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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.

18 03 Warren Mahoney 009 Edit

Warren and Mahoney has announced the appointment of John Coop as Managing Director, taking over from Peter Marshall who has held the position since 2009.

The move will see Christchurch-based Principal Graeme Finlay replace John as Chairman of Warren and Mahoney Limited. Graeme currently holds the Deputy Chairman position.

This is the first time that Warren and Mahoney has appointed an Auckland-based Principal to lead the practice, and Peter Marshall says it’s a strong signal of the practice’s commitment to the region.  

“The Warren and Mahoney board has been actively reviewing the governance of the business and identifying leadership talent. We have a clear view on where we’re headed and a clear strategy on how to get there.

“John has the capability and capacity to take the practice forward, and his location in Auckland, with the leadership team close by, will strengthen the practice and prepare it for future growth.  

“It has been a privilege to have held this role for the past nine years over an exciting time of growth for the business and Warren and Mahoney brand,” said Peter Marshall.

John Coop has held the role of Warren and Mahoney Chairman since 2015, and has been a Principal and shareholder of the practice since 2001, and Regional Principal of the Auckland studio since 2011. His new role as Managing Director is effective as of 1 April 2018.

“We have a strong business and we are on a mission to be a New Zealand design practice active in the wider world. The more knowledge, experience and talent we can gather from afar, the more we can positively shape the New Zealand built environment.

“Peter Marshall has guided the practice superbly for over nine years, through the Christchurch earthquakes, a period of growth into Australia, and an increasingly complex construction sector. It is an exciting challenge to take on this role, and to continue this story,” said John Coop.

Graeme Finlay is currently Regional Principal of Warren and Mahoney’s Christchurch studio, Chairman of Warren and Mahoney Australia, and has been a Director of Warren and Mahoney Limited since 2006. He is a registered architect in New Zealand and Australia, and was involved in the establishment of the New Zealand Green Building Council.

“Having Graeme located in Christchurch with close ties to Australia will assist in balancing the geographic spread of our leadership,” said Marshall.

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King’s School, which soon approaches its centenary, has opened a new state-of-the-art multi-purpose learning environment as the school looks ahead to its next 100 years of educating boys.  

Located in the centre of the school, the Centennial Building has been designed to cater to the future needs of students and connect and strengthen the school’s community.

The opening of the new building is a personal highlight for King’s School Headmaster, Tony Sissons, who tasked architectural design practice Warren and Mahoney with the important job of designing a space that will need to support changing education trends and a technology future that is yet unknown.

“There were many planning discussions with Warren and Mahoney, and multiple requirements to consider, but core to the brief was the importance of human relationships within a school environment, particularly those between student and teacher.

“What we have in this building is a flexible environment that encourages collaboration with others, while at the same time providing more intimate spaces for individual and reflective learning. This is achieved without losing the strong personal relationship between each individual student and his teacher. It’s the best of both worlds,” says Sissons.

The new building adds an additional 5,000 sq. metres to the school’s existing footprint and consists of large light-filled classrooms, music studios and flexible discussion areas. It replaces the Hanna Block, which following a review by earthquake engineers was found to have serious structural problems.

Warren and Mahoney project lead and managing director, John Coop, says that the building had to connect the past and future of King’s School and that the end result replicates the real world of university facilities and contemporary workplaces.

“The space deliberately brings the activities of teaching and learning directly into the circulation pattern of the school so that movement and ambient activity are seen as positive additions to focus, rather than distractions.

“We’re really pleased with the end result, and to deliver the project on-budget with minimal disruption to the school’s activities,” says Coop.

The new Centennial Building allows a flow from individual classrooms into open flexible spaces, which can be used by students and staff from across the school. For the first time, all the school’s buildings are now well-connected by the use of bridges linking existing buildings to the new facility. The $30 million build took 20-months to complete, with most of the work being carried out during the school year.

Sissons says that the although the new building adds significant new spaces to the school, the King’s School Board is committed to not increasing its current roll, maintaining its staff: student ratio of 1:11.

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Charlotte Hughes-Hallett, Masters of Interior Design student at the Victoria University of Wellington, is the recipient of the 2017 Warren and Mahoney MIA scholarship.

Furthering our commitment to supporting the next generation of Interior Designers, the 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. Charlotte is currently on a summer internship within our Wellington studio and has received a $2,000 grant towards her study.

Can you tell us about your background?

I was born in Australia and moved to New Zealand when I was 3. At the age of six I moved to Tokyo, Japan where I spent 12 years. Although it was normal and commonplace at the time, in hindsight, architectural innovation was always around me. Geographically growing up in Japan was incredibly valuable and I was fortunate enough to foster my passion and travel to numerous developing countries to volunteer in local communities, and in one instance help build a school. I returned to New Zealand and moved to Wellington at the age of 18 to start my tertiary education at Victoria University’s School of Architecture.

What drew you to study interior architecture as a profession?

Prior to choosing architecture I was tossing up between medicine and architecture. I guess I have always been fascinated with the human body, and more specifically the relationship between the human body and its environment. The concern that interior architecture has for the human body was alluring. Interior architecture designs at a scale that accommodates and thrives off the intimate sensorial operations of the human body.

Where do you find your inspiration and motivation?

