Keeping up with business growth means more than just expanding your facilities. Ideally, both the architecture and fit-out will also embody a sense of team connectivity and personal well-being that simply makes work a great place to be.
And such was the outcome with the expansion of the innovative dairy processing company Synlait. The complex project was undertaken by design and build company Calder Stewart Construction, with the near-simultaneous interior fit-out by Unispace.
Calder Stewart's base build included the addition of a two-level 3585m² administration and state-of-the-art quality-testing laboratory building connected to the existing dry store. The original, separate, administration offices were partly reinvented as a vibrant staff cafe and a reception-and-meeting rooms space was added between this and the new admin and lab facility all linked by a glass corridor. And to connect the admin building to Synlait's blending and consumer packaging facility and third large-scale spray drier, a high-level suspended walkway was built through the dry store.
Calder Stewart's lead designer on the job, Kieran Cooper, says one of the trickier aspects of the build was that the demolition of redundant structures and the construction had to be undertaken while Synlait was in full operation. Logistically, this meant stepping stages to fit around staff movements.
Another important consideration was building a temporary, pest- and water-proof wall on the dry store when it was opened up prior to connecting to the administration building that was underway.
The main challenge, however, was designing the labs on the ground floor. The extent of mechanical services that had to run up to the roof required careful design consideration.
"In terms of design and aesthetics, a key part of the project was to make staff feel great about their workplace," says Cooper. "As part of this, the admin building is oriented to take in the spectacular mountain scenery via extensive top-floor glazing.