Warren and Mahoney Architects 77 HB Central

  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Michael Mason, Justin Crook, Stephen de Vrij, Ji Hye Lim, Loretta Gerard, Eliot Blenkarne, Georgie Andrews, Emma Haughton
  • Client
    Morton Property Group

The challenge:
Our client sought a strategic design partner to carefully reposition 228 Queen Street and 3 Lorne Street to deliver a holistic and cohesive response to the demand for boutique environments with a strong sense of place and identity. Established in 1880 and 1914, the original buildings of HB Central were rich in history and opportunity. A sympathetic approach to design that retained the scars and marks of previous functions and tenants meant much of the future vision was uncovered further along the design process. A unique approach to design visualisation and storytelling was required to communicate the identity and potential of the development to market.

This included base building architecture and interior, seismic strengthening, experiential design, naming conventions, brand identity, marketing collateral, digital activation, signage and wayfinding, visualisations and photography, all created inhouse.

The solution:
A deep dive into the ‘dream tenants’ for our client sought small-medium sized innovators and industry challengers. This uncovered a need for a powerful building identity and experience that could be proudly embraced by the building’s tenants, building a ‘fear of missing out’. We uncovered the need for a strong origin story with a contemporary flair that became the core strategy for the HB Central development.

To communicate this offering, our strategic and creative response was grounded in the reinterpretation of the building’s rich history and previous functions. Authentic stories of the past sit alongside a contemporary brand identity and amenity inspired by the forms and materiality of the building. The project clearly articulates the building’s origins through patina from previous functions and inhabitants. Found artwork, markings and textures have been photographed inhouse to provide the foundation of the brand and communicate the heritage of the development.

Careful curation and art direction in collaboration with our visualisation team was fundamental to accurate communication of the space. Documentary photography and rendered images of the future tenancies worked together to convey the potential of the development. When styling and producing the renders, we chose to use photos of real textures of the space for materials, and frame found artwork and markings throughout, like a stamp of authenticity. Outward views are captured in real time and digitally enhanced. From colour, tone, perspective and composition to interior styling, we produced a bespoke set of visual assets that capture the desires of HB Central’s target market.

The imagery captured and produced throughout provided the foundation for a go-to-market strategy, wrapped into a unique brand identity that riffs off the building’s origin as a fashion innovator at the heart of a developing city. The marketing tools were bolstered by a sectional render, enhanced marketing plans and copywriting that highlights the essence and functional outcomes of HB Central and the wider CBD context.

A result of this holistic approach to spatial design communication and a proud reflection of place, HB Central has been fully leased by progressive tech and creative tenants.