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Wam Jesp Sep 2017

"It has been a privilege to be involved with such a foundational civic building within the rebuild of the city. We are extremely proud to have delivered a transformative development that will make a significant contribution to the future Christchurch."

Andrew Barclay

Following a site blessing by Ngāi Tahu in July and the official opening ceremony by the Prime Minister, the Christchurch Justice & Emergency Services Precinct continues to undergo final tenant fit-out in readiness for operations.

Warren and Mahoney architects, working in association with Opus Architecture and Cox Architects from Australia, took the design lead in the development which brings together the Ministry of Justice, NZ Police, Department of Corrections, as well as Fire and Emergency NZ (formerly the NZ Fire Service), Civil Defence and St John. “It’s going to be exciting to see this ambitious project contributing to everyday services of the city. It’s a critical step forward in rebuilding and rethinking the social urban fabric,” says Warren and Mahoney director Andrew Barclay.

The precinct houses 19 courtrooms, judges’ chambers, a state-of-the-art emergency operations centre and car-parking for operational vehicles in an open and user-friendly facility. “Courts and police buildings throughout the 19th and 20th century were densely massed and visually impenetrable but this complex invites the public into its heart,” says Barclay.

The challenge for the design team was to achieve the architectural gravitas required of a civic complex and the attendant stringent security requirements while maintaining an open-natured environment. Keeping certain elements transparent was an important part of the master plan. On every elevation of the Justice Building, there are glassed areas which allow foot traffic and the immediate community to feel some connectivity with the occupants of these spaces. A lane that runs between Lichfield and Tuam streets further enhances the permeability of the site. 

At the centre of the complex is a framed open square with landscaping and informal seating, a courtyard typology that is familiar to the people of Christchurch. Staff and visitors will be able to sit in the sunlight and eat their lunch or meet at the coffee outlet that faces on to this green heart. “It’s part of the design strategy to decrease stress for visitors to the courts environment by offering higher amenity to the public,” says lead architect Nick Warring.

The courtyard allows several points where people can see through to the context of the city. It also acts as a powerful orientation feature for those navigating the complex. In a similar vein, the entrances from the two main street addresses lead into a multi-storey atrium. Filled with natural light, the atrium incorporates a coffee kiosk, waiting zones and customer service areas to provide a welcoming face to the public

The material palette of bronzed aluminium, basalt, limestone, glass and timber lend ‘civic weight’ in a contemporary way. “We chose robust materials to convey permanence and used them to delineate the public realm from the support spaces for critical services,” says Warring.  One example is the first floor of the Justice Building which is bounded by full-height glazing to form a visual break between the darker stone base and the light-coloured limestone that clads the courtrooms on the upper levels of the building. Timber-battened soffits and ceiling panels provide a softer foil to the stone and glass and are also used to delineate the public spaces within the precinct.

Warren and Mahoney and the Ministry of Justice were keen to engage with local iwi on the design strategy and one physical manifestation of this collaboration is the frit-printed glass façade that faces Durham Street. Ngāi Tahu/Ngāi Tūāhuriri artist Lonnie Hutchinson designed an abstracted pattern derived from huia feathers which was digitally printed onto 100 panels of toughened glass. “There was a desire for something that was both meaningful to Ngāi Tahu/Ngāi Tūāhuriri and spoke of the ideals and delivery of justice. The avian theme and reference to the huia feather were recurring elements in the workshop sessions,” explains Warring. The huia feather alludes to an historic alliance formed between Ngāi Tahu and the Crown in 1936. The glass pattern itself provides solar protection for the building occupants and throws subtle shadows into the courtrooms while not completely obscuring the view. Hutchinson also worked closely with Warren and Mahoney to produce a delicately sculpted but striking metal cloak that shrouds the carpark building from the street. “Working alongside the artists was a unique opportunity to impart a hand-crafted touch and bring a sense of soul to the complex,” says Warring.

Seismically, the building is graded to Importance Level 4, particularly pertinent to the Emergency Operations Centre which, through careful design, links seamlessly to the workspaces of each of the six emergency services agencies in the complex. The building’s resilient structure will ensure uninterrupted and standalone function for at least 72 hours should an event occur that renders the city infrastructure inoperable.

All in all, around 2000 people will work in or use the complex each day and with a total floor area of 42,000m(the equivalent of two full-size city blocks), this is the largest, multi-agency government project in New Zealand’s history.

