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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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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

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.

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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.