company successful will deliver results that far exceed cost savings, provide measurable outcomes in the areas that really matter for your business, and boost the bottom line. Value is created when a business can support all types of work in the right way. Grant says many offices are not equipped to facilitate the required balance of focused and collaborative work. Providing a workplace that

enables your staff to spend more time on the activities that create value for your business will often better enhance productivity than squeezing in more people or optimising utilisation rates. “Companies should assess the impact of workplace transformation projects based on value generation. This means developing a deep understanding of the clients and what they need or expect from your business, which ultimately determines the success of your organisation. By directly linking the workplace to your business performance and client experience, a wide range of new metrics becomes available, allowing your organisation to move away from the limiting, cost-centric conversation, and engage in the value side of the workplace productivity equation.�

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These contemporary office fit-outs offer every technological and ergonomic advantage – but top of every list is utilising the power of the team

Project Aurecon House

Location: Melbourne

Interior designer: Geyer

GREEN AND GLOBAL The fit-out of the Melbourne headquarters of Aurecon celebrates the company’s international stature and reflects its core strengths

Contemporary offices offer every business advantage, from high-tech tools to sustainable features that improve natural light and indoor air quality. However, as social animals we’re always at our best with a sense of common purpose, and that can be reinforced simply by bold wall graphics or encouraging staff to pass through other work areas en route to their own. Mechanical engineering giant Aurecon recently opened its new head office in Aurecon House in


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Melbourne. The fit-out is an excellent example of a corporate strategy reflected in the geography of the workplace. Aurecon House attracted a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia for the base build and Aurecon targeted a similar rating for its office interiors on levels four to nine, says interior designer Sue Solly of Geyer. “Besides reflecting a sustainable agenda, part of Aurecon’s own stock in trade, the project had to demonstrate the company’s global reach to staff

Preceding pages and these pages:A wide staircase in the centre of the new Aurecon head office encourages staff interaction between floors. It also optimises light flow through the offices.

Facing page:The wide stair posed a potential fire risk. Aurecon created an innovative smoke suppression system using the building’s advanced in-floor air conditioning. Below Geographically themed floors reinforce the company’s global reach and are intended to appeal to workers, clients and visitors alike. In some areas ceilings are stripped out, to highlight Aurecon’s role as a thought-leader in mechanical workplace engineering. The resulting exposed base concrete is acoustically treated.

and visitors,” Solly says. “The reworked interiors also had to bring a sense of togetherness to the 700 staff who had been accommodated over ten floors in their previous address.” Geyer’s fit-out brings to life Aurecon’s brand and business aims – to be leading, vibrant and global. Integral to the design is a wide new central stairway that provides a pedestrian link and vertical views between all five floors. This offers a visually inviting and healthy means of moving between floors. To further encourage movement between the levels, facilities are decentralised. For example, printing is on level six and training rooms on level five. There is also an open-air terrace on level five, which overlooks adjacent parklands. These destinations ensure staff move through the interior, reinforcing a commonality of purpose. “This project is very much about connections,”

says Solly. “A series of pavilions with meeting rooms and quiet spaces is set off the stairway at each level. The stair is also close to the elevators. On level five, a terrace provides a venue for social gatherings with views of the nearby park.” Aurecon’s brand colours, blue and green, are highly visible on all floors, can be seen through the stairwell, from above and below. And every level has its own geographical theme displayed in wall graphics and decor, each one showcasing an area of operation for the world-wide company. Asia, Africa and Australasia are some examples, with wood slats on the Asia level and perforated screens on the Middle Eastern-themed floor evoking the area and culture. The uppermost eighth floor, however, has an encompassing international theme. While workers can travel by elevator directly to their own floor, visitors arrive at this top floor and

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These pages:Support columns were all moved away from the windows at the planning stage to optimise views and natural light on work desks. The wood veneer boardroom on the eighth floor is called the Best Room in the House, and is a showcase for Aurecon’s advanced technical prowess. This uppermost level is the first port of call for visitors, who then move down through the offices via the central stair. Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Shannon McGrath

either remain on that level or are escorted down the staircase to their specific area of contact – passing the company’s branding and international themes along the way. “We decided to strip out the ceilings in some areas, too, as another way of expressing the company’s commercial engineering expertise,” says Solly. “The top floor has a high-tech boardroom, called The Best Room in the House. And it does indeed have the very latest technologies to hand, with interactive displays, connectivity and other business tools.” Having the naming tenant as the mechanical engineer proved invaluable to the project. Early in the piece, Aurecon and Geyer moved the columns away from the facade to maximise the views from workstations and the natural light. Aurecon also reconfigured plant requirements on the top floor, freeing up additional office space to the benefit of its own business and the developer. With the wider stairwell came increased fire

risks. In response, Aurecon’s fire, mechanical and structural teams developed a solution that takes advantage of existing under-floor air conditioning system to extract and contain smoke. In pursuit of the high Green Star interiors rating, Geyer chose all finishings, furniture and fittings for their sustainable attributes. To provide natural ventilation, there are operable perimeter windows, and there is a localised air conditioning flow that far exceeds code requirements. Other green factors include fully automated energy-efficient lighting, a fuzzy-logic lift calling system and reflective window blinds to control heat and glare. Rainwater is reused for toilet flushing. Connected, lively, and exuding global identity, the fit-out grows company pride and performance.

