"The Bay of Plenty and the Waikato are major contributors to New Zealand's economic growth, and Tauranga and Hamilton are growing and coming of age as significant cities. We are here to support and play our part in helping to achieve this growth."John Coop, Chairman
At an event held on Wednesday 18th October at the Tauranga Art Gallery, studio leader Les Matthews said the location at 76 Grey Street in the CBD provides an essential boots-on-the-ground base in an area that is moving forward in both a civic and business sense. “Having a local presence allows us to service the current work our practice is undertaking and to support future opportunities in the area,” he said.
Chairman of Warren and Mahoney, John Coop, who also hosted the event, emphasised the importance of the company’s commitment to the region. "The Bay of Plenty and the Waikato are major contributors to New Zealand's economic growth, and Tauranga and Hamilton are growing and coming of age as significant cities. We are here to support and play our part in helping to achieve this growth."
Matthews, an award-winning architect who also sits on the Technical Advisory Group set up by Tauranga City Council, has relocated from Hamilton to take up his role. The studio had a soft launch in May and Matthews says he and his team have used the five-month period to achieve an appreciation of the local scene by engaging with the business community, the council and the general public. “From our first-hand observations and our research we have been able to gain a detailed understanding of the urban design issues and opportunities,” says Matthews.
Continued growth in the Bay of Plenty has seen an upswing in investment and development, and Warren and Mahoney has worked on a number of significant projects. These include the ASB Arena (pictured below right) and the new Zespri headquarters (pictured below left) in Mount Maunganui. Matthews says it was exciting for the firm to be able to design a state-of-the-art building for Zespri, a business that is a global industry leader. “Zespri is an important economic contributor to the region, and the design reflects the company’s environmentally-conscious culture and commitment to innovation,” says Matthews.
Warren and Mahoney, in conjunction with landscape architects Landlab and the City Council, was also responsible for the development of the Waterfront and Tauranga Civic Heart Master Plan, a comprehensive document that sets the vision for an exciting and robust way forward. John Coop, who formed part of the strategic design team on the plan, says: "Developing the vision has followed the inter-disciplinary and collaborative models used in other revitalised centres such as New Plymouth, Auckland's Wynyard Quarter, and the Christchurch rebuild."
The studio is currently progressing detailed designs for the Harington Street Transport Hub, which is located near the domain, and is a crucial part of the aim to regenerate the city’s civic heart. With several levels of car parking, it will also provide an end-of-trip facility for cyclists with bike parking, showers and changing lockers. Electric chargers for e-bikes and charging stations for electric cars are also planned. Matthews: “With more people working and living in the centre of the city, there is an immediate need for compact central parking combined with a facility that encourages more people to cycle in to the city.”
Establishing a studio here during such a progressive era for the region is exhilarating and a privilege says Matthews who admits the team has had to hit the ground running. “This is the first chance we have had to formally announce our presence. The positivity of working in this environment is addictive and there are so many opportunities in the pipeline, but I’m also looking forward to the day that I can dust off my paddle board and enjoy the unique lifestyle that is so clearly part of why the momentum is here."
Click here to view photographs from the evening.Close