“It has been a privilege to be involved with such a foundational civic building within the rebuild of the city. We are extremely proud to have delivered a transformative development that will make a significant contribution to the future Christchurch,” says Barclay.   

View more about this project here.

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Furthering our commitment to supporting the next generation of Interior Designers, the Warren and Mahoney MIA Scholarship has been established to recognise talented individuals and to offer the opportunity to build closer ties with our firm and with the wider interior design industry.

This scholarship is open to applicants from the Victoria University of Wellington in their 4th or 5th year (Part 1 or Part 2) of study on the Master Interior Architecture Degree. We are looking for an individual who demonstrates a flair for design and innovation, along with good communication skills and a high level of academic achievement.

The Warren and Mahoney MIA Scholarship will reward the successful candidate with a $2,000 grant, and a summer internship within our Wellington studio.

How to apply: 

  • Complete the online application form
  • Provide a letter of motivation, detailing why you wish to hold this scholarship with Warren and Mahoney
  • Submit a portfolio showcasing your best work (must not exceed 10MB)

To download the application form, click here.

For more information about this award, contact:
The Scholarships Office Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
New Zealand

Phone: (04) 463 5113 or (04) 463 5557


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The Festival of Architecture is the successor to Architecture Week, run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects with the support of other like-minded professional and industry organisations.

This year’s Festival of Architecture, which runs from the 7th-17th September, sees the scope and ambition of Architecture Week widened with events and activities designed to celebrate architecture – and its importance to the life of New Zealand’s towns and cities.

Warren and Mahoney is a major sponsor of the travelling 2017 Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition, Future Islands, part of the Festival of Architecture.


Future Islands Venice Architecture Biennale exhibition, Future Islands
7-17 September
Objectspace, 13 Rose Road, Ponsonby

Unitec Exhibition and Women in Fabrication Installation
9-17 September
Warren and Mahoney, Mason Bros., 139 Pakenham St West, Auckland

Green Building Walking Tour

9 September, 10am - 12pm
On this tour, architects and clients will take you inside key green buildings and share their experience and stories about the buildings – from design to day-to-day operations – and their visions and expectations for further advancements in the field of green building. 
The tour starts and finishes at Warren and Mahoney, Mason Bros., 139 Pakenham Street West

Powerpoint Karaoke

15 September, 7.30pm - 9.30pm
A drink and a cringe as our line up of creative presenters attempt to confidently and coherently present from slides they’ve never seen before. If you’ve ever seen a Pecha Kucha then be warned… this will be nothing like that. 
Warren and Mahoney, Mason Bros., 139 Pakenham St West, Auckland

Warren and Mahoney Auckland Open Studio

16 September, 11am - 2pm
Ever wondered what goes on in an architect's studio? Drop into our studio and find out what makes us tick.
Warren and Mahoney, Mason Bros., 139 Pakenham St West, Auckland


Design Forum Series
6 September, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Featuring Warren and Mahoney, Wilkie and Bruce and Athfield Architects; MC Johnny Moore and facilitators Andrew Just and Chris Moller.DL Lecture Theatre, ARA

Warren and Mahoney Christchurch Open Studio

9 September, 1pm-2pm
Drop in to Warren and Mahoney in Christchurch and find out what goes in inside one of New Zealand's leading design firms. 
Warren and Mahoney, 254 Montreal Street, Christchurch

Simon Devitt: We Trust Our Eyes Too Much
12 September, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Join Simon Devitt for an illustrated talk on his practice as a photographer of architecture, people and place. 
Warren and Mahoney Foyer, 254 Montreal Street, Christchurch


Warren and Mahoney Wellington Open Studio
15 September, 3.30pm - 6.30pm
Take a free, self-guided tour (download map) of local architecture practices and find out about the new and interesting works being created by some of Wellington’s best architects 
Warren and Mahoney, 87 The Terrace, Wellington

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While as architects we clearly recognise the importance of business in the way we interact with clients, we realised we needed to import greater in-depth expertise in order to communicate more strongly with our end users – our clients and the people and communities that inhabit our buildings.

Peter Marshall, Managing Director

We are pleased to announced three new executive appointments to assist and manage the expansion of the practice in New Zealand, Australia and the Asia/Pacific region.

The appointments, which are newly created positions, include: Amy Phillips, Group Brand and Communications Officer; Aaron Beveridge, Group Chief Financial Officer, and Sarah Coleman, Chief People and Culture Officer. 

