Warren and Mahoney has been recognised for its leading workplace design with a second consecutive Good Design Award for its re-imagining of the workspace of one of New Zealand’s oldest established law practices.
This wasn’t just a design project, it was a cultural transformation project. Gary McDiarmid, Russell McVeagh CEO
Warren and Mahoney has been recognised for its leading workplace design with a second consecutive Good Design Award for Architectural Design: Interior Design for its re-imagining of the workspace of one of New Zealand’s oldest established law practices.
Russell McVeagh’s Auckland office occupies three and a half levels of Shortland Street’s Vero Centre, and in 2016 the firm teamed up with Warren and Mahoney to transition the space to an open-plan, agile environment to accommodate the new wave of lawyers entering the market.
The 2018 Good Design Awards jury commented on Warren and Mahoney’s award saying “The workspace is agile, and of a discerning design quality intent on attracting and retaining the brightest legal minds in New Zealand. The space is anchored by a bold, curated social hub underpinning wellbeing at the heart of the project.”
Project Principal Scott Compton says that the new workspace challenges the conventional approach to legal workplace design.
“This space is all about the aspiring lawyer. The world of law has moved on; status is foregone for a more democratic, open and agile
operation where Douglas Fir and open vistas replace mahogany desks and the ‘partner’ office,” says Compton.
The new workspace has no defined hierarchy, as all employees, legal or support, have access to light, 360-degree views of Auckland Harbour and City, and flexible workstations.
Russell McVeagh CEO Gary McDiarmid says that the interior refurbishment of approximately 3000sqm has created a more modern, dynamic workplace with greater connectivity, both physically and digitally.
“This wasn’t just a design project, it was a cultural transformation project, taking the firm from a cellular office environment to a fully open plan environment. The perception of a rigid, old school law firm is now shattered – we are now open, collaborative, flexible and mobile,” says McDiarmid.
A key design element of the new space is a large central hub and common area, complete with an open atrium, sculptural stair, and high
The project’s design language of curved built form helps create a sense of seamless transition from space to space, and a restrained material palette enhances natural light and creates a high-quality, timeless feel.
“A bright, light palette in the workspace provides a spaciousness with small villages of open plan teams adjacent to fluid, soft forms which create their home base environment,” says Compton.
In 2017 Warren and Mahoney was awarded the “Best in Category for Architectural Design: Interior Design” at the Good Design Awards for
its refurbishment of the Auckland TVNZ Television Network Centre.