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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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We’re excited to see the School of Biological Sciences moving to the new building and the University’s science precinct, which will put science in the public eye and is a legacy for the future.

Rodney Sampson

Te Toki a Rata, the new building for the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, has been completed on schedule in time to open its doors for the 2018 first trimester.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney architects, the 12,500mfacility on the Kelburn campus is a long, low, four-storey building that accommodates four undergraduate teaching labs, two ‘super labs’, and collaborative learning spaces.

“We’re excited to see the School of Biological Sciences moving to the new building and the University’s science precinct, which will put science in the public eye and is a legacy for the future,” says Rodney Sampson, lead architect.

The development aligns with the University’s strategy for growth and supports the Government’s aspirations to foster a prosperous, technology-driven New Zealand. Designed for the digital age, the school provides a highly collaborative workplace and future-proofed modern facilities for students, lecturers and researchers.

To achieve these multi-layered objectives, Warren and Mahoney undertook a comprehensive three-year research and consultation process with the science community, watching the way students, lecturers and researchers work, and visiting overseas establishments to ascertain international best practice.

The architects identified the need to open up connections between different fields of science to allow a cross-pollination of ideas. Sampson: 

“Innovative research and learning is about people interacting so we aimed to break down the physical barriers between traditional science groups by providing stronger connections.”

Internally, the layout is flexible with minimal boundaries to ensure a blended research and learning environment that maximises opportunities for student/researcher engagement.  The labs are well connected to the student spaces and not isolated or siloed,” explains Sampson.

Glass-walled laboratories mean undergraduates can see the scientists at work – and imagine what their own future might be like.

Spaces throughout the building can be reconfigured to suit the changing needs of the facility which future-proofs the school. Two ‘super-labs’ are large-scale, open, adaptable environments that promote increased collaboration and ‘flex’ between users groups, ensuring that teams can adapt quickly to best address emergent research projects.

“The screening that wraps the façade provides solar protection but its vertical profile is also suggestive of DNA markers – the integral building blocks in our understanding of biological science,” says project architect, Catherine O’Hare of Warren and Mahoney.

A cultural narrative also informed the architects’ thinking. The screening doubles as a contemporary expression of a ‘takitaki or palisade’, commonplace on marae and pa sites providing reference to the hillside location.  Building details are layered and folded, all elements consistent with Maori and Pacific Island design.

Appropriately for a building which celebrates the biological sciences, there was a focus on sustainable materials and energy efficiency. The palette of timber, concrete and stone was, where possible, left natural to minimise the need for chemical coatings. The exposed thermal mass of the concrete retains heat, displacement ventilation keeps the spaces cool, and a narrow floor plate harnesses sunlight to provide a balance of comfort without excessive energy use. Tanks collect rainwater for re-use within the building and atriums inter-link interior spaces with the newly landscaped external environments to reinforce a connection to nature.

Te Toki a Rata is a critical gateway to the science precinct of the University. “It’s a dynamic yet permeable boundary,” says Sampson “that links visually and physically to the campus beyond.” A covered vehicle drop off and separate pedestrian entries were created while routes through the building and walkway links to existing infrastructure ensure it integrates with the campus as a whole. A centralised plaza between this gateway and the established buildings is a lively meeting hub for students.

Another focus for the building was to identify as integral to the Wellington landscape. Its folded façade references the topography of the site, and the curves of the ocean and land at the harbour edge. Its articulated form sets up a confident, open relationship between the capital and one of New Zealand’s premier teaching and research institutions.  

“The design of Te Toki a Rata fosters innovation, brings more vibrancy to the city and contributes to growing the New Zealand economy through world-class science,” says Sampson. 

 

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In recognition of the scale and breadth of activity in the studio, we are taking a new ‘dynamic duo’ approach to the leadership of our Auckland studio

John Coop

Warren and Mahoney has announced changes to its Auckland studio leadership team, with the appointment of Andrew Tu’inukuafe as Studio Principal and Richard Archbold (Arch) as Performance Lead.

These changes follow the announcement that John Coop, the current Auckland studio Principal, will take over as Managing Director of Warren and Mahoney on 1 April 2018.

“In recognition of the scale and breadth of activity in the studio, we are taking a new ‘dynamic duo’ approach to the leadership of our Auckland studio,” said John Coop.

“Andrew plays an integral role in the studio. His exceptional people skills and ability to form highly collaborative working relationships will ensure his success as Studio Principal.

“Arch has demonstrated strong leadership skills across projects and studio resourcing, placing him in a good position to take on the newly created Performance Lead role to support Andrew,” continued Coop.

Andrew joined Warren and Mahoney in 2015, having worked at architectural practices in New Zealand, the UK and USA. As a Principal at Warren and Mahoney’s Auckland studio, Andrew leads numerous projects, the People and Culture Portfolio, and the Interiors and Workplace design team across the broader practice.

“Arch and I already work very closely together, and look forward to strengthening these links through our joint responsibility for the Auckland studio and a shared focus on people and culture,” said Andrew. 

Arch first joined Warren and Mahoney almost 20 years ago, and has been lead architect on major projects including the New Zealand International Convention Centre and the award-winning ANZ Centre. He is actively involved with public engagement and promotion of architecture through involvement with tertiary institutions and as co-host of the architectural podcast ‘76 Small Rooms’

Andrew and Arch will be responsible for defining and delivering the practice’s Auckland strategy, and ensuring Warren and Mahoney’s continued presence and strength in Auckland.

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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.