Three Sixty Architecture 9 Studio at The Yard

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Dean Cowell, Rob Bosma
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Nick Wortelboer, Tom Norman, Caleb Vanderpyl, Aaron Neil, Kate MacDougall, Joel Cowell, Michelle O'Dea, Robert Smart, Daniella Pizey, Josh Vlaanderen
  • Client
    Dean Cowell

A 70 year old former book binding and printing warehouse was to be our new home, and retaining it’s character was critical to us.
We approached the challenge by touching the heritage envelope as lightly as possible, while providing a contemporary feel to the pieces we added.
We had to provide a workplace that gave our growing team enough room, a variety of spaces, and a healthy environment to carry out our work.
Celebrating the existing building, and supporting our sustainability goals, is achieved by a minimum amount of construction – with 5 walls and one door we created a central hub that separates open plan and private work areas, meeting room and break out spaces, all sitting below a datum line of existing trusses. The meeting pod, a single joinery element, several shelving units and changes in flooring delineate different parts of the studio, and various levels of permeability allow light and views through the whole studio, while also allowing various levels of privacy.
Daylight and connection to the outside for our team is prioritised with an open workspace central to the studio. Breakout and meeting spaces are tucked around the edges allowing quiet areas for lunch, phone calls or meetings.
Durable and healthy materials were important such as red list free carpet and rubber flooring, steel kitchen and joinery details and acoustic wall linings.
Existing surfaces and textures are retained and highlighted with a minimum of retouching. New materials were selected based on texture, durability and coherence with the existing building. Acoustic wall paneling, exposed black MDF and raw steel are the most distinctives finishes, with painted surfaces minimised.
Glazing to the meeting room entry has a central band of fluted glass, adding textures and removing the need for privacy film. The verticality of the fluted pattern is then expanded upon at a larger scale with steel fins separating a casual meeting space with the open plan office.
With the desire to keep the space as open as possible, dealing with acoustics cost effectively was an early concern. Particularly as the building gave us such a large, open roof structure – celebrating this structure while keeping it habitable was important. After exploring several ideas of suspending clouds or battens, we settles on a simple system of building paper over insulation, pinned down with timber battens – giving the space a soft, cushiony feel, that absorbs sound and hides rain noise. Along with acoustic wall linings, we regularly have multiple meetings in open spaces, without disrupting the open plan work area
As well as our daily workplace, we wanted to use the space was to illustrate concepts to clients on how to deal with materiality, texture, work styles, furniture use, lighting and space planning. In the short time we have occupied our studio, this concept has proven itself, by demonstrating all of these concepts to clients on different projects and helping them understand how we can apply them to their own spaces.