Bare essentials

The simple, pared-back interior of this boutique recruitment consultancy highlights the red carpet treatment given to clients
A view of the hallway in the office, architecture, ceiling, daylighting, furniture, interior design, office, product design, table, gray
A view of the hallway in the office, red carpet, concrete flooring, white seats and coffee table, artwork, white walls, white desk.

For a young, boutique recruitment consultancy specialising in selective placements, service is a key point of difference. So it stands to reason the red-carpet treatment given to clients needs to be reflected in the office fit-out.

Such was the brief given to architect Andre Hodgskin, who was commissioned to design the interior of the Auckland premises for Red Consulting Group.

Director Clare Turner says the company wanted a very modern work environment, which offered something a little different.

"We wanted the interior to be quite challenging, and unexpected. But, at the same time, the office needed to look well organised and under control," says Turner. "Clients also had to feel comfortable."

Located in the new Zone 23 complex in Auckland, the office reflects the size of the standard module available to tenants.

"We were provided with a long, narrow shell, with a concrete floor, exposed ceiling services, strip lighting and painted gib board," says Hodgskin.


A view of the reception area, carpet, grey architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, interior design, black
A view of the reception area, carpet, grey seats, white desk, artwork, white walls, lights.

But rather than gut the interior and undertake a full redecoration, thedesigners chose to leave the shell intact and lightly imprint the company's personality upon the space.

A prefabricated, translucent perspex box, similar to a large container, was shipped on site and assembled within the rectangular space. The lightweight box, which contains a series of interview rooms, sits apart from the shell, not quite touching the walls, and a step up from the floor. The existing strip lighting shines through the transparent perspex ceiling.

"We wanted to express the space the client had inherited, consequently the original shell is very evident," says Hodgskin. "Our contribution was to lightly and delicately place a jewel that would sit within this space."

The translucent walls allow borrowed light into the interview rooms, whilst maintaining a degree of privacy. The translucency also makes it readily evident which rooms are occupied.

The red carpet that runs alongside the perspex box speaks for itself, says Hodgskin. But it also helps heighten the simplicity of the space and the furniture.

"We pared back the interior to the bare essentials, revealing only that which is necessary," says Hodgskin.

A view of the hallway in the office, architecture, ceiling, daylighting, furniture, interior design, office, product design, table, gray
A view of the hallway in the office, red carpet, concrete flooring, white seats and coffee table, artwork, white walls, white desk.

Two grey, moulded polypropylene swivel chairs at the front of the office reinforce the smooth, sleek look. They were also chosen for their comfort. White furniture in a breakout area and a white reception desk convey a similar sense of sophistication.

The reception desk continues the simple, yet ergonomic, design approach.

"It's as basic as it can be, with just a top and two sides," says Hodgskin. "Further along the red carpet, a simple, white filing cabinet stands as a sculptural element that marks the end of the runway."

Staff workstations are positioned near the windows for the best natural light. There are also staff facilities built into the perspex box, including a kitchenette.

Hodgskin says the fit-out proved to be a cost-effective response to the client brief one that reinforces the company image.

Apr 12, 2006

Credit list

Location
Red Consulting Group, Zone 23, Auckland, New Zealand
Builder
Lex Pronk
Hardware
Halliday & Baillie
Carpet runner
TechLoom Rug & Carpet Creations
Paints
Dulux
Reception furniture
Luxy Big Jim swivel chairs from UFL Group; white furniture from Formway
Heating/air conditioning
Denco Air
Office chairs
Life chair from Formway
Signage
Signature Group
Architect
Andre Hodgskin, Andre Hodgskin Architects
Joinery manufacturer
Morrinsville Joinery
Tiling
Vinyl tiles from Interface NZ
Acoustic panels
Fabri Trak
Reception desk
Motion from Vidak Davies in Abet Lamineti matt white
Lighting
Concept Lighting
Workstations
Vidak Davies
Artworks
Mervyn Williams
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