Photographer - Designwell
The brief called for a new facility that would bring more closely together the four business units that make up the Foster Group. The desire was for a building aesthetic which provided a tangible experience of its construction. This requirement was realised with the use of natural timber, exposed structural steel, raw concrete elements and exposed services.
The unique geometry of the site drove the design of a white rainscreen form to house the office space. Wedged as close as possible to the street this building element creates an impressive presence on Arthur Porter Drive and takes advantage of views overlooking the adjacent landscaped swale. The black clad form of the warehouse facilities sits compositionally recessed into the background. The thoughtful use of soft honest materials and careful landscaping help create a building which has a human scale in what is often a challenging typology.
"This project came as a result of Foster Construction out-growing their current property. The new office needed to be a show home for the Foster Group for the next 12 years. Therefore, it needed to demonstrate good design and workplace practices. The professional design modestly expressed the structure and natural products of the construction process. This included use of natural timber, visible structural steel, raw concrete elements and exposed services. The building also needed to stand out in an industrial area of Hamilton"
- NZ Commercial Awards Jury
The generous double height foyer with reception and café maintains visual connections to the upper floor meeting rooms above and uses tactile materials to create a space which is both impressive, yet unintimidating.
Foster's four business units work together in the open plan office, encouraging positive connections between staff and teams. Shared breakout spaces, meeting rooms, and a quiet room for focused work control the scale of the open plan spaces and encourage collaboration.
"This building displays an uncommon concern for quality and design detail in an industrial context. The luminous mesh facade has a proud street presence and serves as a dynamic signboard for the business behind. Building forms are deftly modelled with skewed geometry and contrasting materials to signal function and lessen the effect of warehouse bulk. Interior spaces are well-considered environments, with expressed material and service details. The material choice and detailing showcase both the client's business and the art of construction and create spaces appropriate to their use and of human scale. The result of the commitment by client and architect to design quality is a building that is both a demonstration of their ambition and an inviting workplace.
- NZIA Waikato Bay of Plenty Jury