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“Warren and Mahoney has produced a design which perfectly showcases some of the world’s most beautiful cars. At the same time it is the most technologically impressive and environmentally friendly building of its type in the country.”

Michael Giltrap, Joint Managing Director of Giltrap Group Holdings

The new Giltrap Group headquarters and prestige showroom for Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini, is a precision-designed facility, which puts the spotlight where it belongs – on the vehicles.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney, the building at 119 Great North Road in Grey Lynn, Auckland is a mixed-use development that co-locates the Giltrap head-office team and sets the benchmark for ‘star car’ showrooms around the world.

Principal and lead architect Jonathan Hewlett says the project incorporates several global firsts within its design. “The challenge was to include these innovations while working within the parameters of each brand’s corporate identity.”

Three years in the making, the development is owned and partly occupied by the Giltrap Group. It features a 1500-square-metre, streel-level showroom, spread across the three brands, along with three commercial office floors above and four basement levels where the workshop, staff training areas and ample car-parking is located.

Moving away from the traditional model of a forecourt with administration offices set behind, every aspect of the customer journey is contained within the building envelope. The prestige marque line-up has a more immediate presence on the street, displayed as if in a retail window.

This ground-level showroom is designed as a gallery of automobiles and, as the shopfront to these luxury vehicles, it was imperative that it broadcast a premium message in keeping with the unique identity of each marque. “The showroom was conceived as three jewellery boxes with glazing that wraps around on the sides,” explains Hewlett. While it reads as a single entity from the exterior, internal finishes clearly distinguish each brand. 

Low-iron glass ensures precision clarity of the viewing experience for passers-by. During the day, natural light floods into the space while at night, overhead and carefully placed floor lighting put the accent on the vehicles as art. “Already people have been pulling over to stop and stare at the cars,” says Hewlett.

To maintain the emphasis on the Aston Martin, Bentley and Lamborghini offering, the structure of the building is definitive yet unobtrusive. “We wanted a pure experience of the architecture, so the cars could be the talking piece,” explains Barrington Gohns, project architect. The design story centres on a large V-shaped concrete trusses that intersect with the showroom and offer structural support to the floors above. “For the trusses, we pumped the concrete into a mould from the bottom so that there would be no air bubbles,” says Barrington. “That way, we achieved a higher-quality finish.”

Echoing the beneath-the-bonnet, high-end specification of these star cars, the building aesthetic may appear simple and streamlined, but it’s the hidden details that count. Warren and Mahoney worked with performance lighting experts Targetti to develop bespoke all-in-one fitting for the lights, power, data and sprinkler systems. “It’s a slim-line servicing solution where all the customer sees is the outer casing of the light fitting,” says Barrington.

A seamless customer journey is central to the design. Clients drive in to the building off Great North Road, past the showroom and into an ‘internal street’ which provides an under-cover, secure way to navigate from the retail zone to the service areas. A number-plate recognition device alerts reception to their arrival. The architects collaborated with traffic engineers on the five curved concrete ramps between each floor which are meticulously planned for minimum car clearance. The curve profiles were tested in 3D vehicle tracking software and then constructed and installed on site with a laser scanner to ensure millimetre accuracy.

The underground workshop area includes 11 dedicated service bays that are viewable from above. “There’s a transparency of process, a little like in a surgical theatre,” explains Barrington. Customers can watch the technicians at work and staff training rooms ensure the latest global best practice is observed. To preserve the consistency of the clean-lined design, the bays are equipped with wraparound halo lights, hoists that are reticulated from below, as well as in-floor exhaust extractors. Barrington: “There is very little to clutter the visual experience of the vehicles and the raw state of the building’s structure.”

Design details that might go un-noticed but are essential to the flawless customer experience include the installation of an acoustic ceiling in the handover room. “This has the effect of filtering out other noise and puts the focus on the pure sound of the engine,” says Hewlett. Large glass slider doors provide access to the pre-owned showroom with a specific wheel mechanism rather than the customary brush system, so that tiny stones brought in by car tyres don’t get caught in the tracks.