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Project McCann Worldgroup

Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Architect and interior designer DWP

INSPIRING CREATIVITY Presented with a challenging floor plate, DWP has designed a light-filled workplace and a collaborative environment that is energising and fun for staff


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These pages:The entrance and reception area at the new McCann Worldgroup Bangkok offices are designed to draw the visitor into the premises to start the creative journey. To achieve this, architect and interior designer DWP has used strong lines and combinations of materials to reinforce the pathway through reception, past a display of industry awards and on to the main meeting room.

When a commercial lease expires, it’s often an opportune time to reassess whether the existing premises really work for a business. And if not, to start afresh somewhere else. That was the path McCann Worldgroup took occupying seven floors in a stand-alone building in a less than ideal part of Bangkok for six years. But while the move to one-and-a-half floors in Sathorn Square meant a much more attractive building in a good location, it presented a different set of challenges for the interior designer team at DWP. Regional business development director Sarinrath Kamolratanapiboon, who provided creative direction, says the floor plate was narrow, and

had a very large central services core. The columns around the perimeter had also been designed for a traditional commercial interior, whereby managers had an office with a view, and the interior space around the core was allocated to staff. “On level 25, we wanted an open plan with as much daylight as possible for staff,” says Kamolratanapiboon. “So we placed offices for the directors along the core, and managers have desks, but not enclosed offices, around the perimeter.” This allowed managers to face and view their teams, who were accommodated at workstation configurations of six within the space available on each side of the core.

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Left:The boardroom table features a blue, backpainted glass table. Lower left:The CEO’s office is the only partitioned work area in the 2808m2 fitout. Below and following pages: This central pod is one of two collaboration areas that staff encounter as they walk into the office from the lift lobby.

The result is that all the staff are seated in areas that are filled with natural light. That’s consistent with one of the goals McCann Bangkok CEO Monica White had for the new premises. “They needed to provide a functional and highly creative environment, but it also had to be a place where people would feel comfortable and relaxed,” she says. “I wanted open space with natural light, because natural light energises people.” The space planning also needed to encourage collaboration between staff. It had to be easy for staff to come together as a team, generate ideas and be interactive. The solution includes two collaboration zones that are the first areas the staff encounter as they

walk out of the level 25 lift lobby. One of these is semiformal with a meeting table and chairs, while the other has more informal seating. Both feature accents in red, one of McCann’s corporate colours. The old offices didn’t have a canteen, something that has been addressed in the Social Centre in the new interior. This large area not only has kitchen and eating facilities, but also encourages staff to feel at home, with TV and games, lounge-style furnishings and warm timber flooring. In keeping with McCann philosophy, White says the planning process was very collaborative and involved staff. “One of the requests was for a music room,” she says. “So we have a soundproofed room next to

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Left and lower left:One of the aims of the fit-out was to provide an environment that would not only inspire creativity but also would help staff relax and feel at home. The Social Centre meets this aim, providing places to eat, watch TV and play games. Lower right:The narrow floor space and the large central core were particular challenges that DWP had to overcome. Staff are accommodated on the full floor plate on level 25, while reception and meeting rooms are on the half floor McCann occupies on level 26.

the Social Centre where people can play guitars and drums during breaks.” While the staff are accommodated on the full floor plate on level 25, visitors arrive at reception on level 26, where McCann occupies a half floor. Sarinrath Kamolratanapiboon says the design on this level represents another McCann corporate aim – to take clients on a journey. “The entrance is cave-like, with the brightness of reception beyond drawing you inside,” she says. “Patterns on the floor, ceiling and walls help give a sense of a journey along a pathway.” The most obvious of these is the wall that starts at reception and runs along the passageway leading to a selection of meeting rooms and the boardroom. This wall again uses McCann’s red and black corporate colours, and displays the agency’s extensive collection of industry awards.

