When David Connor was seeking out a designer for his newly acquired premises in Auckland’s Queen Street, he chose Gaze, who have vast “legal experience” working with firms including Tavendale & Partners, Kayes Fletcher Walker, Russell McVeagh, Meredith Connell, Cairns Slane, James & Wells, Greenwood Roche and Duncan Cotterill.
He also wanted someone who could combine their extensive design experience with the ability to work collaboratively with him to achieve the sort of office space he wanted to work in.
The brief was relatively simple; the floor purchased was drab and dated, and David was concerned that the space could not be transformed into a ‘swish’, efficient and modern chambers, with a combination of both fixed office and flexible space that reflected his vibrant law practice.
In addition, consideration needed to be given to the technology the practice used and the specific storage requirement for both legal files and garments.
‘The environment was to be professional and business-like (no leather chairs or cigars), comfortable secure and private”, said the brief.
The Design Requirements
As always, there are specific requirements from those seeking the best, possible space in which to work. David’s requirements were specific and included –
>>An overall feeling of modernity, practicality, light, warmth and novelty
>>Reception and meeting rooms not too large with room for artwork
>>Offices plus open plan work areas to accommodate admin and juniors
>>Boardroom with easy access to entertainment facilities and must be acoustically secure with warm and inviting lighting with dimmers
>>Kitchen and lunchroom functional and encouraging warmth and communication
>>Separate toilets and shower
>>Effective services and service areas and utility space that is functional with good storage’
In essence, it was for likable, liveable and workable space. Something that was efficient and attractive for the people who worked in the space and the people who visited.
David and his wife, Barbara Relph, took advice from Gaze even before purchasing what was at that point a very tired space. Barbara wanted confirmation that a complete refit was within budget and could be made “great”.
The Gaze approach was very collaborative, with David and his wife Barbara contributing significantly to the look and feel of the offices.
‘we spend far too many hours at work to not have an enjoyable and welcoming work setting’.
The process involved a number of revisions prior to reaching the final layout to ensure the ultimate product worked practically, whilst also providing an aesthetically warm and inviting environment to work in.
After all as David exclaimed ‘we spend far too many hours at work to not have an enjoyable and welcoming work setting’.
The Gaze design process generally follows the process as set-out below, with a focus on ongoing collaboration and communication –
The existing window joinery was very tired and, with replacement not being a viable option, required some aesthetic enhancement. Window Sills were replaced and blinds installed
Dave and Barbara his team wanted to create a modern and inviting entry that would draw clients into his offices and provide a modern and professional image that reflected his brand.
Clean lines, warm colours and materials, clear branding, quality lighting and an openness that draws ‘you’ in.
The previous lobby entry was dark, dingy and uninviting, with poor lighting and confused lines.
The lifts themselves were also dated so a melteca clipwall overlay was installed around the lift fronts.
David and Barbara also wanted both staff and visitors to be able to move freely around the space. A wall was removed to open up a hallway and enable full circulation around the central service core of the floor.
This also served to provide more natural light to the lift lobby
The existing offices were dark and gloomy, with poor lighting, services and an outdated colour palette. This was upgraded to warm and inviting with clean walls to exhibit an eclectic art collection.
Due to an impending existing lease expiry, the Gaze team had to accommodate a tight time-frame which resulted in some early demolition, a tender over the holiday period and a reduced construction period.
The space is open, light and breezy and as a result of our ongoing collaboration with Gaze we really have inspiring and functional space.’
Whilst resulting in a few unfinished items and temporary solutions which had to be completed after occupation, this allowed David to move his practice in on time and avoid additional costs from extensions to their previous lease.
‘Overall we are delighted with our new offices. The space is open, light and breezy and as a result of our ongoing association with Gaze we have inspiring and functional space’
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