Managing Director Peter Marshall said that he and his fellow directors recognised that, for the practice to reach its next stage of development and growth, it needed to introduce people with a wider range of specialist knowledge and skills.

“While as architects we clearly recognise the importance of business in the way we interact with clients, we realised we needed to import greater in-depth expertise in order to communicate more strongly with our end users – our clients and the people and communities that inhabit our buildings.

“We are growing and becoming more sophisticated, as is the world we occupy, and to bring the best service to our clients, we need to have people with special skills for specialist jobs.”

Marshall said these appointments would allow a return to “our core expertise and skills as architects.”

Over the past decade our practice, which last year celebrated its 60th anniversary, has expanded from a staff of 90 to our current team of around 290 people in seven studios in both New Zealand and Australia.

The three appointees bring a wealth of local and international experience to their new roles.

Amy Phillips joined the practice from the position of General Manager for Colenso BBDO/Proximity (part of the Clemenger Group), where she was lead executive on the Spark, BNZ and VISA accounts. During her time in this role, Colenso/BBDO was recognised as New Zealand’s most effective agency of the year in 2016. Prior to that Amy spent seven years at Clemenger Group agencies Clemenger BBDO Melbourne and CHE Proximity in Australia as well as working with Wunderman in London, Melbourne and Auckland.

At Warren and Mahoney Phillips says she wants to “harness the power of our brand.”

“My mandate is to develop strategies that continue to drive the business forward and to ensure the things that have made Warren and Mahoney great are scalable so we succeed in more markets.”

“The role of the brand should be as a business unifying platform: the connective tissue between our brilliant people, our clients and the market.”

Warren and Mahoney already has a very strong brand, she says, and is known for large-scale developments, craftsmanship and safe hands that deal with the most challenging projects. However, in Australia, she says, “As the new people in town, we have to tell a different story. That freshness is compelling and people will be interested to know what it is that makes us different. We have a legacy in New Zealand but we need to make that relevant and compelling in the Australian context.”

Phillips says that the way Warren and Mahoney can further differentiate itself, and continue to grow is through a focus on customer experience, and “the way you design customer experience is through putting yourselves in the shoes of clients and solving their needs.”

Phillips says her past experience has been based on understanding clients’ unmet needs and effectively developing new ways of being useful and valuable.

“In Melbourne I was involved in transforming a large agency and redefining it based on technology, which is disrupting all our industries including architecture. There are similarities between architecture firms and creative agencies.  We are both selling the value of craft and design. Importantly we are selling a vision and getting buy in into that vision through trust.”

Aaron Beveridge, who has been appointed Group Chief Financial Officer, spent nearly 10 years in Abu Dhabi and Dubai working for Etihad Airways.

Beveridge, who has a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato, qualified as a chartered accountant and worked for companies as diverse as Nestle and Vodafone before deciding to work overseas. An early-morning phone call from Etihad Airways asking him to fly to Abu Dhabi for a job interview gave him that opportunity.

“I didn’t know anything about the United Arab Emirates and even less about Abu Dhabi and Etihad.”

From Vice President of Finance he was promoted to Vice President of Supply Chain Management, a role which included all the procurement for the airline including some interesting experiences negotiating with the Chinese over oil deals. Beveridge says that anyone with “initiative” did well at Etihad and he finished his time there as Vice President of Project Management Office.

After nearly 10 years in the Middle East he was approached by CityCare in post-earthquake Christchurch, which looked after the below-ground infrastructure.  At the end of 2015, he joined Dairy NZ, which provided scientific research for the dairy industry.

He says he was attracted to Warren and Mahoney because “first and foremost their product is about great design. We can’t deliver great design unless we have great people. We can’t attract great people unless we are doing great projects.  Here is a company that gets the connection between all the key elements that contribute to success.

“I come from a world where every month there were a set of narrow financial goals and people had to make a lot of short-term decisions, not always for the best strategically.  That business model has become very awkward for me to become connected to as the longer-term success was being sacrificed for short-term, one-dimensional goals”

Beveridge asked the board of Warren and Mahoney how they scored “success”.

“It hinged on being in certain markets and having an excellent brand and clear strategic plan. Warren and Mahoney has a desire to carry out a wide range of diverse projects; value architectural design and quality; ensure our people are challenged and excited by the projects, which all ensures an appropriate business outcome. It was the first time I had heard someone valuing those things equally.

