New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/6 - Page 36

so it is very understated and almost domestic in scale. In a sense, this could almost be a very large family home.” Textural elements feature strongly – a urethane art wall created by Unique Ltd forms a backdrop to the landscaping. The wall, which references the history of the company and its people, extends through to the interior where it incorporates irregular cutouts backlit by LED lighting. “The visuals were a key part of the brief from the company, which values its staff highly,” says Leuschke. “It was essential to make this a pleasant, inviting workspace that would help the firm attract and retain good workers.” The architect says the visuals were also a way to inject a little humour into the design. The reception desk, for example, resembles a giant muesli bar, with nuts and seeds embedded into the front panel. A black backdrop, which relates to the Tasti corporate colours, enhances the visual drama. In terms of the interior layout, the main organising element is a wide corridor that forms the spine of the building, connecting all the offices with the cafeteria, staff facilities and the factory beyond. 34 SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT “This circulation zone, which is defined by a long timber wall made from recycled rimu and matai, functions as an architectural street,” says Leuschke. “It links every aspect of the Tasti business and encourages interaction between employees. All the offices open to the street.” Natural light pours into the street, through a band of clerestory windows. Small V-shaped structural steel supports beside these windows echo those on the other side of the building. But the interior supports are black so they stand out against the windows and the white ceiling. “We brought the garden inside at the far end of the street,” says Leuschke. “Workers walking to and from the cafeteria are exposed to greenery and natural light –– it offers an escape from the inside of the factory.” Screens and contemporary furniture in the cafeteria also enliven the work space, with a large orange screen helping to organise any queues that may form. Leuschke says the office is a very dignified, egalitarian working environment, one that is both grounded and engaging for the workforce. Below:Black and white – the Tasti corporate colours – make a dramatic backdrop to the reception desk, which is modelled on a giant muesli bar. Right:The textural urethane art wall extends through to the reception area, where it is enlivened with illuminated cutouts and a large video screen. The wall was created from large moulds made at a tidal beach north of Auckland. Lower right:A long architectural street forms the spine of the building, linking all the offices and meeting rooms to the cafeteria and factory. The 90m2 wall features matai and recycled rimu timber salvaged from an 1890s villa.