Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Client: IAG New Zealand
Building Owner: M6 Investments
Area: 9250.0 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Simon Devitt
The NZI Centre is a commercial office building located in Auckland’s CBD. It is an integrated design, with the architectural and interior/workplace elements both designed by Jasmax alongside one another, but with two different clients.
The NZI Centre is leading the way in New Zealand for the new generation of socially responsible developments that place the occupant environment at the centre of the design. While the focus has been internal, there has been a holistic attitude and a balance struck between the internal spaces and urban design issues.
The concept began as a unique response to the complex urban environment that surrounded the site. The challenge was to create an internal environment that captured the energy of the busy intersection and the city, but which also provided a quiet sanctuary that a single tenant could use as a diverse workplace.
The first step was the creation of a void that opened out towards the city and the mature trees on the opposite side of Market Place. This created an arc shaped floor plate along the Western side of the building. This basic form creates a number of benefits including efficient building floor plates, the placement of the building’s primary transparent façade away from significant solar gain and embracing the outside environment as if with ‘out stretched arms’.
The void created by this gesture – which stretches between the arc floor plate and the façade – forms the atrium. This becomes a key element in the building.
‘Organisation as living entity’ was the main concept for the fitout. During briefing workshops the idea of the building being related to a greenhouse due to it’s largely glass façades was picked up. With this strongly established the fitout was then aligned to become the growing entity within. The language of the tree was translated into places within the building and was influential in organising the business. The roots or anchors of the company (training, shared cafes, public interaction) were located on the ground level. The vertical and horizontal circulation of the stair, lifts and walkways were described as the trunks and branches with nodes along the way for opportunities for bumping into people. And the foliage expressed the changing nature of the team’s immediate working environment.
Along with the initial ‘living entity’ concept there were overlapping rationales which included the following:
- Simple structure - the base building acts as an exo-skeleton, and the interior elements become insertions within it.
- Sit within - Interior elements sit within, resting lightly, not quite touching the building structure
- See it all - the fitout is to create filtering, layering and allowing occupants to sight through so as not to allow silos or cul-de-sacs
For all of us - Celebrating the variety of individuality and the diversity of community and team.
Jasmax’s brief was to design a building that would meet, as a minimum, the NZ Green Building Council’s Greenstar NZ 5 star rating for Office Design.
Several strategies to achieve this rating were explored and the building reflects several initiatives that have never before been built locally.
The building is designed with Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles at the core of every decision and with the aim of achieving NZ Green Building Council’s Greenstar NZ 5 star rating for Office Design and a Green Star NZ 5 Star – Interiors 2009 Pilot Certified Rating,
This innovative building shows a step up in quality as well as a commitment to the green initiatives within the New Zealand market. Internally it is light and airy, while the external fabric texturally enriches the city and sophisticatedly responds to the surrounding environment. The result is a finely tuned and engineered building that has been crafted to excel in design and performance.