“My goal is to be able to measure success every month in a balanced scorecard styled methodology. The company wants to track its clients, its people, its financial performance, its projects and its initiatives. To get to the next stage of growth we need to score this in a way that we can know if we are behind or ahead of where we want to be. That is the fascinating part for me.”

Sarah Coleman, who has been appointed Chief People and Culture Officer, brings broad experience in human resources from New Zealand and overseas.

Coleman has spent much of her career working in professional services. After gaining her legal qualification, she worked as an employment lawyer in New Zealand and London, and then moved into consulting roles in two global human resources consultancies.  After gaining corporate experience with SKYCITY Entertainment Group, Sarah returned to professional services as HR Director for leading law firm, Chapman Tripp. During her five years there, Coleman says there was a real focus on the firm's people, culture and values, with the firm being recognised internationally for its diversity initiatives and winning legal industry Employer of Choice awards.  Most recently, Coleman has been Director of People and Capability at the Financial Markets Authority, the financial services regulator.

Coleman says what attracted her to Warren and Mahoney was that it is “a leading brand in New Zealand in terms of design. Further, they are ambitious in their outlook and in their growth plans for New Zealand and Australia.” 

She observes that what is critical to Warren and Mahoney being able to achieve their goals is having top quality people and she looks forward to helping the organisation develop strategies to attract, develop and retain the best architects and designers.  “With a quality brand like Warren and Mahoney, we are able to get very talented people in the door.  But we need to ensure we continue to invest in our people and that we have a positive, high performing culture so that our people are highly engaged and have opportunities to develop and thrive.” 

Coleman views that as critically important, both for the business and for clients. “Clients don’t want to change architects half way through a major project. Retaining engaged and motivated employees has to be a priority to ensure Warren and Mahoney continues to deliver outstanding work to our clients.  Further, if you look after your people, they are the best ambassadors for your organisation.”


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India is full of surprises. Every time I visit, I discover something new. After every trip, I return to New Zealand with a better appreciation of and different attitude towards the two cultures.

You were born in Bangalore and lived there until you were 12. Tell us about growing up in Southern India.

Bangalore is a city of 8 million people so it was big, busy and bustling. My immediate family includes my parents and my brother, who is eight years younger than me. School holidays were spent with cousins at my maternal grandmother’s, and after school we went to my paternal grandparents’ house – so I grew up around a lot of people.

I have vivid memories of after-school rickshaw rides to my grandparent’s house where they had an English garden and red oxide flooring. I remember the Friday evening ritual of getting street food down the road with my mum, the smell of jasmine while walking past local temples, and late night movies and lights along the central city streets.

When I was 12, my parents, who both worked in banking, opted for a change. They moved to Auckland at a time when the world and its opportunities were open to them.

You own a worker’s cottage in Onehunga with your husband Sajeev who is also doing architecture at Patterson Associates. Tell us more.

Our house is about 110 years old. I still remember the day of the open home – I was hooked straightaway. There are colonial English aspects to it that remind me of my grandparents’ house and Bangalore at times. We were very lucky to be able to buy it – at 75m2, it probably appealed to a niche market as it also has a few zoning restrictions meaning we can’t alter the exterior.

We’re still finding out things about the cottage. When we bought it, it came with a name plate outside our front door - ‘Temuka’ – and we’re working on discovering its significance. Just the other day, we met a lady who told us that our street was named after one of her ancestors. There is so much history here and I feel like we’ve only just scraped the surface.

We have a courtyard and a sleepout at the back which we are doing up and hope to rent out soon but with two design opinions in the house, things are taking longer than expected! We’ll eventually get around to renovating the main home; when we do, it’s important to us that we stay true to the heritage and history of Onehunga.

What made you decide to study architecture?

I have always been interested in drawing. I started with anatomy and moved onto objects, eventually drawing the built environment around me. This led me to doing art and design in school – but I also enjoyed the practicality of some of the sciences.

I had a few career options open but by the time I visited Auckland University for their open day, and after talking to a few teachers at school, it felt natural to go with architecture. It was a no-brainer and I’ve never looked back. I graduated in 2012.

Do you ever travel back to India?

Auckland is now home, but with the first 12 years in India, I’ve spent some of the most influential years of life in a completely different context. I still have extended family in India so I make the trip back as often as I can.

More recently, I’ve started to travel to the northern part of the country where the architecture, the people and the food are quite different to the south where I was born. I’m still ticking things off the list – the next is to get to Chandigarh, the city that was planned by Le Corbusier.

