The studio, which has relocated to the Innovation Precinct of Wynyard Quarter, occupies two floors of the former Mason Bros building at 139 Pakenham Street West.
Mayor Phil Goff commended the developers and architects on the spectacular regeneration of the heritage building, which he said represented the “past, present and future of Auckland.” He said that he often came down to the Wynyard Quarter as a child, when it was an industrial area, and not an exciting place to visit. However, he said that it was taking shape to become a “vital and vibrant heart of the city which will be an exciting place to work and live in.”
John Coop, Regional Principal of the Studio and Chairman of the Board, says: “It’s an exciting time to be operating in an area that is a microcosm of the burgeoning architectural scene. With a thriving economy, visionary clients and the opportunities the Unitary Plan unlocks, architects have the chance, like never before, to shape the identity of Auckland. ”
Warren and Mahoney crafted the initial reference design and master plan for the Innovation Precinct and designed the adaptive re-use of the 1920s warehouse, developed by Precinct Properties NZ. The maritime heritage of the two-storey character building, once an engineering and ship-building workshop, is still evident in the envelope of existing red brick as well as the distinctive saw-tooth roof structure.
The practice also completed the workplace fit-out for the studio which is designed as a showcase of architecture in action. Work stations are located along the glazed perimeter at street level and collaborative work spills out into the atrium so that pedestrians have a visual connection to the occupants. The front door is 20 metres wide.
Dignitaries, members of the design community and media gathered in the double-height
atrium to acknowledge this coming-of-age moment for an architectural practice that has a 60 year history in New Zealand. “In designing a future built environment, it is important to acknowledge the past,” says Coop.
Warren and Mahoney is ambitious about the opportunities that lay ahead for Auckland and is involved in landmark developments such as the New Zealand International Convention Centre and Commercial Bay. Principal Andrew Barclay, who has a 20-year career within the practice, is cognisant of the responsibility these projects entail. “They are both central to the city’s identity and so it is our architectural obligation to contribute to the public realm with sculptural form and humane scale,” says Andrew.
The Commercial Bay project involves the redevelopment of the Downtown Shopping Centre, a city making opportunity to cultivate a connected waterfront experience which will come to define Auckland.“The design should provide experiences that are authentic to Auckland and to our place in the world,” says Blair Johnston, Principal and Project Director.
Warren and Mahoney is active in a cross section of design disciplines which gives the practice a comprehensive overview of the urban fabric. “It means we think in wider terms than creating affordable, liveable homes. We also aim for socially cohesive outcomes since each new residential ‘village’ also requires amenity and decent, small-scale true public space,” says Coop.
Importantly, the relocation to the Mason Bros site brings the expanded Auckland team under one roof and into the heart of an innovative milieu. Coop: “The studio shares a common vision with Mayor Phil Goff to create an urban fabric and lifestyle that matches the quality of our natural environment.”
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