A home away from home

A home away from home add

Mark McLeay of Auckland architecture studio, Creative Arch, won the Commercial Interior Architectural Design Award at the 2018 ADNZ | Resene Architectural Design Awards. The award-winning design was the company’s new office space in Grey Lynn – an elegant industrial build that celebrates team culture and collaboration.

Creating a home away from home for his architecture team, Mark McLeay wanted a space that complemented his business while championing new construction technologies. Prefabricated materials including concrete panels, cross-laminated timber and structural steel are all combined to achieve an uncomplicated, simple commercial design.

“We have been in the space for 12 months. So far it has met all our needs. The team love the environment and it has helped to create the company culture that we are striving for. It has been a really positive move. Juggling a business, as well as building, was a challenge, but we wanted a home for our team and a purposefully designed place to suit our practice. Winning the award has been fantastic, especially considering the calibre of this year’s award entries, it’s been great” says Mark.

The building sits between two precast concrete panel walls while a tinted glass façade fronts the street. A cobbled entrance, full of greenery, leads to both a warehouse inspired office space on the ground level and a stairwell up to the main premises. The upper floors feature an open-plan studio space, two meeting rooms, kitchens and a recreational space for the team.

ADNZ Judges were wowed by the premise and praised the design as a great place to work.

“The exterior is drawn into the lobby of the building via gardens and paving in a manner that is generous and yet efficient. Black lines of structure and services are drawn forward from muted walls, floors and ceilings to modulate the office. An inviting interior which meets the brief of a community facility in a straight forward and uncomplicated manner,” said judges.

Architectural Designers New Zealand CEO, Astrid Andersen, said it is not often that a commercial office captures the judge’s attention with such vigour.

“There is so much to love about this. The space encourages collaboration for those working there – this leads to a better environment for productivity and for creating connections. There is a lot of natural light which is so important when designing office space. And Mark McLeay has tried to be sustainable when possible – he recycled a lot of materials from an existing warehouse. Well done Mark on achieving such a successful home for your team,” said Astrid.