India is full of surprises. Every time I visit, I discover something new. After every trip, I return to New Zealand with a better appreciation of and different attitude towards the two cultures.

How does your cultural background affect the way you think about design?

I revisited India while I was studying architecture and learnt a lot about what is embedded in its culture. Indian art, textiles and architecture are all heavily crafted. From the historic places such as the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, to brass sculptures and sarees, there is crafting everywhere and at every scale. This reminds me a bit of what we do here at Warren and Mahoney. Even though we have some great large scale projects, every aspect is designed and articulated, every staircase is treated like sculpture, while every detail is scrutinised. We get to work on craft at the micro and macro level on a day-to-day basis.

As part of the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct team, I was fortunate to work on larger scale elements as well as smaller – for example, the signage on the Mason Bros. building. That was an exercise in itself and I took inspiration from the original engineering company logo.

Although I’m slowly losing the time to do things, I try to maintain this idea of crafting through a few community courses, the highlights being pottery and jewellery making. They’re both patient crafts but also a lot of fun and make for great presents.

Who are your mentors and what have you learned from them?

I started at Warren and Mahoney in April 2015 and one of the first projects I worked on was some feasibility/concepts for Wynyard Quarter with Blair (Johnston). It was so different to anything I had done before – these buildings are changing the face our city. It was a privilege to get an insight into Blair’s thinking process and the speed at which he works. He’s also been extremely supportive of other opportunities that have come up along the way.

I’ve also worked on a housing development with Patrick (Sloan) and it was fascinating to learn from his experiences in China. He encouraged me into some leadership of aspects of the project (with guidance), such as taking the lead at weekly meetings with clients.

Lastly, I’ve learnt a lot from working with Lynda Simmons, co-chair of Architecture +Women NZ. Listening to her talk about why she does what she does showcases the passion with which she carries out her work for A+W. The depth of her research and analysis is evident – her work shines the light on other incredible people and provides opportunities for many more. This takes a kind of selflessness, and it is something I have always admired.

What are you working on at the moment?

My time is predominantly split between two projects: Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct (commercial) which has a number of buildings at varying stages and Tauranga Crossing, a retail mall typology. Interestingly, my thesis project at university looked at the homogenisation of architecture, particularly in regard to retail environments so it’s great to be part of a team that is making the Tauranga building contextually relevant. The strategies can be relatively simple and by breaking retail mall conventions, we are able to achieve much more warm, relevant and gritty outcomes rather than an all-white faceless box.

How far along the path to registration are you?

I’m hoping to get there in a year or two, but it’s not a race. Some graduates get the relevant experience in two or three years. Others work on projects that take a bit longer. Learning is the invaluable thing and architecture, for me, is bigger than registration. So yes, it’s on my ‘to do’ list but I’ll do it when I’m ready. Besides, I’m still under 30 – and they say that at 45, you’re still a young architect – so I have a way to go!

You are the liaison between the NZIA and Architecture + Women NZ. How did you get involved in that organisation?

A+W-NZ is an active group that promotes visibility and inclusiveness for those who work in architecture via four channels – networks, events, research and policies. And the NZIA Auckland Branch Committee is filled with people who are driven and contribute immensely towards their various portfolios with their time, energy and networks. As secretary of A+W-NZ, my role is to carry information between the two organisations, to update them on events, share knowledge, report on activities and seek potential opportunities.

I also think A+W-NZ is an important organisation because discussing issues around diversity and workplace culture can be a great tool for the visibility of many other groups in the profession. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for previous generations of female architects who have worked tirelessly to achieve this nurturing environment for the rest of us.

You will be taking part in the Architecture + Women and SGA workshop soon. What does that involve?

Lily Wong and I will be sharing participation in the 8-week project that is held at the SGA workshop. We’ll be prefabricating a building for the Motu Kaikoura Trust whose research facility in Kaikoura Island burnt down in 2013 due to arson.

The new building, designed by SGA, will be prefabricated at the SGA and Crate workshops in Kingsland and barged to Kaikoura Island (off Great Barrier Island) for assembly over Labour Weekend.

This workshop will help us understand the building process from inside out and the value in efficiency of materials and processes. But most importantly, this is an opportunity for us to build for the community. The most rewarding outcome will be to observe how the building gets used over time, how it weathers, and the satisfaction of people using and moving through something you built with your own hands.  It’s an exciting, one-of-a-kind opportunity – but first, I think I’ll need to find myself a tool belt.