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The perfect pilot – a post-pandemic studio

Global workplace expert Unispace has built its first Covid-responsive workplace in a prime example of physical meets digital in a post-virus era

Workplace designed by Unispace

Global workplace expert Unispace has built its first Covid-responsive workplace in a prime example of physical meets digital in a post-pandemic era. 

With Australia and New Zealand now ahead of the Covid-19 curve and other nations looking to the Trans-Tasman bubble for benchmark business solutions, Auckland was identified by Unispace as the prime location to test drive the business’s Propeller workplace; a hybrid framework that coalesces the benefits of the office hub with the merits of one’s home.  

Built in six-weeks using lean construction methodology, Unispace transformed the tired tower-block space into a 736sqm destination workplace with innovation, community and problem solving at its heart. 

Unispace recognises that remote employees often feel disenfranchised when they enter videos calls inhabited by a large group of office-based team members, and even more challenging is deciphering how two or more groups operate harmoniously on Teams meetings in the same space at the same time.


In embracing the increase of remote working, the Unispace Auckland studio is optimised to create a seamless interaction between physical and remote teams. 

Featuring custom-designed video conferencing ‘Teams’ pods with high-performing acoustic treatment and technology capabilities that operate as a cost-effective alternative to built-in meeting rooms. 

These innovation spaces enable two or more groups to work uninhibited in the same space at the same time, as does the room booking system, desk and room occupancy sensors, 52 ergonomic workpoints, and open space technology that empowers employees to work to their potential, anywhere. 

Centrally located in Auckland’s Queen Street, the 16th floor workplace takes full advantage of stunning 270-degree harbour views. Every space in the Auckland studio has multiple purposes and no space does one thing. The design library doubles up as a meeting room and breakout spaces double as a work zone. 

From the designers

Leading by example, the new Unispace Auckland studio is one of the first built examples of a post-Covid workplace, powered by our pioneering Propeller Framework and Agile ways of working.

Our team in New Zealand needed a more bespoke environment that would support agile working practices and enable more collaboration with our clients, colleagues and partners. 

So when Covid-19 hit, and we began to develop our Propeller Framework for the post-pandemic office, we saw the perfect opportunity to trial our approach in a country lauded internationally for its response to the pandemic. 

The result is a workplace that is geared toward measuring and enhancing productivity, collaboration and innovation. 

We support and encourage remote working for focus and wellness, while deeply acknowledging the value of bringing people together – the energy, the benefit to culture and the power for ideas generation.

And we’ve drawn from the worlds of travel, leisure and hospitality to take the workplace experience to the next level, giving our people the perfect reason to travel in for the day and encouraging clients and partners to share our environment. In our new environment every space works hard for the team. 

Each area of the studio is multi-functional, bookable, tech-enabled and acoustically-treated. No matter what your task is, there is a place for you and your team to get together, plug into technology and continue with your day. 

Visitor and user experience, co-working, digitally-physically blended spaces and wellness were critical factors for us to embody in the workplace. 

The studio helps blur the line between physical
The studio helps blur the line between physical attendees of meetings and those that join from remote sites (ie: home).

The result is a ‘fully-hosted experience from arrival’ – digital welcome screens, an open co-working deck for employees and clients to use, a full open kitchen servery, an abundance of open and closed meeting rooms and ample screens for connectivity.

Post-Covid design inclusions were custom-designed acoustic phone booths for increased 1-1 video conferencing, and more innovation spaces, including our tech-enabled Innovation Hub. 

Technology seamlessly connects the physical and digital working experience throughout the studio. Every work point is enabled with plug-and-play tech, presence-sensors, and on-desk wireless phone charging. Sensors above every meeting room/space track real-time utilisation.

This holistic tech experience is critical for workplace productivity and culture, and is the smoothest pathway to workplace inclusion, given that most meetings now contain at least one remote team member. 

Delivering workplace fit-outs isn’t easy during a pandemic, so we developed a new lean delivery process to reduce delivery time, minimise waste and improve value.

Applying lean principles allowed us to build our new studio in just six weeks, despite work being carried out against the backdrop of the country’s highest Covid-19 alert level.

It was the perfect pilot, and has helped us refine our process for delivering all workplace projects in a more agile and responsive way, even where multiple subcontractors and suppliers are involved. 

In New Zealand, we now have a Covid-secure, destination workplace where high-quality experiences happen, from coaching and collaboration to planning and socialisation, with our team’s time in the office built around these experiences.

Story by: Trendsideas

20 Jun, 2021

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