Sustainable solutions were also integral to the plan and 119 Great North Road is the first building of its type on track to achieve a five-star Greenstar rating. The ongoing environmental performance will be assessed by the NABERSNZ certification programme.  High-performance glass creates an efficient thermal envelope and smart technology means energy use is closely monitored. LED lighting is on sensors and switches to low or off when not required while a combination of natural and automated ventilation means the system is reactive to day-to-day conditions. In anticipation of the introduction of electric vehicles, provision has also been made for fast-charge stations on the showroom floor. Hewlett: “It was important that we future proof the design to be able to respond to developments in all three brands.”

Upstairs, the home of the Giltrap HQ is on Level 1 with two more floors of premium office space still to be leased. With the opening of a centralised on-site café, operated by Ripe, tenants and the public alike can enjoy the handsome company of world-leading automobile brands with a state-of-the-art environment as backdrop.

“The 119 GNR Building has exceeded all our expectations,” according to Michael Giltrap, the Joint Managing Director of Giltrap Group Holdings.

“Warren and Mahoney has produced a design which perfectly showcases some of the world’s most beautiful cars. At the same time it is the most technologically impressive and environmentally friendly building of its type in the country”

“For us this is the perfect combination: a building designed by New Zealand architects, for a New Zealand-owned company, which thanks to clever design and materials, is doing its part to look after the New Zealand environment.”

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Warren and Mahoney is pleased to announce the appointment of Daryl Maguire as Melbourne Studio Principal, after six years as a Principal at its Christchurch studio.

The move is reflective of Warren and Mahoney's one-studio approach, where architects from across our seven international studios work collaboratively on projects. 

Daryl's new role comes in addition to his position as the practice’s sports sector leader and Chair of the Australian Board. Daryl will focus heavily on business development alongside leading the Melbourne studio and managing the team day-to-day.

Daryl joined Warren and Mahoney in 2012 and has an impressive track record successfully delivering a host of complex and long-term projects. With a portfolio spanning 30 years and three continents, Daryl 's extensive history within sports architecture has seen him leading the direction of major stadiums and sporting precincts throughout New Zealand and Australia.

One of his memorable achievements during his tenure has been working with the local indigenous people to incorporate cultural narratives into key civic buildings such as King Edward Barracks and the Metro Sports Facility.

Daryl's design philosophy contends great architecture grows out of a bilateral understanding of the client’s vision and the site’s unique urban context, echoing Warren and Mahoney’s humanist approach to architecture.

“ This promotion is a wonderful opportunity to oversee the practice’s many exciting civic, education, residential and sports projects,” said Daryl.

“ Architecture allows me to flex my creative muscle to its capacity; navigating the needs of various community members and stakeholders. It’s a challenge Warren and Mahoney continuously lives up to.

“ For architects, large-scale recreational developments can often be the most challenging but also the most gratifying as each facility quickly transforms into a community hub.

“ For community projects, cohesion and simplicity drive Warren and Mahoney’s design approach and we follow through with precise execution to deliver authentic, meaningful and enduring design.

“ At the core of our business is a belief that identity matters; that the most successful and enduring projects are those that connect people together and create a sense of belonging.”

In the Melbourne studio, Daryl is currently working on two university sports facility projects: a recreation centre, and a sports science and research park.

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The World Architecture Festival gives us the opportunity to take New Zealand design to the world. As New Zealanders, we are outward looking, and always seeking new creative possibilities.

John Coop

The World Architectural Festival has today announced the finalists for their 2018 awards, which include two transport and two education projects by Warren and Mahoney; Memorial Bridge, Christchurch, Waterview Connection, The University of Waikato Marae and Multi-Purpose Facility and Lincoln University and AgResearch Joint Facility.

Managing director John Coop says Warren and Mahoney is delighted to have so many of its projects receive this level of recognition on a global stage.

“The World Architecture Festival gives us the opportunity to take New Zealand design to the world. As New Zealanders, we are outward looking, and always seeking new creative possibilities.

“All of these projects are the result of understanding the essential purpose and context of a project, working closely with our clients, the community and iwi to express identity and enhance belonging.

“To achieve four project finalists is proof that our design approach resonates beyond our shores,” says Coop.

