Interior Creative Vanguard

Offices & Workplace Environments 2021 Credits
  • Creative Director
    Sarah Langford
  • Client
    Vanguard Group

Vanguard moved into a new 440m2 workplace and large factory building in Petone Wellington. We were engaged to design the workplace from strategy through to construction. Vanguard sell safety equipment such as cones, barriers, floor safety solutions.
Vanguard wanted us to design a space that gave them an opportunity to signal a professional sea change both internally and externally to clients, and encouraged staff to be more nimble and flexible in their approach to working. We challenged Vanguard about their ways of working and we agreed through the strategy phase, on an agile unassigned workstyle to give their staff choices about the way they work and to ensure the office is flexible enough to accommodate growth for the future.
The base building had begun construction when we were brought in to the project so we had a couple of constraining elements. One was a void pre cut into the L1 slab for the interconnecting stair, and the building envelope.
The brief was to create an office environment for a growing team that reflected their values of "Standing between People and Risk".
It was critical to reinforce notions of safety and wellbeing in the workplace, and to create a space that felt calm, reassuring and above all, safe.
We have referenced this in various places around the office including the strong perforated steel mesh balustrade to the stairs void. This mesh form is repeated in the feature black polyfon mesh ceiling tiles, Vanguard stair nosing, and the strong black glazing bars in meting spaces. More subtle notions of health and safety are present in the wellness considerations. Biophilia was a strong influence here with extensive use of plants, natural forms, colours and materials.
Calming colours were chosen to reassure and promote a calm, stress-free healthy atmosphere.

Clear access routes and break spaces away from the desk encourages healthy habits, and the inclusion of shower and end of trip facilities, better lifestyle choices. We took safety to another step and introduced a change program for the staff that included an induction to furniture use, café use and a workplace charter of behaviors that staff agree to. For sanitary safety reasons Vanguard distributed individual keyboard, mouse, headsets and even lidded individual coffee cups staff to ensure no one spilled their coffee up the stairs from the café. We placed a second coffee station upstairs with the work floor too to further reduce the risk of harm.
We have designed a range of alternative ergonomic places for people to work. Sit-stand desks in open plan, high work collaborative bench with dual monitors, focus rooms, booths, leaners and the management hub. This enables staff to make choices about where and how they work each day, and who they work along side. The management hub is designed as a leadership huddle. It has sit-stand workstations, reconfigurable meeting tables and a moody quiet recluse or Den, with a bar, to host guests or have 1:1 informal conversations. The colour in the Den is Resene Bledisloe, selected for its moody calming qualities. Leadership most often sit out with their teams, but this space enables nimble collaboration and meetings to happen in private without alerting staff.