The reception area also incorporates McCann’s 100-year-old credo, ‘Truth Well Told’, which recurs throughout the interior. And the meeting room names reflect aspects of the agency’s history – one is called HK McCann after the company’s founder. In a quirky touch, McCann suggested DWP insert the front of a tuk-tuk into the wall at the end of the circulation path to represent the client journey and acknowledge Thai culture. White says she sees real benefits from the move to these new premises. “Staff are much happier and in a much more creative and stimulating environment. They’re more like one team, working and socialising together.”

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Project NEC New Zealand

Location: Wellington

Interior designer: Custance

OUTSIDE THE SQUARE Innovative thinking has transformed the offices of a leading software developer, and unified a previously disconnected workplace – in more ways than one


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Below:A suspended pod within an open floorplate – this interactive zone in the redesigned NEC offices disguises an awkward interface where three separate building structures, on three different axes, come together.

Many businesses plan a move when they feel their current premises no longer reflect their culture or the way they work. But sometimes, when the existing location is ideal, the best option is a total office makeover. NEC, a leading provider of communication networks and IT solutions, took this approach for its Wellington head office. NEC chief financial officer Peter Davies says the company had been at the same location in Taranaki St for 10 years and had grown significantly over this time, spreading over the top two floors. “We inherited the existing office decor, which was very generic and didn’t say anything about NEC and who we were,” he says. “Employees were quite isolated and accommodated in closed-off cubicles, which was not conducive to collaboration and idea sharing.” Jonathan Custance of Custance, the interior design consultancy commissioned to redesign the office interior, says there was a lot of wasted space over the two floors, and no view corridors, which made orientation difficult. In addition, the reception area, by the lifts, was buried in the middle of the building with no views. Davies says the decision to upgrade the NEC premises supported a renewed push back into the New Zealand market, and a desire to raise the company’s profile. “We wanted an inspiring workplace, which would be unique to NEC – an innovation centre that would reflect who we are and what we do.” Custance says the project was complicated by the fact that the 1500m2 floorplate was spread over three separate, unaligned buildings, with each structure on a different axis. “This presented multiple design challenges, including colliding grids, expansion joints and a plethora of inconvenient columns doubling up on the building perimeters,” he says. Custance’s solution was to disguise these

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structural limitations in a variety of ways. “At the point at which the three building grids collide, we introduced a fourth grid – a structural overlay that conceals most of this awkward interface. We have turned a negative into a positive by creating a stimulating interactive zone right in the centre of the office.” The zone is defined by a cork floor, which is echoed by a suspended timber ceiling. Negative detailing between the timber panels on the ceiling is painted black and punctuated by lights, services and seismic joints. Custance says the interactive zone is a focal meeting point for employees and clients. It also provides a showcase for new NEC technology. This technology engages employees and visitors right from the entry, near the lift, where an NEC facial recognition security system welcomes newcomers. The system opens glass sliding doors to let people into the office. “There is no reception desk,” the designer says. “Visitors to the office are welcomed within the interactive zone, and can be taken through to the adjoining meeting rooms, if required, which occupy the corner of the building with the best views.” Virtually all of the large columns are disguised.


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While some of these are absorbed into the fit-out, with whiteboards mounted on either side, others are wrapped in curved opal acrylic screens, which are illuminated from within. “The design simplifies the space,” Custance says. “The problem with the columns and the separate buildings has been dissolved – and this now reads as a single building.” The sensuous 3-D form of the acrylic screens is repeated in the shape of the colourful seating that wraps around these partitions, and in the ribbonlike graphics on the glass walls. “Essentially, we neutralised the space with a monochromatic shell for the base build,” says the designer. “We then layered this with different textural surfaces, varying degrees of opaqueness, technology-inspired art, bold colour accents and whimsical furniture to reinforce an element of surprise. These are not NEC corporate colours – we always like an interior to be a supporting backdrop, so the logo remains the jewel in the crown.” The design team also introduced view shafts right through the office, and ensured these are not interrupted by partitions. No matter where they are in the office, employees can see out through a window to the view beyond.

Below:The office was redesigned to provide view shafts from every corner. The interactive zone, in the centre of the plan, is not only a meet-andgreet area for visitors, but also a breakout area for staff. Right:Entry to the office is via an NEC facial recognitition security system. Below right:A ribbon of cabinetry wraps around one wall near the entry, providing a display area and a set-down space for courier parcels. The acrylic screen behind conceals a large column. The narrow vertical strip of light beyond the purple seat illuminates the negative detailing of a seismic junction between two of the buildings – again disguising the functionality.


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Below:Acrylic panels also conceal double columns within the interactive zone. This area incorporates a kitchen, and is a showcase for NEC technology.

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Left:Staff workstations are positioned along benches. Other work areas include high counters, high tables with bar stools, and small meeting tables.

