Unispace 25 RocketWerkz

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Harry Rowntree
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Director
    Antonia Walmsley
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Angie Wang
  • Client
Judge's comments:

A unique and striking place of work, its strong emphasis on technology and innovation and highly deliberate concept has been delivered to an outstanding level with detailed interpretation and clear understanding of client's needs right from the outset.


Aesthetic and appearance

“Engaging airlock.”

18.5 seconds from lobby to Level 38 – doors open: welcome to RocketWerkz.

The design celebrates the best of gaming, where exploration and key decision points are experienced with high drama.

From a reflective-gloss black-out, geometric portal to clinical white ‘decompression’ chambers. From digital immersion rooms to fully isolated recording studios and 24-hour streaming rooms, this is no ordinary workplace.
Lighting colour, controls and levels were critical for the development team and artists throughout the floor. This provided a considerable design opportunity to explore a bespoke screen wall as it would sacrilege to draw the blinds on the best view in Auckland.

Concept and creativity

To gamify the experience of exploration and discover, the spaces deliberately transition violently. Lighting, detailing, and materiality performed heavy lifting in this playful game.

Pitch black high gloss cladding to walls, floors and ceilings. Floors are raised floor to accommodate recessed LEDs. Smooth white poured epoxy floors, ‘starship-like’ hallways nod to sci-fi films of the past.

Answering the brief

In a deliberate and sensational move, Rocketwerkz CEO Dean Hall, took the penthouse levels of Auckland’s Commercial Bay to create one of the most distinctive new workplaces in the country, and one quite apart from their new ‘corporate’ neighbours.

The primary brief was to create the optimal conditions for designing games and top talent attraction. A “AAA games studio” for one of the gaming industry’s experimental tech-companies: small city, “Silicon Valley-type employee benefits”.

Hall explicitly requested “A workplace that positions us as one of the premier gaming studios in the world.” The result is an alternative, high-impact, immersive experience to offer more to employees.

Technical resolution and innovation

Innovation and technical detailing is employed throughout the space.
Circular digital immersion rooms clad in aluminium fins all backlit by a Barrisol ceiling. Intentionally snubbing recent trends, natural timbers and finishes were spurned in favour of concrete, glass, steel, aluminium, epoxy, fibreglass and P.E.T.
One highlight is the Ombre punched aluminium sheet screen utilising cutting-edge building cladding technology and software programmed out of Canada. The first interior application in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a workplace that has to be seen to be believed.

Consistency and clarity

Naturally this not a workplace for the faint-hearted, but it is a clear and consistent application of Rocketwerkz’s attitude, brand and mission statement. It is loud, colourful, bold and unapologetic. It is a beacon for attracting local and international talent. It is a stake in the ground for the aspirations of the gaming industry in NZ. And most importantly, it has proven to be the living breathing physical manifestation of the culture and values of the organisation as a whole.