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“We wanted to create a place for people and a people place. We want the public, not just the tenants, to come into the site, and to contemplate the buildings and the place."

Gordon Craig, Senior Development Manager, Ngāi Tahu Property

The first buildings of the King Edward Barracks (KEB) development represent a new urban design strategy for Christchurch and are a significant departure from the old Christchurch city model, says Warren and Mahoney architect and Principal Graeme Finlay.

The development, he says, is further evidence of the migration west of the city’s working population to be based along the Avon River.  Ironically, the area was once the historical commercial centre of Christchurch, and known as West End in the nineteenth century, a name which has recently been reclaimed.

The design master plan makes maximum use of a large city block by combining commercial, government and residential accommodation in a prime location bordering Cambridge Terrace, and Hereford, Cashel and Montreal streets.

It is says Finlay “a truly mixed development.”

The brief from Ngāi Tahu Property required the development to reflect the values of Ngāi Tahu and to record the varied Ngāi Tahu and European history of the site. Phase One of the $85 million development has two office buildings of 6,500 sq metres and 7,500 sq metres, and a 20,000 sq metre gross floor area multi-storey carpark. The proposed Phase Two will include two more office buildings and Phase Three comprises 70 apartments; however these still require further design and are subject to testing of market demand. Unusually for a commercial development, the whole site will enclose an urban park, to be known as Ngā Māra a Te Wera (The Gardens of Te Wera).

Warren and Mahoney created the Masterplan for the three-phase development and project architect Vanessa Carswell, who is also a Principal of the multidisciplinary architecture practice, says the architects have been able to create a better environment for the city by “rethinking the typical urban block.”

Laneways and a public garden have been created within the block, which is sheltered from the winds and orientated to capture the sun. The project represents the site developers and owners, Ngāi Tahu Property’s long term relationship with the city, and their strong desire to create a lasting space and amenities for the public rather than just a typical block of commercial buildings.

The site, bordering the Avon River, is of significant cultural and historical value. Ngāi Tahu is the current owner of the site and has occupied this important mahinga kai area for centuries. It was also the location of the old King Edward Barracks where soldiers trained and left for duty in both World Wars. Since the 1930s there have been two police headquarters on the site, the most recent of which was imploded after the earthquakes.

The central Gardens will include a pathway to enable pedestrian flow from the Bridge of Remembrance through to the Civic Centre and the Art Gallery.  The park will showcase the rich Ngāi Tahu and European history through its design, including a number of commissioned artworks. Early Ngāi Tahu settlement will be honoured with storyboards included in the public space and some seats have been constructed to reflect early reed boats called mokihi. Native planting will be included in the central courtyard together with exotic deciduous species.

The advantage in being able to design a complete city block say the architects, is a much better use of land. “We have created a campus style commercial precinct with an inner courtyard,” says Carswell.  Office accommodation enjoys natural lighting from two sides and the courtyard brings people into the heart of the site. “There are no back alleys with wasted space and the buildings are better able to deal with overheating and shading.”

The development has adopted the latest earthquake technology. One building is base isolated, while the other one has a buckling restrained bracing system. Says Carswell: “It goes beyond and above code requirements, in order to meet the new client demand for seismic resilience.”

Both Phase One buildings will have photovoltaic panels on their roofs to generate power for the complex. Both buildings will be Greenstar rated, as well as holding NABERSNZ energy ratings. This energy rating system is based on an Australian environmental and energy rating system. The carpark will include state of the art parking for bicycles, as well as charging facilities for electric vehicles, licence plate recognition and red/green way finding and parking technology.

Innovative, too, is the use of a District Energy Scheme (DES) to service the energy demands of the entire site. Following the earthquakes, Christchurch building developers had an opportunity to think more sustainably about this aspect in their rebuild projects. Engineers Aurecon designed a central energy plant to service all the buildings across this city block. The DES draws water from an aquifer and passes it through a heat exchange unit before reinjection back into the aquifer. The plant harvests the heat energy from ground source water.

Although it has been designed primarily for the KEB site, the DES has the ability to link to adjacent sites that use the same system, including the Civic Building which houses the Christchurch City Council, and the Arts Centre, which both run similar systems.

“Once all the buildings are constructed, the DES will be able to share energy between them”, says Carswell. “This makes for more efficient and effective energy use, for instance residential units tend to have more heating demand, while offices have more cooling demand. Energy requirements between residential and commercial premises peak at different times of the day.”

Finlay is enthusiastic about “democratisation of space.”

“It really feels in this rebuild that space, action and vibrancy is being given back to the people of Christchurch, whereas corporate offices once fronted directly onto the street, and there was no way around them, or through them. Now there is this idea that the city is all about people. There are minimum standards re sustainability and ethical standards for our community.

“There really has been a colossal movement as buildings come together. There has been a shift along the river and I think the city will really come alive in terms of its daily life.”

Gordon Craig, senior development manager for Ngāi Tahu Property, says the iwi is proud of the development and its contribution to the “new” Christchurch.

“We wanted to create a place for people and a people place. We want the public, not just the tenants, to come into the site, and to contemplate the buildings and the place.



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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.

Warrenand Mahoney Christmas2017 Red Nobutton

As is tradition at Warren and Mahoney, our creative teams have banded together to create our annual Christmas greeting. 

Please click here to view.

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy festive season.

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Gavin is borderless in his outlook, globally aware and very well placed to serve our clients’ interests both locally, in Australia and further afield internationally.”

John Coop

Warren and Mahoney has appointed former global head of civic and events at Woods Bagot, Gavin Kain, as Principal, fortifying the talented line up of the international team.

Kain’s specialist skills in mixed-use precincts and large-scale projects will see the practice continue to expand its presence in Australasia with a ‘one studio’ approach.