Custance says employees have a variety of places where they can work, including high counters and collaborative areas. There is also a separate computer-modelling room. The design features workstations positioned along benches, rather than in separate cubicles, which saves considerable space – to the extent that the entire workforce is now consolidated on a single floor. “We actually have more people working here than before and we have room for expansion, so it is a much more cost-effective arrangement,” says Davies. “We have also noticed an improvement in 86

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productivity and staff retention. And the employees appreciate the abundance of natural light, which was one of their original requests when we first sought their opinions on the new office design.”

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Below:The pristine environments at myTrends are delivered by commercial cleaners Cleancorp.

SPOTLESS AGENDA The offices of global content provider myTrends are welcoming for clients and staff – Cleancorp delivers the professional cleaning that makes every surface shine Engaging a commercial cleaning firm is all about trust – trust that all confidential business is safe, and trust that the premises will be spick and span to greet staff and clients every single day. Cleancorp provides dependable, well-received commercial cleaning services throughout the Auckland region, says business manager Alan Hewitt. “We are a large company, soon expanding nationwide, and have all the equipment to hand for any job, big or small. Our professional, responsible staff are highly trained, and extensively vetted.” The company follows best cleaning practices

and uses only non-toxic, biodegradable products for a greener, healthier indoor environment. myTrends office manager Louise Messer says that Cleancorp delivers work environments to an exacting degree of cleanliness and finish every day. “From front-of-house and work desks to meeting rooms, kitchen and toilets – everything shines.” For details, contact Cleancorp, phone 0800 422 677. Or visit the website:

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SPACE ECONOMICS Understanding the economic potential of good landscape design in the public realm is critical to urban development, says Michael Hawes of Boffa Miskell

The words public space and public realm are often interchanged, although in truth they are not exactly the same. When we think of public space, we tend to imagine parks and plazas, waterfronts and markets, but not the in-between spaces – the streets, laneways, terraces, courtyards, views and even car parks – that link up the larger spaces connecting our cities. This entirety of outdoor spaces is the public realm, and although the specifics vary, creating this congenial shared precinct is what has shaped human settlements since the first cities were built. The range of opportunities the public realm offers for achieving value is as diverse as its context, landscape and community. Much of this added value, environmental or community-based, is visible and relatively easy to evaluate. Less so is the economic value added to projects through good landscape and public realm design. This is evident in public commentary on public


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space projects. This normally speaks to the more subjective ‘beautification’ aspects of public realm upgrades or public space improvements associated with commercial projects, because this is the easier-to-evaluate outcome of the project. These beautification aspects will contribute to the popularity and identity of a project; initially adding value indirectly to the associated commercial offerings via increased customer footfall. However they are probably the most easily achieved aspects and can be the quickest to date. This may be fine for quick wins or highly managed and constantly evolving urban environments with the luxury of long-term single leadership and ownership. But such an approach is not ‘structural’ or sustainable urban transformation in the long term. This needs to be able to support a range of known and future businesses without periodic reinvention. Achieving greater economic potential from our urban infrastructure is a key outcome in supporting

Above:Boffa Miskell associate director Michael Hawes discusses how good landscape design can contribute to the ongoing economic success of an urban precinct. Below left:The Federal Street upgrade by Boffa Miskell provides a lively shared space precinct, whereby vehicles and pedestrians share the laneway. Below and right:The Fort Street and Fort Lane upgrades in the Auckland CBD have also stimulated the area – Auckland Council says there has been a 47% increase in consumer spending, with a massive 429% increase in hospitality spending. Photography on these pages by Claire Hamilton

the intensification and sustainable growth of the urban environment. Landscape architects are leading the urban renaissance of our public realm. The strategic and multi-levelled approach to design, inherent in our training and thinking as landscape architects and urban designers, lends itself well to creating opportunities to add value. A multi-levelled approach to design, with the diverse engagement of all parties is critical. Understanding the needs of the community and businesses, and a flexible approach to meeting these needs, allows for current and future aspirations and economic opportunities. For successful public spaces, these economic drivers also need to take into account transport, services, ecological and environmental aspects; and a respect for the heritage, culture and the character of each place. There will also be statutory requirements, the strategic goals and policies of city plans; and the need for beautification. All of this requires a


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thorough design process – one that considers all diverse aspects and needs, and one that results in intelligent landscape and public realm transformations. Such projects will not only enhance the physical environment, meet the needs of the community and promote diversity of urban life, but also do more to support business beyond increasing the passing potential-customer numbers. There are numerous examples that demonstrate the real economic value that high-quality public space can add to a development and the surrounding properties and businesses. This is not just through the beautification and increased footfall, but also through the social value, health and wellbeing factors, proximity to – and provision of – certain amenities, and more broadly, the way a development can change the face of an area, allowing people to see new opportunities and potential. Recent work by Auckland Council on its CBD shared-space streets has included pre-works

