Icebreaker is an iconic Kiwi brand, steadily growing in international markets. With growth of the business set to make another leap, Icebreaker decided to relocate its headquarters from Wellington and bring together two offices in Auckland. As such, a key element of the design was to bring these two groups together in a unified, exciting setting which rewarded the commitment of their loyal team.
The brief was to create a collective, soulful space which captured the essence of Icebreaker’s brand and core values, while accommodating a diverse range of organisational activities; which encourages crosspollination of ideas and discussion.
Taking Icebreaker’s concept of ‘born in nature, worn in nature’ as a key driver for space planning of the tenancy, the fitout was essentially divided into a Born side (internal functions representing the staff spaces and production of the garments) and a Worn side (external functions representing the client meeting suites and the journey once the garments are produced).
Two halves of a whole, connected with ‘the honeypot staff’ and communal shared amenities.
The concept of connection to nature was achieved through real tactile natural materials, not graphic images and representations, create a sensory experience.
Focussing on a palette of natural local vernacular materials, rammed earth walls were installed using soils handpicked and sourced from a nearby quarry. While Macrocarpa timbers, and brick and black steel used throughout reference the industrial history of McKelvie street.
Where possible the use of toxic, composite or non-recyclable materials was avoided, opting for raw, ‘honest’ materials such as goat’s wool carpet and solid timber finishes, and a committed selection of layers of materiality, found objects and greenery were sourced to give fitout a real sense of Icebreaker meets Ponsonby.
Project innovations include a real functioning, living, growing green bridge, which spans the lift core and reception, this innovative and playful space is a nod to the DOC boardwalks and suspension bridges throughout NZ.
In line the concept of the Born to Worn concept mentioned above, with each of the client side enclosed meeting rooms give a creative nod to each of the key genres in Icebreaker’s range such as Yoga or Hunting and Fishing, whereas the internal rooms reference the origins of the wool with shearers’ quarters and a shearing shed.
Also aligned to Icebreakers ethos, both the hard and soft fitouts looked to support local creative craftsmen, designers, manufacturers, and fabricators too, with the likes of Simon James, IMO and Tim Webber, as well as Bioattic, AFFIN and Greenair. And even a couple of great antique stores between Northcote and Paeroa.
- 2015 Best Awards - Gold - Offices and Workplace Environments