“The time is right to embrace the dissolution of borders through technology and strong, global networks,” says Kain. “Australian and New Zealand architectural studios are highly regarded across the world for our innovation and empathy, and our current remit includes a strong foundation of projects that demonstrate our skills spanning diverse sectors.”

Kain leaves his previous position as global head of the civic and events sector at international architecture firm Woods Bagot, where he led design teams on major civic and public buildings, acting as liaison between the client, designers, engineers and other community stakeholders. While at the firm, Kain spent time based in Brisbane, Adelaide, Auckland, and Sydney.

“A key skill in undertaking large-scale projects is the ability to form a strategic alliance with clients, teams, and stakeholders,” says Kain.

“It is imperative to collaborate, listen and respond at every stage of the project timeline. Warren and Mahoney’s process ensures a diversity of perspectives, making for a stronger whole and mitigating risks throughout.”

His two decades of experience has seen him undertake projects and industry roles across the globe, from Vancouver to Dubai, including government design review panels, architectural award juries, and university positions.

Chairman of Warren and Mahoney, John Coop, said it was an ambitious period for the practice and Kain’s appointment aligned with the strategy to develop closer relationships between the seven studios across New Zealand and Australia.

“Gavin’s strength lies in finding the commonalities and differences in each environment,” says Coop.

“He is borderless in his outlook, globally aware and very well placed to serve our clients’ interests both in the Asia Pacific and further afield internationally.” 

Kain’s expansive expertise will add significant weight to the studio’s capabilities. He is a world-wide leader in the design of convention centres, and was a key member of the design team for the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland.

Kain was also responsible for the design of the $400m Adelaide Convention Centre, the New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland, the masterplan for the $250m Christchurch Convention Centre, as well as the concept design for major facilities in Asia, Africa and North America.

“Convention centres are often viewed as big, un-activated boxes, but of interest to me is the way they can contribute to city building and be of value to the community. I always ask ‘what will this mean to the place and the people?’” says Kain.

“The Adelaide Convention Centre presented a satisfying opportunity to regenerate part of the city. In some ways, building at its location in North Terrace was the most difficult option, but the outcome was better for visitors and the community.

“The convention centre became a missing piece of the puzzle that stitched the city and river together.”

Kain’s expertise extends over multiple sectors. Notably, he led the $200m South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) masterplan, which includes up to 25,000sqm of space within a sculptural building in the heart of Adelaide’s medical and health precinct.

He also worked alongside Warren and Mahoney for five years on the masterplan of the NZ$400m New Zealand International Convention Centre in Auckland, and worked alongside the team on the Christchurch Blueprint and the Commercial Bay mixed-use project.

“I’m excited to join a company that has global aspirations where the design focus reflects and strengthens communities,” says Kain.

Kain will work across projects in both New Zealand and Australia. 

Barrington Nick

Warren and Mahoney, has announced the promotion of Nick Deans and Barrington Gohns to Principal, marking a significant phase of growth for the practice as it continues to expand its presence in Australasia.

Nick and Barrington will be assuming the roles of principal at the Melbourne and Auckland studios respectively and will strengthen the practice’s ‘one studio’ approach, whereby its seven studios across Australia and New Zealand function as a collective team.

A senior architect with Warren and Mahoney since 2015, Nick previously held a position at Woods Bagot and is Chair of the Property Council of Australia’s Future Directions Committee Australia, and an active member of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Nicks’ architectural design work spans a range of sectors including commercial, multi- residential, and tertiary design. He has worked closely with developer, GURNER™’s founder Tim Gurner on several of his latest residential projects including Regent Apartments, Stanley Street Apartments, and the upcoming rejuvenation of The Spanish Club.

Nick's collaborative approach to design mirrors Warren and Mahoney’s commitment to working in strategic partnership with its clients.

“ My career has been built around the strength of professional service and the development of client relationships over a period of time,” said Nick.

“ I am a strong collaborator and am transparent in my approach to design. I am proud to work at a studio that embraces this approach, and brings innovative and functional ideas to all sectors of design.

“ As a trans-Tasman practice, Warren and Mahoney brings a fresh set of eyes and a point of difference to the Australian market.”

Barrington has been with Warren and Mahoney since his days at the University of Auckland in 2009, where he quickly built up a team of specialist graduates to test new environments within private and public-use spaces.

Barringtons’ experience includes major commercial and public projects including the redevelopment of TVNZ, the design and development of five-star Hotel 3 at Auckland Airport and the recently completed mixed-use star car showroom for Giltrap Group.

“ Warren and Mahoney has worked on shaping cities over the past 60 years, creating sustainable communities that bring people together,” said Barrington. 

“This experience gives the studio a unique perspective on city-making that drives us to always look at new and innovative ways of approaching design.”

Gohns’ approach continues to push beyond the realms of traditional architecture, working to create visual installations and technology-driven designs that deliver outstanding results.

Nick and Barrington will work collaboratively across various projects and teams in Australia and New Zealand. 

Chairman of Warren and Mahoney, John Coop, said the promotions mark an important step in Warren and Mahoney’s growth strategy.

“ Nick and Barrington will move into our leadership team, driving us forward and enhancing the skills and capabilities of studio,” said John.

“ As an international practice, our team is comprised of some of the most talented designers from around the world, each of whom bring their own unique set of skills and experience.

“ We are a 300-strong team, and we leverage that experience and hone those skills in the pursuit of architectural excellence.”

Warren and Mahoney has also recently promoted the following individuals to Associate:

Sydney

Thomas Hansen 

Edward Salib 

Auckland

Holly Campbell

Ngata Tapsell

Sebastian Hamilton

Christchurch

Cheryl Kilpatrick