Below left:The O’Connell Street shared space in the Auckland CBD is another urban landscape project by Boffa Miskell that has transformed a narrow streetscape. Below:Other figures to emerge from a post-completion evaluation of the Fort Street Area Upgrade show that pedestrian numbers during peak hours have increased by 54%. More than 90% of users were complimentary about the concept of the shared space, where vehicles and pedestrians share the laneways.

surveys and post-completion evaluations. These seek to provide perception accounts as well as factual data on the transformational effects of the public realm upgrades that resulted from a highly engaged and multi-levelled approach to the formation and delivery of the designs. The following data comes from the post-completion evaluation and feedback on the first stage of the Fort Street Area Upgrade. • 75% of property owners saw value in being located near or adjacent to a shared space • 47% increase in consumer spending with a 429% increase in hospitality spending in this previously seedy part of the city centre • Servicing the area is easier – 75% of agents found it easier to make their deliveries in the shared space environment • Vehicle volumes decreased by more than 25%. • Average vehicle speeds have dropped between 2-8km per hour

• Drivers were experiencing only minimal delays to journey times (6-11 seconds) by travelling through the shared space, but 100% of drivers thought their journey through the area took the same time as or less than before • 80% of those surveyed felt safer in the area now than they did previously, especially at night • 91% of users were highly complimentary about the Fort Street area in 2011 following the upgrade compared with 17% of users in 2009 • 96% of users would continue to visit the Fort Street area and half of these said they would visit more often • More people are now using Fort Street and Fort Lane. Pedestrian numbers during peak hours have increased by 54%. Over 19,700 people move through the shared space area daily

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Two quite different projects have one thing in common – they both evoke a sense of recreation and escape

Project Matisse Beach Club

Location: Perth, WA

Architect: Oldfield Knott Architects

MIAMI VICE Bold, bright and a fun place to be, this beachside club combines the look of colourful Brighton beach huts with the razzmatazz of a South Florida resort

Preceding pages, left and lower right:The outdoor area of the Matisse Beach Club in Perth, by Oldfield Knott Architects, comprises a central pool area and an adjacent covered outdoor space where a curved day bed doubles as a DJ stage at night. Right:The row of jaunty cabanas is set higher than the pool, to allow for an underground garage.

Hospitality can be a fickle business, with the success of a venue riding solely on the impressions its most avid promoters or detractors – the guests. One way to ensure a broad, ongoing appeal for a project is to draw on popular cultural themes and at the same time create an individual sense of place. For the Matisse Beach Club in Western Australia, the owner’s brief to architect Frank Iemma and interior designer Jenlin Chia of Oldfield Knott Architects was very much along these lines. Sean Reid wanted to evoke the lively, vibrant feeling of a Miami beach poolside club but with a local touch. The idea was to create a unique entertainment experience for guests, not simply a bright decor, says Iemma. Built on a long, narrow strip across the road from the beach, the site of a famous old band hall, The Lookout, the 2000m2 venue has two environments. There is an indoor bar, dining and party space, complete with a meeting room; together with an outdoor party arena – centred on a pool – with a covered space at one end. This indoor-outdoor area overlooks the pool and is backed by a row of


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tinted operable glazing looking the other way, out to the street and the beach beyond. The windows are angled to mitigate onshore winds, and the space evokes the prow of an ocean liner. As well as roomy bench seating, this sheltered area includes a day bed that doubles as a DJ platform when night falls and the club’s main rival – the beach itself – is in darkness. Along with the blue pool and mature palms brought in from the United States, the most eye-catching feature is the row of six colourful poolside cabanas or seating booths. These are an abstracted, playful version of the historic Australian beach huts on Victoria’s Brighton Beach. A dramatic use of colour and light is central to the Matisse Beach Club experience. Not only are the six huts decorated with LED strip lighting, there are also matching bands of colour running down from each cabana across the wood deck and on into the pool. In addition, colour-changing lights glow through the laser-cut, aluminium-panel street facade and adorn the coffered ceilings indoors.

Below:Indoor bathing – these beach hut-style dining booths echo the six cabanas outside.


