Tomorrow calling - Telecom Central a futuristic new presence in Wellington

Telecom Central a futuristic new presence in Wellington

Here is a view of the new Telecom architecture, building, city, commercial building, condominium, corporate headquarters, daytime, facade, headquarters, landmark, metropolis, metropolitan area, sky, skyscraper, tower, tower block, urban area, teal
Here is a view of the new Telecom Central building with its offices.

When a leading telecommunications company relocates and reorganises its headquarters, it's to be expected that the new venue will reflect progressive thinking. A Green Star-rated office complex that merges heritage architecture, futuristic facades and skybridges, glass elevators and leading interior design concepts is a good place to start.

The new Telecom Central office and retail complex commissioned by Gill Consultants for developer The Wellington Company was built with the needs of its naming tenant in mind. Base-build architects Architecture + and interior architects Warren and Mahoney worked closely from the outset to ensure an internal layout that would support the campus-style work environment seen in Telecom's recently completed Auckland offices. The forward-looking building also had to attract a 5-Star Green Star rating for design.

Stephen Poulopoulos, at Architecture +, says the answer was to create a composite building right in the heart of Wellington fronting onto Willis Street one way and Boulcott Street the other.

"On Willis Street, the building enfolds the heritage-protected Tisdalls facade and a 1980s concrete building alongside. Dovetailing with these structures, the new build portion extends back across the block to Boulcott Street, five levels up," says the project architect.

Incorporating the heritage Tisdalls building and its iconic internal staircase was part of achieving town planning consent. The assimilation of the '80s building, stripped back, with floor plates extended, contributed to the Green Star rating.

"Optimising natural light penetration through the resulting 90m-long floor plates also impacted Green Star accreditation and this helped drive the design," says Poulopoulos. "The glass facades at both ends and a central atrium cutting laterally across the floorplate all flood light into the interior."

Here is a view of the new Telecom architecture, building, city, commercial building, condominium, corporate headquarters, daytime, facade, headquarters, landmark, metropolis, metropolitan area, mixed use, reflection, residential area, sky, skyscraper, structure, tower block, urban area, white
Here is a view of the new Telecom Central building with its offices.

Even when bisected by the atrium, the Boulcott Street side of the building still had large floorplates, so to gain the Green Star rating, a second, five-level atrium now penetrates this area of the building.

"Bringing the old and new together had its issues," says Poulopoulos. "While the original structures were designed to move in a seismic event, this rolling response could be compromised when joined to a new structure. Extensive back engineering was required to achieve the marriage."

With differing floor heights and service spaces between the various elements reconciled, the light, expansive floor spaces were fitted out for Telecom.

Telecom Central offers 30,000m² of floor space spread over 12 floors on the Willis Street side and 11 on Boulcott, the latter including three levels of underground carparking. Telecom occupies 60% of this the first floor entry level and levels 7 and up on Willis Street, and levels 6 to 12 on the other side. Other tenancies will occupy the remaining floors and there are expansive retail spaces at street level on both approaches.

A primary aim for the fit-out was to echo the open, interactive community environment achieved at the Auckland offices, says Warren and Mahoney associate David Giera.

"This was important in a space where 1850 people were merging from six disparate locations and the atrium plays a central role in this," says Giera.

Here is a view of the new Telecom interior design, lobby, black
Here is a view of the new Telecom Central building with its offices. Shown here are four seats, tiled flooring, a rug, and a t.v.

"Hot desks and cafe environments are set next to the tall, relatively narrow atrium positioning that animates the space, giving it a social focus withcolleagues calling across the void from one landing to another. We call this area the Active Edge.

"People leave their designated areas and come out here to energise and interact. There are even breakout spaces on the skybridges.

"After close work-process analysis in conjunction with Geyer we created a fluid environment where fixed desks, hot desks and breakout spaces are spread out through the floors. The emphasis is on connectivity and interaction. Central streets run the length of the building on all work levels, crossing the atrium as skybridges that also connect with the glass-walled elevator. Meeting rooms open off these streets and general desking benefits by being closer to the natural light sources."

Spokesperson for Telecom Brent Jacobs says the new offices have been well received.

"One pleasing element for us was the ability to come in and start operations right away. Desking, operation and technical services all facilitated staff coming together easily in one place," says Jacobs. "A high Green Star rating, assimilation of a significant part of Wellington's architectural history and the high-tech design all underscore Telecom's commitment to the capital."

Credit list

Tenant representative
Wareham Cameron + Co
Interior design consultants
Geyer Australia
Hawkins Construction
Waterford Security
Ardex Butynol, Colorsteel Endura, Equus De Boer
Abbey Signs and Services
Henry & Kemp, Lockwood, Katalog
Quantum Ceramics, Bramco Granite and Marble
Mars ClimaPlus
Trilux, ECC, Thorn, Famco, Fargerhult, Nimbus, Aesthetics Lighting
The Wellington Company
Interior architect
Warren and Mahoney; Geyer
Project manager
Coffey, The Building Intelligence Group
Structural engineer
Clendon Burns & Park
Precast concrete, Stresscrete
Thermosash Commercial, Delta Commercial 400 suite, PW1000 curtainwall
Lift, escalator
Schindler Lifts
New Zealand Window Shades
Regupol Classic from Jacobsens
Resene, Dulux

Story by: Trendsideas

22 Nov, 2011

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