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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.

6800 Paul Mc Credie

To achieve Gold Award status in six very different categories is a testament to the strong relationships and commitment to smooth project delivery by all of the contractors involved.

Katherine Skipper

Eight projects in which Warren and Mahoney was a project partner have been recognised for excellence in commercial construction in the recent 2018 Master Builders Commercial Property Awards.

The Master Builders Commercial Property Awards, which includes ten categories, one Supreme and one Value Award, is the only programme that awards the work of a team in delivering a ‘mark of quality’. 

Principal Katherine Skipper says that Warren and Mahoney is proud to have worked with some great contractor teams to achieve excellence in a range of complex projects.

“To achieve Gold Award status in six very different categories is a testament to the strong relationships and commitment to smooth project delivery by all of the contractors involved. 

“Given the involved and often highly complex nature of a project’s supply chain, the relationships between the various project members are crucial to its success. So much of this work goes on behind the scenes which makes recognition of the team approach through these awards so important,” says Skipper.

Entrants have the opportunity to vie for Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in each category, as well as National Category wins and a Supreme Award.

Warren and Mahoney was project partner for awards in the Commercial, Commercial Fitout, Heritage/Restoration, Tourism & Leisure, Retail and Residential categories, with the Wellington International Airport – Terminal South Extension being awarded both Gold and National Category Winner. 

2018 Master Builders Commercial Property Awards Judges comments:

Tourism and Leisure Gold Award for Wellington International Airport – Terminal South Extension

Judges comments:

This sensitive addition to a much-admired building was carried out in a complex series of phases to ensure the building was fully functional throughout the process. Creativity and detailed planning ensured both passengers and baggage handling could pass through the area of the works without compromising safety or security. The result is an addition so well integrated that it looks as though it was always intended as the completion of the southern end of the building.

 

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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
amenities. 

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.

Jonathan Coote 20

With the key pieces of the Christchurch Blueprint now in place, the opportunity for our Christchurch studio is to continue to bring the skills we have developed through the rebuild to bear on future work in the city and regional centres.

Jonathan Coote

Warren and Mahoney has announced changes to the leadership of its Christchurch studio with the appointment of Jonathan Coote as Studio Principal. 

This change follows the announcement that Graeme Finlay, the current Christchurch studio Principal, will take over as Chairman of Warren and Mahoney Limited. 

“As we look beyond the rebuild to the next era, we are delighted to have Jono leading our established Christchurch Principal team,” says John Coop, Managing Director of Warren and Mahoney.

“Jono’s creative energy, combined with his practical experience in the design and delivery of major projects, puts him in a good position to lead our Christchurch Studio,” says Coop.

Jonathan Coote was brought up and educated in Christchurch, and after working on large-scale and boutique projects in the UK and Caribbean, joined Warren and Mahoney’s Christchurch studio in 2010. 

Since joining Warren and Mahoney, Jonathan has become a key member of the design team and has been involved in a wide range of architectural and interior projects of varying scales. 

Most recently, Jonathan has played an integral role in significant projects in Christchurch such as Lincoln University’s Ag Research Joint Facility, the PwC Centre, the recently announced masterplan scheme for Rolleston Town Centre, as well as Warren and Mahoney’s own studio in Christchurch.

Jonthan Coote says that he looks forward to the challenge of leading the Christchurch studio in post-earthquake environment. 

“I joined Warren and Mahoney at a time of significant change and growth. With the key pieces of the Christchurch Blueprint now in place, the opportunity for this studio is to continue to bring the skills we have developed through the rebuild to bear on future work in the city and regional centres that are in a growth phase,” says Coote.

 

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For visitors flying into Christchurch, the braided patterns of the Waimakariri River are a distinctive feature that signifies not only the beauty of our landscape but also the history and future of this city.

Richard Hanson

After a successful collaboration on the Transitional (Cardboard) Cathedral in Christchurch, innovative Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has again partnered with Warren and Mahoney on a commercial building in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square.

Inspired by the braided rivers of Canterbury, developer Richard Hanson says the building will be an iconic landmark anchoring the Southern corner of Cathedral Square and providing a visual prompt for oral tours of the city’s geology.

“For visitors flying into Christchurch, the braided patterns of the Waimakariri River are a distinctive feature that signifies not only the beauty of our landscape but also the history and future of this city.

“Christchurch has lost so many special buildings, so it is important that new buildings are of high quality and have a strong narrative. This is particularly important for Cathedral Square as it is still a strong tourism destination in the city,” says Hanson.

The building was commissioned by property owner Redson Corporation Holdings Limited for its tourism business Aotea Gifts. In addition to a flagship store for Aotea Gifts, Braided Rivers will also house a restaurant, courtyard-style café and other retail tenancies.

Shigeru Ban, a Pritzker Prize winning architect, has established himself as the master of unconventional materials. Braided Rivers utilises a glued laminated timber, or glulam, which is created by bonding layers of lumber together with high-grade adhesives.

The result is an engineered wood product that is stronger, lighter, cheaper and more environmentally-friendly than steel. To create the 41 ‘braided river’ columns in the building, a NZ pine glulam will be curved together to create the twisted column effect.

The interiors will be reflective of Ban’s signature style, with clean lines, warm materials and an abundance of natural light, aided by the building’s 10-metre high stud.

Warren and Mahoney, who approached Shigeru Ban on behalf of Aotea Gifts, will take SBA’s well-developed concept through to detailed design and ensure all of SBA’s design intent is met and delivered.

“As with the Transitional Cathedral, we have protocols in place to ensure Ban’s design is kept intact throughout the Resource Consent and Building Consent processes.

“Our deep understanding of the materials, NZ Codes and Standards and seismic requirements means that we can have the detailed conversations about construction methodology with the contractors, and loop through to the SBA team as required,” says Warren and Mahoney Principal Peter Marshall.

Resource Consent applications were lodged this week, and it is anticipated that construction will start in October 2018, with completion scheduled for late 2019.