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Left:An internal bar area can be walled off with bifolding doors to double as a quiet meeting room. Patterned vinyl wallpaper adds to the vibe and is easy to clean. Lower left:Giant skylights flood light into the heart of the interior. Below:Centre of attention – a dramatic ceiling treatment signals the location of the bar. Story by Charles Moxham Photography by Joe Barbitta

The cabana theme is continued indoors, with six similar booths in bright colours, and two bench-size versions for larger groups. The angular lines of the huts are picked up in the geometric furniture, and in the white sculpted heads that double as tables in the bar area and poolside. Adding to the lively aesthetic, a zigzag carpet pattern and a ceramic tile, in a complementary herringbone layout, cover most of the floor. The tile has the casual look of weathered timbers, appropriate to the seaside location. Sculptural ceiling treatments contribute to the playful, beachy vibe too, their fluid lines calling to mind the waves and shoreline. A dropped waveform slatted ceiling signals the bar service space, and skylights draw in natural light in key areas. Despite its recreational feel, the venue caters to a business clientele as well. There are three main indoor areas, the bar, the dining area and a second bar space that can be enclosed with bifolding doors and used as a private, soundproof function room. This has its own decorative pool, separate from but in direct alignment with the open-air pool, offering

another clearly visible indoor-outdoor connection. The Matisse Beach Club’s location had an influence on the choice of materials, too. Besides the durable, non-slip floor tiles, compressed fibre cement weatherboards were specified to combine good looks with durability – a must in the potentially damaging salt-laden air. Tinted, angled windows mitigate glare from the sand and ocean, and motorised sashless windows moderate onshore sea breezes. “Alive with LED lights, blue water reflections, swaying palms and sculptural cabanas, the club captures both the spirit of a Miami resort and Brighton Beach’s own slice of Australian seaside culture,” says Iemma. “At the same time, the entertainment venue has a presence all of its own.”

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Project Westin Singapore

Location: Singapore

Interior designer: FBEYE International

MODERN-DAY OASIS Back in town after more than a decade, The Westin Singapore hotel has announced its return with a bold, sumptuous interior designed to address the wellbeing of all guests

Every business needs a point of difference, and the same applies to hotels. Some groups opt for signature themes and branding that shouts a message at every turn, while others, like the Westin, take a more individual, holistic approach. For the new Westin Singapore, it was all about creating a modern oasis where guests can relax, de-stress and rejuvenate. Lance J Ourednik, general manager of The Westin Singapore, says the design needed to showcase the Westin concept of “wellness and finding a work-life balance”. “Westin hotels are about wellbeing and renewal, and for this reason, our hotel interiors are inspired by nature,” Ourednik says. “Our spaces are designed to provide guests with an intuitive feeling of home, with all of the conveniences and comforts


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they need to maintain a healthy balance of work and pleasure. Elements of wellbeing are crafted into modern, uncluttered schemes – colours are harmonious, subtle and rich, while materials are sustainable, textural and refined.” Interior design firm FBEYE International was commissioned to design the interior of The Westin Singapore. Managing director Warren Foster-Brown says that while this hotel needed to reinforce the overriding holistic concepts behind every Westin hotel, it was also important that it referenced Singapore’s unique landscape and culture – in a dramatic way. “The hotel’s location, on the top 15 floors of Asia Square Tower 2, is spectacular. It was important that the five-star interior of the hotel with the highest

Below:The design of the new Westin Singapore hotel was influenced by both the natural landscape and the cultural heritage of the country. The Sky Lobby at Level 32 includes a suspended sculpture and lighting panels that reference a lotus flower. The same motif appears in many areas of the hotel. The lift buttons are positioned on traditional handcrafted Chinese cabinets featuring Peranakan ceramics. Right:Occupying the top floors of a new office tower, The Westin Singapore features a rooftop swimming pool on Level 35.

lobby in Singapore be equally spectacular, while still imparting a strong sense of harmony and serenity,” he says. Right from the entry, there are clear Singapore influences. “We introduced an exploded lotus flower motif, that is repeated throughout the hotel,” says FosterBrown. “It’s visible in the decorative lighting and panelling in the lobby on Level 32, and a suspended sculptural centrepiece above the central podium on this floor. Nature also appears in the leaf patterns on the lift doors and custom carpets.” Elements of Singapore’s cultural heritage influenced the design of the elevator buttons. These are discreetly incorporated into handcrafted Chinese cabinets featuring colourful Peranakan pots and ceramics. “All the artworks, by local artists, were also inspired by nature,” says Ourednik. “They feature vibrant colours that reflect the tropical temperature of the city.” In keeping with the nature theme, the drop-off lobby has a vertical botanical garden, with a


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collection of mosses, plants and stones to enhance the sense of arrival and serenity. Ourednik says vertical gardens feature in all Westin hotels, and were specified by Westin’s in-house design team led by Erin Hoover, vice-president of design. ““Hoover was inspired by research conducted by NASA scientists who discovered that growing plants indoors relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, enhances mental stamina and elevates moods. Plants also help to clean the air.” Further drama is created by the height of the drop-off lobby – it soars over three levels. “The other public areas are equally eye-catching,” says Foster-Brown. “The Lobby Lounge, for example, is a ‘see and be seen’ lounge where guests can perch with a martini, hold an impromptu meeting, or just sit back and enjoy the view.” Special features of the bar include a solid suar timber bar top, backlit glass columns, and a curved freestanding wall with coloured glass bricks and a decorative bottle display. The chandeliers incorporate illuminated crystal decanters made in Prague, and spotlights for each table.