World Architecture Festival organisers noted that the competition received a record number of entries this year, making a shortlist nomination a true feat. The complete shortlist includes 536 projects from 81 countries across its 39 categories. Each of the category winners will be announced at the festival in November, and winners will go on to compete for the World Building of the Year award or the Future Project of the Year award.

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The plan will focus on improving connectivity and increasing the overall cultural offering for the precinct, including public realm improvements, early interventions, pop-up opportunities, and flexible and adaptable spaces that can serve a wide variety of community needs throughout the year.

Over the next 12 months Warren and Mahoney and Oxigen will develop a precinct plan that reflects the needs and aspirations of a young and dynamic community that values community life, social inclusion and financial and environmental sustainability.

City Renewal Authority chief executive Malcolm Snow said the successful tender demonstrated a history of using design-led and people focused planning to deliver world-class precincts.

“Warren and Mahoney and Oxigen have all of the technical skills to formulate a comprehensive precinct plan and they also have an approach to city design consistent with the City Renewal Authority’s values,” Mr Snow said.

“The plan will focus on improving connectivity and increasing the overall cultural offering for the precinct, including public realm improvements, early interventions, pop-up opportunities, and flexible and adaptable spaces that can serve a wide variety of community needs throughout the year.

“The team we have selected for this critical project has proven experience in delivering high-profile civic redevelopment in Australia and New Zealand and a demonstrated commitment to community engagement, innovation, sustainability and design excellence.”

Gavin Kain, Managing Principal of Warren and Mahoney said the project was symbolically important.

“Canberra Civic and Arts Precinct is really important in the context of Australia and even potentially beyond,” he said.

“Having been involved in similar projects in other cities, how do you take what are interesting and important buildings, arts facilities, plazas, potentially convention centres which in many of our cities are typically places that can be low on energy and activity, and turn them into places that are vibrant? That's a challenge that I've been involved with previously and was keen to be able to bring some of those experiences to Canberra.”

Gavin is looking forward to working within the capital.

“Some of the most interesting residential and urban areas in Australia are emerging out of Canberra,” he said.

“Change is there and often it's about seizing particular opportunities and momentum. This feels like that sort of opportunity and a privilege.”

The Civic, Arts and Cultural Precinct spans from Constitution Avenue to Northbourne Avenue and is bordered by London Circuit to the east and City Hill to the west.  It also includes Ainslie Avenue from London Circuit to City Walk.  It is home to the Canberra Theatre, the ACT Legislative Assembly, the Canberra Museum of Gallery and the new ACT Government Office Block currently under construction.

For more information visit cityrenewalCBR.com.au.

 

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Waterview Connection

The New Zealand Institute of Architects honoured innovation and celebrated old and new at their local awards this year.

The awards are part of the New Zealand Architecture Awards programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects

This year’s Canterbury jury was led by architect Melanda Slemint. 

“What really stood out is the way architects have been able to keep sight of the human scale, and the context within which the projects sit. Christchurch is undergoing a period of identity change, and some of the new projects speak eloquently about the quality of life we celebrate here,” Slemint noted.

“The world’s best cities have a fine-grained rhythm that creates interest and variation and prevents streets and public spaces from being overwhelming. As post-quake Christchurch continues to develop, it is heartening to see that the city’s architects are attuned to the needs of people.”

Canterbury

King Edward Barracks – Commercial Building Award 

“A fearless sense of adventure and invention is expressed by the skin of this building, that is lyrical and sensuous, and complementary to both the plan and the commercial character of the building. The building acknowledges the river and courtyard like a parent loves a good daughter or son. The Right Honourable R. J. Seddon, Premier and Minister of Defence, would be proud of the fact that 113 years on, his stone still holds centre stage in this fine new building,” the jury commented.

The Arts Centre of Christchurch – Heritage and Restoration Award 

“Designed by Colin Hammond, the EA building is one of several Gothic Revival Buildings that combine to form the Arts Centre, a unique and important part of the cultural and historical heritage of Christchurch, even more so in the post-earthquake city. Accessibility has been introduced to all levels and spaces reconfigured to allow the School of Music to operate effectively in this historic building.

Every detail has been carefully considered in this sympathetic restoration which has breathed life back into the building,” the jury said. 

