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.