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Wynyard Quarter's Innovation Precinct is the built face of an innovative city – a vibrant, accessible place where the public can work, live and be entertained, informed and inspired. It is playing a key role in making Auckland a globally relevant story.

Blair Johnston, Principal

The new GridAKL building at 12 Madden Street in the fast-growing Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct takes strong cues from the heritage of its site and from the neighbouring Mason Bros building which houses its designers, Warren and Mahoney Architects.

The six-storeyed glazed building with a black brick base features an industrial material palette that references the origins of this area once used for ship-building and engineering – an intentionally  ‘raw’ rather than a ‘refined’ architectural expression. Unlike many modern commercial premises, GridAKL is not a hermetically sealed environment but has operable windows and balconies to ensure the inhabitants of the building are highly connected with the adjacent public lanes, while also acting as a signal of the project’s sustainability credentials.

Designed by Warren and Mahoney for Precinct Properties, GridAKL houses ATEED and Generator as key tenants, and is tangible evidence of the progress of the Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct.  At 7,500 square metres the project will quadruple the current level of innovation tenants in the precinct when fully occupied.

Blair Johnston was design architect for the project and also worked on the masterplan for the commercial buildings in the Wynyard Quarter, alongside Waterfront Auckland (now Panuku Development), Precinct Properties and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

The design-led masterplan included the development of high-quality, sustainable office space within the Wynyard Quarter block bounded by Halsey, Pakenham, Madden and Daldy Streets.

Johnston says that the existing character fabric, such as the Lysaght Building and Mason Brothers Building, is a powerful asset for the development. “This rare collection of functional heritage buildings along Auckland’s waterfront provides an authentic counterpart to the contemporary architecture which will form the majority of the buildings in this area,” he says.

The masterplan allows for a coherency of approach not always seen in other areas of Auckland; as well as GridAKL, there are three more commercial buildings to be developed in the precinct and further residential and retail environments.

“Innovation Precincts are organic, living environments. The Precinct provides a wide range of spaces to support businesses at different stages of their evolutionary cycle, actively ‘curating’ a range of users to encourage new ideas and new thinking,” explains Johnston.

“The design of the Precinct breaks down the conventional boundaries between businesses. Co-working spaces that allow businesses to come together in neutral, flexible and technology-rich environments provide a completely new kind of space in the city.”

The next phase of development in the Innovation Precinct will focus on the construction of public lanes. This network of landscaped laneways with integrated artwork and catenary lighting will accommodate spaces for children to play and become an everyday destination for all Aucklanders. These lanes will link the commercial, residential and hospitality uses of Wynyard Quarter.

Johnston says there will soon be a concentration of activity in the Wynyard Quarter with the influx of workers, such as software developers, moving into GridAKL alongside residential occupants. The combination of residential, innovation and commercial use will bring diversity and interest throughout the week, a mix that helps to builds a sense of community. “Aucklanders will realise that this is not a soulless commercial office park, but a real 24/7 mixed-use destination that appeals to all sorts of people,” says Johnston. It’s the built face of an innovative city – a vibrant, accessible place where the public can work, live and be entertained, informed and inspired. “The Innovation Precinct is playing a key role in making Auckland a globally relevant story.”

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“We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our board. He has extensive experience across key sectors such as tourism, transport and infrastructure and urban design and with organisations that are fast evolving and dynamic.”

John Coop

Warren and Mahoney Limited has announced the appointment of Richard Leggat as an independent director to the practice’s board of directors effective January 2018. The announcement represents an increase in the size of the board from seven to eight directors, with Richard Leggat joining Anne Blackburn as its second independent director. 

Warren and Mahoney’s Chair, John Coop says that as the international architectural design practice continues to grow, it’s important to bolster the diversity of perspectives that help govern the business.

“We are very pleased to welcome Richard to our board. He has extensive experience across key sectors such as tourism, transport and infrastructure and urban design and with organisations that are fast evolving and dynamic.”

“We have benefitted from Anne’s independent perspective for several years, and now in addition look forward to Richard’s expertise and insight as we continue to evolve,” said Coop.

Founded in 1955, the practice today employs almost 300 staff across seven integrated studios: Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Sydney and Melbourne.

