Vodafone, Smales Farm
The new Vodafone HQ is the anchor tenant of a lively and progressive innovation precinct at Smales Farm, Takapuna.
The Vodafone building is testament to Smales Farm’s objective of redefining the work place. Smales Farm has rethought and reinvented ‘traditional’ to deliver a work environment the next generation are seeking, something Smales Farm is calling a Next Generation Neighbourhood
The objective of the project was to celebrate the spirit, energy and intelligence of New Zealanders and provide a transformative, future-ready tool that allows the organisation to do and be their best.
True to Vodafone's global tel-co reputation, the building features state-of-the-art integrated technology to enable effective, flexible working. Smartphone-based apps allow staff to do anything from booking a meeting room to ordering a coffee. A digital climbing wall provides fun and reprieve.
With a 2,000 strong workforce, the technology solution is a key enabler of the flexible workplace policies. This is also facilitated by a variety of work settings that provide staff with the choice and the freedom to work in the way that suits their needs. Moving between these settings stimulates interactions and friendships across business units, promoting wellbeing and the establishment of collective organisational goals.
The design is a bold reinvigoration of an existing building, originally designed by Warren and Mahoney, that brings together all Vodafone Auckland staff into one home, working as one team. The campus-style approach to the planning supports connections within the business and out to the wider precinct. It is intended to be a playful environment, with energy and variety.
Underneath the spirit of the narrative is a very clear and simple planning and formal rationale. The building is six levels, some 18,000m2 and made up of two halves with a central atrium. The creation of a vibrant heart within the building encourages occupants to interact and enhances organisational culture.
A key design move was to remove the solid partitions to the edge of the atrium and locate the staff hubs at this edge. This, coupled with a re-design of the existing bridges, promotes connection across the building and generates activity at all levels of the atrium.
The external spaces offer a little bit of playful. There is a choice of a barbecue terrace and basketball and volleyball court to utilise for work and play. A community garden provides fresh greens for staff and, importantly, is a space to gather and connect.