Edwards White Architects Limited 10 EWA Studio

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Daniel Smith
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Georgia Peacocke, Edwards White Architects
  • Client
    Edwards White Architects

Fitting out this design studio replaced a heavily partitioned office space on the third floor of The Riverbanks, a commercial precinct in Hamilton’s CBD. With views across the city and the river, the brief was to utilise the natural light pouring into the building and to retain a sense of the expansive floor plate, to create a collaborative and adaptable workspace.

Our overall strategy endorsed a reductive aesthetic that embraced the building’s inherent qualities. Unique areas of the studio have been defined with soft drapes and loose furniture, for easy adaptation and to add textural relief to the hard structural surfaces.

As a refurbishment, many of the geometrical parameters were already set. The floor-to-floor height was limited so the ceiling was removed to expose services and maximise on volume. Modulation of the floor structure informed the plan and configuration of the meeting pods and created recesses for acoustic treatment. Acoustic paneling was also glued to the waffle ceiling slab to provide reverberation control.

The generous kitchen and dining plan was an opportunity to cultivate a social space for work breaks, small events, and a functional meeting area for its team of 25.

The central white pod defines each side of the studio, framing the enclosed meeting rooms and break out spaces. For a team who frequently group together for design planning and critique, the fluidity of these spaces is fitting. The interior of the pod is warm with western hemlock timber, with a lowered detailed ceiling that creates a level of intimacy and focus for smaller groups.

The southern windows offer views to the river and to Mount Maungatautari, while the openings to the northeast offer a connection with the city's main street. The windowsills, initially thought to close the space in, have become a useful ledge to stand on for operating the awning sashes.

Meticulous detail and creative input has been applied to transform materials into bespoke interventions, demonstrating the craftsmanship of the designers and builders.

We have carefully considered the daily activity of a creative team, and how these individuals would interact with each other and their studio guests.