Principal Announcement - Neil Christopher

April 4, 2016: News

Neil Christopher appointed Principal of Wellington studio.

Principal Announcement - Neil Christopher
“We are delighted to announce Neil as principal. With such relevant and important Trans-Tasman experience, he will quickly become a leader in nurturing the talent in our rapidly expanding workplace team.” Ralph Roberts

Warren and Mahoney is pleased to announce the appointment of  Neil Christopher as Principal based in our Wellington studio.

Neil Christopher has relocated from Australia to take up his position. He will focus on workplace strategy and interior design and be instrumental in leading and developing team capability and growth.

Born in Wales, Christopher holds a Bachelor of Interior Architecture with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales. His first degree was in theatre, with a subsequent career in acting and arts management. His transition from arts to architecture combines his interest in business and management with a passion for design, while maintaining links to a creative industry.

Christopher has 14 years’ experience working on commercial, governmental and tertiary education design projects for significant clients across Australia, Europe and New Zealand.  He specialises in implementing national design standards, co-ordinating concurrent projects for multi-site clients and creating activity based working (ABW) environments.

“Although we have an acronym for that now, it’s really just a back-to-the-future strategy that I liken to moving from class to class with your schoolbag at secondary school,” Christopher explains. “In a nutshell, it’s about crafting a flexible environment that allows people the opportunity to work in different places for specific tasks.”

His significant achievements include the 14,000m² national fit-out for Hewlett Packard across three locations in Australia, the development of a new workplace strategy for Mercedes-Benz Australia Pacific and the workplace design for the soon-to-be-completed Camden City Council’s Administration offices and Chambers in Sydney. “The planning and design of that workplace not only influenced the base architecture but is innovative in that it will invite members of the public to actually watch the council at work,” says Christopher.

Locally he has previously collaborated with Warren and Mahoney on workplace schemes for Deloitte in Auckland, Wellington’s Asteron/Guardian Trust and the Spark buildings in both cities. “My role is to listen to my clients’ requirements and to assist strategic and design-led solutions that interpret this outcome. I thrive on creating places that people will enjoy being in for eight or nine hours of their day. I believe that workplace strategy and design is a very strong component of personal and professional growth.”

At the Spark buildings in Auckland and Wellington, Warren and Mahoney, in partnership with Geyer, designed atriums that allow the public to permeate the building, which provided the communications service provider a closer connection to the wider populace. “It’s no longer about designing ivory-tower monuments to prosperity, but an architecture and workplace interior that is for the people. It’s exciting to be able to create places that can change the perception of a business or organisation,” says Christopher who will divide his time between Warren and Mahoney studios in Sydney and Wellington.

In addition to his workplace experience, Christopher has significant expertise in the design and delivery of leading Teaching and Learning facilities, Hospitality and Public/Civic projects.

Christopher has been long involved in the integration and alignment of educational pedagogies to contemporary learning spaces and is particularly interested in the benefits of collaborative research where industry and education meet.  His experience has been across large scale library projects (Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide), university and building master planning (Macquarie University) and industry partnerships (Cochlear/Macquarie University).

When working within the public realm, Christopher has enjoyed the design of public spaces such as the new Oran Park Administration Centre in South Western Sydney, a home for Sydney’s newest and fastest growing community where the civic facilities (shop front, council chambers, and public meeting rooms) are created to emphasise inclusion and the sharing of public space within a community. Similarly, he is experienced in the interface for civic and public facilities such as the new ACT Government Civic centre in Gungahlin, ACT; refurbishments of court / justice precincts at Hornsby and Penrith in Sydney; the refurbishment of the library at the High Court of Australia (Canberra), and public spaces at the Reserve Bank of Australia (Canberra).

It is however in the hospitality and leisure space that Christopher has been able to utilise the full gamut of design. Where once hospitality was simply about rooms and restaurants, he is enjoying the change and relishes in the design of environments that cater to travellers that seek a wider experience – technology, ease of use, business, learning and of course leisure. Working with operators to make full use of their assets and capture a potentially wider customer base is exciting. Relevant projects include: Stamford Plaza Melbourne, Starin Apartment Hotel Sydney, Coogee Bay Hotel, Graphic Arts Club Sydney, QT Hotel Canberra and Wests Illawarra Wollongong.

Christopher is looking forward to working alongside new and older colleagues at Warren and Mahoney to see a real growth in the interiors discipline across all sectors.

Ralph Roberts, Regional Principal in the Wellington office, said that this appointment would build on the company’s reputation for delivering innovative, intelligent workplace strategy and design. “We are delighted to announce Neil as principal. With such relevant and important Trans-Tasman experience, he will quickly become a leader in nurturing the talent in our rapidly expanding workplace team.”