GHDWoodhead creativespaces 14 GHDWoodhead 3 Watercare Nerve Centre

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Colette McCartney
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Colette McCartney
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Georgia Simpson
  • Client

Watercare's previous office was outdated, with staff split over three floors which created physical visual separations between the group. So, a desire for flexible spaces, with collaboration and social interaction was paramount, as was the need to reflect the well-known brand in the fit-out design. A cultural shift for the office is celebrated both aesthetically and socially in the new way of working.

Challenges on this project included engagement with control room staff who were previously used to working in a physically separated and visually obscured space with little interaction with other groups.

We had to take them on a journey to accept this new way of working in a central location, highly visible to all including their Executive team.

The new workplace is built around the innovative ‘nerve centre’; a communicative and communal hub, where staff can react and pre-empt problems with the Watercare network.

Visualisation is key to the centre’s operation. Large screens and interactivity bring the team together, providing a predictive layer to the maintenance of Auckland’s water supply, so Watercare can pre-empt problems or identify them early, allowing for timely maintenance. Visibility of the screens is provided for all staff on the floor through glazed partitions and carefully planned work points and collaboration areas.

Natural timbers, textural fabrics and tones reflecting the natural environment surrounds the nerve centre and is the main workspace for the rest of their staff. The new workplace is revitalized with lockers, phone booths, meeting pods and a social hub, supporting new agile ways of working. Colors throughout the fit-out reflect branding hues and are offset with custom graphics inspired by water. The reception area is revitalized through changes in graphics, flooring, and furniture to become a more modern, cohesive, and approachable space.

The client and staff have embraced the fitout and is excited about the vibrant, interactive and collaborative space they work in.