Below left:A vertical garden is a key feature of the drop-off lobby on the ground floor. Below and right:The Lobby Lounge on Level 32 is a glamorous bar and lounge featuring backlit glass columns, crystal decanter chandeliers and a decorative bottle wall of coloured glass bricks. Floor-toceiling windows maximise the spectacular views. Below right:The Cook and Brew bar was inspired by English and New York bars – it has more than 100 different beers on the menu. Materials include metal grillwork on the bar front and an unfinished recycled timber floor.

These pages:A more refined palette features in the Seasonal Tastes restaurant (below), the executive lounge (lower), which has an onyx travertine wall, and grand ballroom (right).


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Left:Serenity is an overriding theme for all the guest suites, including the Presidential Suite shown here. Lower left:The Westin Singapore has extensive day spa facilities. Treatment rooms maximise the wide views. Below:With its infinity edge, the rooftop pool appears to merge with the horizon.

“Other lounges have a softer ambience. The Westin Executive Club, for example, epitomises the Westin look, with its pastel-toned club chairs and beautiful onyx travertine panels. “Virtually every aspect of the interior was custom designed and manufactured for the hotel, including the huge light fixtures suspended from the barrel vault ceiling in the grand ballroom. These feature three different glass tubes, in milky white, bronzegold and clear glass. They are all illuminated with LED lighting.” Foster-Brown says no expense was spared for the spa facilities at the hotel, which continue the refined, understated look. These incorporate carved screens, wood pedestal basins and luxurious glass mosaic tiling. Guest rooms have a similarly refined palette, designed to make guests feel at ease. Sustainability also influenced the design, with the Westin choosing eco-friendly options for both exterior and interior finishes and products. “Our goal is to help our guests reconnect with nature, and eco-friendly materials and products are part of this,” says Ourednik. “On Levels 38 and 39 there are 56 green rooms, which are equipped to

monitor and track energy consumption levels via a meter on the in-room IPTV system. We have found that the average energy consumption level for the green zone is 20% lower.” Guests staying in the green zone are encouraged to participate in the energy reduction drive by conserving the use of energy. For every guest who maintains energy consumption levels within a prescribed green zone, The Westin Singapore donates US$1 per stay to UNICEF. The Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ partnership with UNICEF has raised more than $25 million since 1995. “Sustainability is part of our holistic philosophy – it fits with our desire to promote wellbeing and a healthy work-life balance,” says Ourednik.

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index 2B Designed 64-71 Access Hardware 6-15 Acco Engineering Company 72-79 Aecom 6-15 Ahus GJ Walker 64-71 Akzo Nobel Paints 72-79 Alucobond 6-15 Amherst Properties 44-52 Anderson Lloyd 44-52 APL Vantage aluminium joinery 16-23, 25 Applico 3 Aquaheat Classic Metal 16-21, 24 Archifact 16-23 Architecture HDT 32-37 Architectus 32-37 ASB North Wharf 60-63 Asurco 6-15 Athfield Architects Limited 16-23 Atlam Designers Laminates 92-99 Auckland Waterfront 28-31 Aurecon 6-15, 16-23, 64-71 Austex 92-99 Australian Recycled Timber 64-71 Backhouse 80-86 Barrisol Les Translucides 92-99 Beca 16-23, 32-37 Boffa Miskell 88-91 Boyac 92-99 BQH 32-37 Buckingham Redevelopment Co 92-99 Charles Heath Industries 6-15 Chia, Jenlin 92-99 Christie Flooring 16-23 City Plan Services 6-15 Clean Corp 87 Clyde Quay Wharf 16-23 Contrac-Image Trading 100-107 Corporate Culture 64-71 Custance 80-86 Custance, Jonathan 80-86 Daikin 64-71 Dalzell, John 28-31 DDS Contracts &

