New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/9 - Page 106

“The team wanted to walk the talk with an office that reflected the way they worked. This was never going to be a typical corporate workplace.” In keeping with this design brief, the entire office is open and transparent. Demountable Muraflex glass walls provide acoustic privacy for meeting areas but ensure visual connections remain. Staff are encouraged to use the entire office, not just the workstations. No-one is assigned a particular desk; workers log in each morning and work wherever they need to be. This may be at a collaborative table, workstation or in one of the many breakout areas, which include an area with a green carpet and picnic table. Sun loungers and a kitchen island with bar stools are other options. Howery says the head of the department loved the raw, exposed loft-style aesthetic of the original, gutted interior. “He would have liked us to do nothing,” she says. “But we needed to ensure the materials were durable and that it would be fit for purpose. The floor, for example, looked like raw concrete, but was actually a softer subcrete that had to be 104 SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT covered. We didn’t want carpet, vinyl or tiles, so opted for reclaimed maple wood from an old factory. This not only works with the look, but also references the company’s Midwest origins. The wood helps to warm the space visually, but doesn’t detract from the very clean, crisp feel.” Reclaimed barn wood from the Midwest is another key feature. The wood wraps a large structural column in the centre of the office, and also clads the stair core. A new HVAC system was left exposed in the ceiling, along with the existing pipes and cables, which were painted white to match the ceiling. Stairs that lead up to meeting and training rooms were also painted white, and much of the furniture is white. Large 80in televisions are suspended from the ceiling in many areas. These can be used to share information from individual computers. The office also has a dedicated lab with a bank of screens. The natural lighting that illuminates most of the interior is supplemented by unobtrusive strip lighting, cylinder cans and pairs of pendant lights. Below:Large circular windows on the top floor are among the original Art Deco features that captured the attention of the Kimberly-Clark team. This area is used for meetings, corporate training and webinars. Top right:The office presents several breakout areas that workers are encouraged to use. This front-of-house kitchen features a sink and small refrigerator and can be used for entertainment purposes. There is also a more functional kitchen area for workers. Lower right:White furniture enhances the crisp, clean aesthetic.