RJ Stewart Glandovey Road – Heritage and Restoration Award 

A large part of the comprehensive repair of this 80 year old Helmore and Cotterill home was the process of jacking up and relocating the primary structural to allow access to the subfloor. The judges commended the architects for their respect of the original detailing in creating this elegantly designed home.

“Sensitive alterations and extensions to the primary plan have allowed for a conservatory, new service buildings, glasshouse and garage that complement the original building and create seamless transitions from old to new,” the jury said.

Chapman Tripp – Interior Architecture Award 

The jury commended the simple and elegant materiality of this project noting that the light timber and white walls complement the art displayed. Gorgeous views, two exterior terraces, staff breakout rooms and flexible spaces make this workspace a delight to be in, the judges say.

“The simple idea of dividing a long, narrow interior with a spine wall imparts a clear sense of order. This wall also offers a welcoming gesture by creating a stepped series of panels where art is hung and built-in seating provided.”

Christchurch Justice & Emergency Services Precinct – Public Architecture and Interior Architecture Awards

The Justice and Emergency Services Precinct is a Christchurch rebuild ‘anchor project’ that the jury described as a “building without local precedent” that “encompasses many public functions necessary for society to work well.”

“Arranged loosely around a courtyard, this is an imposing building of incredible complexity. Formally ordered to the last sun louvre, it has a palate of materials that suggests endurance. In court, it is perfectly permissible to seek clarification of any ruling. In this instance the ruling is good; this is a well-conceived and beautifully constructed project.”

University of Canterbury College of Engineering – Education Award 

“Separate engineering facilities are now connected to form one cohesive College of Engineering through the design of a new central linking core. This new hub is the strength of this project: the primary elevation is carefully composed, the entry to the college provides an interesting spatial experience, and the hub provides for a wide variety of activities. The atrium is enclosed by a trussed ceiling that is a clear, and appropriate, expression of structural engineering,” the jury said.

The Wool Exchange – Enduring Architecture Award 

This building that originally housed the auction of wool goods was converted into a religious meeting place. The auctioneers’ podium was made in to a lectern for preaching and the square plan that once housed hectic auctions is now used by a Chinese religious congregation. 

The jury said, “The skylight and stairs are exciting architectural moves in an otherwise stolid structure built for endurance like a tight-head prop. In a post-earthquake city, this building has reinforced to the public the message that architecture can endure adversity.”

Auckland

119 Great North Road – Commercial Building, Interior Architecture and Colour Awards 

A winner of three awards this year, this building thoroughly impressed the jury inside and out. “The exposed steel and concrete beams and concrete trusses evoke the modern industrial genesis of automobiles, and sleek surfaces complement the cars’ sculptural forms,” the jury commented about this luxury car showroom and office building’s interior.

The meticulous logistics planning and rigorous detailing mirror the intricacy of the luxury cars on offer. Office interiors are highly polished and the two-storey concrete truss that braces the building is a dramatic diagonal element that adroitly frames the ‘jewel box’ car displays.

King’s School Centennial Building – Education Award 

The jury said the design of this building has “clearly articulated the desire for a learning environment that would create a positive pedagogical impact.”

The well-resolved design incorporates open, flexible and specialised teaching areas that support strong student engagement and interactivity. By opening to Portland Road, the project also shows generosity to the public realm.

Waterview Connection – Planning and Urban Design Award 

This project was a response to growing pressure on Auckland’s infrastructure and the jury commended it for its, “sheer grandeur.” Of particular note was Te Whitinga, the Hendon footbridge, of which the jury said, “[It] successfully and dramatically stitches back together a community that had found itself on either side of the motorway.”

Warren and Mahoney has added a layer of sophistication to the development of this motorway infrastructure project. The use of pou at ventilation shafts and as markers at each portal, seamlessly integrated with the tunnel, brings sheer grandeur to the project.

Wellington

Te Toki a Rata Victoria University of Wellington – Education Award

On the University’s Kelburn campus this science building provides a “legible new gateway.” The jury said, “The building unites this part of the university and forms a dark, reflective backdrop to the array of existing buildings on the opposite side of the courtyard.”