Richard Leggat has been a full time director for the past six years with positions on a number of government and sporting organisations including Tourism New Zealand, Education New Zealand, NZ Post, Panuku Development Auckland, Chair of the NZ Cycle Trail, Director of Cycling and Director of Snow Sports NZ.

“Richard’s directorships have reach and presence across New Zealand, giving him insight into key national issues, as well as an understanding of the priorities and objectives of central and local government,” says Coop.

Born and raised in Christchurch, Richard says he grew up surrounded by Warren and Mahoney projects, and is looking forward to deeper involvement with the business as it is today.  

“Warren and Mahoney is a successful business with a great heritage. My experience with Panuku has shown me the importance of the built environment, how it affects people, and enhances the community and people’s lives.                                                      

“I look forward to using the insights I’ve learned from different sectors to help Warren and Mahoney make good decisions that lead to celebrated outcomes that staff are proud of and the community benefits from,” says Leggat.

Warrenand Mahoney Christmas2017 Red Nobutton

As is tradition at Warren and Mahoney, our creative teams have banded together to create our annual Christmas greeting. 

Please click here to view.

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy festive season.

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Gavin is borderless in his outlook, globally aware and very well placed to serve our clients’ interests both locally, in Australia and further afield internationally.”

John Coop

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. 

Barrington Nick

Warren and Mahoney, has announced the promotion of Nick Deans and Barrington Gohns to Principal, marking a significant phase of growth for the practice as it continues to expand its presence in Australasia.

Nick and Barrington will be assuming the roles of principal at the Melbourne and Auckland studios respectively and will strengthen the practice’s ‘one studio’ approach, whereby its seven studios across Australia and New Zealand function as a collective team.

A senior architect with Warren and Mahoney since 2015, Nick previously held a position at Woods Bagot and is Chair of the Property Council of Australia’s Future Directions Committee Australia, and an active member of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Nicks’ architectural design work spans a range of sectors including commercial, multi- residential, and tertiary design. He has worked closely with developer, GURNER™’s founder Tim Gurner on several of his latest residential projects including Regent Apartments, Stanley Street Apartments, and the upcoming rejuvenation of The Spanish Club.

Nick's collaborative approach to design mirrors Warren and Mahoney’s commitment to working in strategic partnership with its clients.

“ My career has been built around the strength of professional service and the development of client relationships over a period of time,” said Nick.

“ I am a strong collaborator and am transparent in my approach to design. I am proud to work at a studio that embraces this approach, and brings innovative and functional ideas to all sectors of design.

“ As a trans-Tasman practice, Warren and Mahoney brings a fresh set of eyes and a point of difference to the Australian market.”

Barrington has been with Warren and Mahoney since his days at the University of Auckland in 2009, where he quickly built up a team of specialist graduates to test new environments within private and public-use spaces.

Barringtons’ experience includes major commercial and public projects including the redevelopment of TVNZ, the design and development of five-star Hotel 3 at Auckland Airport and the recently completed mixed-use star car showroom for Giltrap Group.

“ Warren and Mahoney has worked on shaping cities over the past 60 years, creating sustainable communities that bring people together,” said Barrington. 

“This experience gives the studio a unique perspective on city-making that drives us to always look at new and innovative ways of approaching design.”

Gohns’ approach continues to push beyond the realms of traditional architecture, working to create visual installations and technology-driven designs that deliver outstanding results.

Nick and Barrington will work collaboratively across various projects and teams in Australia and New Zealand. 

Chairman of Warren and Mahoney, John Coop, said the promotions mark an important step in Warren and Mahoney’s growth strategy.

“ Nick and Barrington will move into our leadership team, driving us forward and enhancing the skills and capabilities of studio,” said John.

“ As an international practice, our team is comprised of some of the most talented designers from around the world, each of whom bring their own unique set of skills and experience.

“ We are a 300-strong team, and we leverage that experience and hone those skills in the pursuit of architectural excellence.”

Warren and Mahoney has also recently promoted the following individuals to Associate:

Sydney

Thomas Hansen 

Edward Salib 

Auckland

Holly Campbell

Ngata Tapsell

Sebastian Hamilton

Christchurch

Cheryl Kilpatrick