Knowing that intentioned architecture can relate to and enhance the wellbeing of individuals. For the most part, our everyday activities are conducted within or adjacent to architecture. Architecture impacts everyone. In such light it inspires me to curate architectural experiences that engage with its inhabitants and generate unique, meaningful, and relevant experiences.

What made you apply for the Warren and Mahoney MIA scholarship?

One of the biggest factors that drew me to Warren and Mahoney was their multi-market experience/opportunities and their innovation. I knew that if I was given the opportunity to intern at Warren and Mahoney it would offer multidisciplinary collaborations, and challenge and further develop my artistry, creative dexterity and practical knowledge.

What are you enjoying most about this experience?

There is just so much to learn from the day-to-day experience at Warren and Mahoney. I am really enjoying being given the opportunity to work on several projects and being able to dabble in the various design phases. The office environment too is dynamic and everyone is incredibly helpful and tolerant of my constant questioning.

What did you know about Warren and Mahoney? Has this knowledge been reinforced since joining the team?

Whether it be interior, building, or master planning/urban design, Warren and Mahoney strive for quality design and to curate creative and relevant experiences that embody their clients’ requirements. This has been reinforced since joining the team. This ethos is reverberated at every dimension.

What are your career and life ambitions?

In 2-3 years I want to enrol again in part-time studies and study migration patterns and economic developmentThe biological body to architecture has a long-entrenched history. It is a standard that is necessary and should be sustainable and equitable. However, in the wake of rapid population growth, it is not readily assessable to everyone. Architecture has the power and agency to generate resilient, inclusive communities. I see myself working with organisations in developing countries to work with communities to develop innovative building solutions and processes.

What has surprised you most about working in an architectural practice?

How readily accessible material samples are. If they aren’t in the material library already, you can reach out to suppliers and have a little package awaiting you the next day. It’s amazing! I am a little obsessed with materials, especially textiles.

What are you hoping to learn / take away from your time here?

I am a greenhorn in the field of architectural practice. I mean there’s so much involved in getting something built, I am still wrapping my head around everyone’s ability to keep on top of emails, computer drafting, client meetings, site visits, coordination meetings etc. So, from this experience I fundamentally want to gain a holistic understanding of how a firm works and establish positive connections.

What are your expectations of the industry and what do you think should change / improve or evolve?

Current analyses, materials and construction technologies are pushing architecture to new heights, both figuratively and literally. Integrated technologies are frequent in contemporary environments. As great as this evolution is I hope that our sensorial needs aren’t left unmet. In our digital world, design needs to connect with people. More than ever in this modern age, designers need to embrace what makes up human experience.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and what would your home look like?

At this moment, if I could live anywhere it would be Budapest, Hungary. Budapest is thriving, full of surprises and enthusiasm. I was there last October and fell in love with its diversity and design sphere. I would live in the historic downtown area just off the Danube river. My apartment would have basic bones. White walls, concrete floors, and exposed pipes. Adorned with a burgeoning art collection and layered rugs to add colour and life. Not to mention white orchids everywhere!

What advice would you give to someone starting their education in interior architecture?

Firstly, create freely. Be willing to take risks and deviate from the norm. And make sure you love it. Frustration is an everyday emotion when studying architecture but if you love it you’ll persevere. Like any career prospect you should see it as a lifestyle, not just a prospective occupation.

Secondly, I know at University you are living on budget, but I can’t undermine the benefits of travelling. Nothing compares to experiencing architecture in person and witnessing architecture from different cultures.

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“We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our board. He has extensive experience across key sectors such as tourism, transport and infrastructure and urban design and with organisations that are fast evolving and dynamic.”

John Coop

Warren and Mahoney Limited has announced the appointment of Richard Leggat as an independent director to the practice’s board of directors effective January 2018. The announcement represents an increase in the size of the board from seven to eight directors, with Richard Leggat joining Anne Blackburn as its second independent director. 

Warren and Mahoney’s Chair, John Coop says that as the international architectural design practice continues to grow, it’s important to bolster the diversity of perspectives that help govern the business.

“We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our board. He has extensive experience across key sectors such as tourism, transport and infrastructure and urban design and with organisations that are fast evolving and dynamic.”

“We have benefitted from Anne’s independent perspective for several years, and now in addition look forward to Richard’s expertise and insight as we continue to evolve,” said Coop.

Founded in 1955, the practice today employs almost 300 staff across seven integrated studios: Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Sydney and Melbourne.

Richard Leggat has been a full time director for the past six years with positions on a number of government and sporting organisations including Tourism New Zealand, Education New Zealand, NZ Post, Panuku Development Auckland, Chair of the NZ Cycle Trail, Director of Cycling and Director of Snow Sports NZ.

“Richard’s directorships have reach and presence across New Zealand, giving him insight into key national issues, as well as an understanding of the priorities and objectives of central and local government,” says Coop.

Born and raised in Christchurch, Richard says he grew up surrounded by Warren and Mahoney projects, and is looking forward to deeper involvement with the business as it is today.  

“Warren and Mahoney is a successful business with a great heritage. My experience with Panuku has shown me the importance of the built environment, how it affects people, and enhances the community and people’s lives.                                                      

“I look forward to using the insights I’ve learned from different sectors to help Warren and Mahoney make good decisions that lead to celebrated outcomes that staff are proud of and the community benefits from,” says Leggat.