Interior Solutions 100-107 Decora Art & Colour 100-107 Denton Corker Marshall 100-107 Design Objectives 100-107 Dickson, Ian 16-23 Doig, Michael 44-52 Dominion Constructors 32-37, 38-39 Dulux 64-71, 80-86, 92-99 Dunning Thornton Consulting 16-23 DWP 72-79 Eagle Lighting 64-71 Echopanel 64-71 Ekowood 16-23 Empire Glass and Glazing 6-15 Engrave Acrylic; fibre cement Stratum Cladding System 92-99 Euroglass 32-37, 64-71 Exodus Doors 6-15 FBEYE International 100-107 Ferndale Furniture 80-86 Fisher & Paykel 80-86 Fletcher Systems 80-86 Floorspace 80-86 Formica 72-79 FourFourSixSix 44-52 Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp 6-15 Fromental 100-107 Ganellen 44-52 Geyer 64-71 Gibbon Group 80-86 Glennon Tiles 6-15 Goodrich Wallcoverings 100-107 Grant, Mark 60-63 Green Building Council of Australia 6-15 Grocon 6-15 Gunnersens 64-71 Häfele 72-79 Hallmark 16-23 Hawes, Michael 88-91 Herman Miller 80-86 Holmes Fire & Safety 16-23

Hourhub 100-107 Humanscale Asia Pacific 100-107 Hussl 64-71 Hydrostyle 100-107 Iemma, Frank 92-99 Image Commercial 80-86 Inex 92-99 Inlite 64-71 Insitu 64-71 Insol 16-23 Instyle 92-99 Interface 64-71 Interstudio 64-71 ISPT 6-15 Jacaranda 64-71 Jacobsen Creative Surfaces 82-88 Jardan 64-71 JL Williams 64-71 JML Engineered Facades 6-15 Johnson Tiles 64-71 Jones Lang LaSalle 60-63, 72-79 JSB Lighting 64-71 Kamolratanapiboon, Sarinrath 72-79 Kasbah Moroccan Imports 64-71 Kiwi Roofing 32-37 Kitchen Things IFC-1 Kohler Co Kitchen & Bath Group 100-107 L&E Lighting 72-79 Laminex 64-71 Lamitak 72-79 Lamptitude 72-79 Langford, Sarah 44-52 LaSalle Investment Management 6-15 Lend Lease 64-71 Lewis Bradford 44-52 Liberty Place 6-15 Living Edge 64-71 Locker Group 64-71 LT McGuinness 16-23, 27 Made Contracting 6-15 Mark Tuckey 64-71 Marshall Day 16-23, 33-37

Matisse Beach Club 92-99 Merquip 5 McCann Worldgroup 72-79 McCorkindale, Alan 80-86 McGuinness, Mark 16-23 McKeown, Damian 32-37 McPeake, Sean 6-15 Mediterranean Shipping Company 44-52 Metalbilt Doors 16-23 Miele 16-23 Million Lighting 100-107 Modwood 92-99 Morrison, Julia 80-86 Mould, Trevor 38-39 MWF Manufacturing 44-52 NEC New Zealand 80-86 Norman Disney Young 80-86 NZ Brick Distributors 56-57 NZ Fire Protection 80-86 O’Donnell, Lindsay 44-52 Oldfield Knott Architects 92-99 Otis Elevator Company 16-23, 26 Page, Alex 80-86 Perfect Light 72-79 Permasteelisa 6-15 Prestige Joinery 6-15 Proform 92-99 PSL 80-86 RawFire 6-15 Ridd, Tim 44-52 Rider Levett Bucknall 64-70 Rowelight 80-86 Rus, Lisa 64-71 Saba Bros Tiling 6-15 Santhorn Square 72-79 Schiavello workstations 64-71 SEF Group 100-107 Shellbay Stones 6-15 Solly, Sue 64-71 Sopers MacIndoe 16-23 Spaccatore, David 64-71 Space Furniture 64-71 Spencer Holmes 16-23 Spice Digital 92-99

St Cuthbert’s College 32-37 Starflex from Union property 72-29 Stonrich 100-107 Stresscrete 16-23, 32-37 Stylecraft 64-71, 100-107 Symonite 32-37 Taksu Singapore 100-107 Temperature Design 64-71 Thailand Carpet Manufacturing Co 72-79 The GPT Group 6-15 The Westin Singapore 100-107 Thermosash 32-37 Thonet 64-71 Timothy Oulton 100-107 Tolix 64-71 Toshiba 92-99 Triangle Fire Protection 32-37 UFL 80-86 Unifor 64-71 Unison 80-86 Unispace 44-52 Urban Perspectives 16-23 Vertilux Euroscreen 64-71 Viridian 16-23, 92-99 VK Decoration Company 72-79 VM Zinc 16-23, 24 W Atelier 100-107 Wakefield Metals 16-23, 24 Watermark Signs 80-86 Wattyl 92-99 Weir, Robert 44-52 WeirWalker Architects 44-52 Wight Aluminium 16-23, 25 Wilkhahn 64-71 Willis Bond & Co 16-23 World of Wood 100-107 Gallery T 100-107 Woven Image 64-71 WT Partnership 80-86 Zenith Interiors 64-71

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