Intergen is an award winning organisation specialising in providing IT solutions. The key objective of the brief was to support interconnectivity across the workplace, with Activity Based Working an essential component. Intergen sought to highlight their flexible, ‘quirky’ organisational culture through an environment that would suit the needs of their employees. Working in project teams, staff collaborate across different disciplines; the space required easy reconfiguration for growth as driven by company projects. A large client and staff function area provides flexibility for a mix of internal and external meetings and presentations.
Intergen’s workplace is situated on Willis Street, Wellington. Built in 1923, the former Dominion Post Newspaper Press Hall is a concrete structure that references an industrial aesthetic. Connectivity across the three work floors is facilitated by a new central atrium stair providing and encouraging vertical and horizontal movement. Individual, collaborative and quiet zones were essential, as was the provision for social areas; the Intergenite Hub (kitchen) and Xbox Room provides intervals for staff during the working day. A “client hub”, positioned on the top floor offers sheltered views and outdoor connectivity through the extension of the outdoor terrace.
Enhancing the existing qualities of the building was a key design driver. Carefully detailed steel structural elements frame the meeting rooms, and the jarrah flooring is salvaged and reused in select areas. Expansive external fenestrations are reflected within the interior design; meeting room access is via full height pivot doors, stacking sliders or operable walls that further transform the space. Classic material palettes emphasise honest authentic materials and creates an interesting interplay with the industrial palette of the base building - aged bronze, stained timber, and steel juxtaposed with pops of colour in the soft fitout.
Unique features include the use of curtains in lieu of manifestations. The joinery was designed in totality, including steel signage, ensuring a continuity of detail from the macro to the micro. Connectivity to the exterior is considered with the implementation of the outdoor terrace space. The work hubs feature soft seating with high backs to allow for acoustic as well as visual privacy, whilst allowing teams to use technology without being cut off from their wider collaborative partners. Soft furniture provides a respite from the hard surfaces, and adds a pop of colour. The modular seating can be moved and reconfigured as required based on the user’s needs.
This fitout of a former printing press building neatly picks up on the original industrial aesthetic and transforms it into a compelling modern office environment. The interconnecting stair through the atrium combined with the northern atrium links the three floors together. Reuse of the original flooring is cleverly interwoven into the design. The exposed ceiling and services are thoroughly thought out. Particular design choices, such as the arrangement of the personal lockers and work boards, take this fitout far above the standard. It is very evident that this clearly coordinated environment is a workplace that all of its users enjoy.
- New Zealand Institute of Architects Local Awards Citation, 2017