Just one look that's all it took to convince the new tenant of this office space that it was the right choice for a design studio.
Interior architect Siavash Momeny of Gaze says the 1930s building had good bones, with solid concrete beams and columns, steel windows and an Art Deco influence. The location, in High Street, Auckland, was also a plus it was central and the tenancy provided an attractive view of a park from an existing balcony.
"The space was familiar to many Aucklanders, being a former bar, plus there was a collection of small offices," Momeny says. "While we needed to gut the entire interior, we wanted to keep the integrity of the concrete slabs and walls intact. These were stripped back to expose the raw concrete. The floors were then polished and sealed, and because we wanted to respect what went before, even old paint marks were left in place."
The designer says it was important to create a warm, welcoming interior where people could feel connected and part of a team.
"Staff needed to be screened off from reception, yet still visible. And the reception desk itself had to be integrated with the work area, rather than a separate area. At 300m², the office is not huge, and we wanted to maximise the space."
To organise the office, the design team created a dark-stained, rough-sawn timber spine that separates the work area from the public spaces and also has a practical role.