Warren and Mahoney Architects 77 Google Aotearoa
Pou Auaha / Creative DirectorsScott Compton, Arron O'Hagan, David Hoad, Kelsey Muir
Kaitautoko / ContributorsBeronia Scott, Te Aroha Grace, Anzac Reihana Tasker, United Make, THERE
The design team in collaboration with mana whenua have managed to localise and design a space for a global brand which feels, looks and is of this place – Aotearoa. There is a playful energy and texture to the selection of materials and the forms and shapes used in selective areas creates an environment that speaks to the unique qualities of our landscapes here in Aotearoa. The design narrative ‘Te Tai’ has been well resolved and showcases the narratives of this place and gives this fit out an unique aesthetic and engaging environment for its occupants.
The design successfully delights inhabitants with authentic and immersive moments of Aotearoa through the clever integration of technology into the interiors.
Bringing the magic of Google to Aotearoa: Google is globally renowned for its experiential workplaces; they are data and evidence-led to ensure optimum performance for their users. Each new site is to embody its local spirit, connecting Googlers and their partners to the people and places in which they reside. The requirement for this project was to provide space for 90 employees with requisite support spaces to host events, meet and eat throughout the workspace. The ‘magic’ that often defines a Google workplace is a gesture or experience that holds meaning to the local team. Our challenge was to bring the essence of Aotearoa thought the unique playful lens of Google.
Google’s original brief was to ‘bring the magic of Google to New Zealand’ in its new workplace. In collaboration with Ngāti Whātua Orakei and Anzac Tasker, we reversed the mission to ‘bring the magic of Aotearoa to Google’. This bold move enabled a deeper relationship with Mana Whenua to break new ground with its experiential workplace offer, integrating meaning and magic moments of Aotearoa throughout. It is a hardworking floor; as an agile workspace, the workplace offers a range of settings to cater for anywhere between 60 to 90 Googlers. A trademark café, event, and meeting spaces offer a healthy dose of fun to be discovered in the characterisation of New Zealand icons.
The project is committed to protecting the space on which it inhabits and is targeting a LEED Gold rating - a globally recognised symbol of sustainability and leadership. To help us achieve this goal, we sourced locally made, responsible materials - such as the ‘tri-board’ material -which is manufactured in Northland and used extensively throughout the space in lieu of plasterboard, portraying a stronger connection to the lifecycle of the fitout. We also used a resin floor with pebbles from Invercargill, extensive use of Autex acoustic materials on ceilings and walls, and as many locally designed furniture pieces with NZ wool fabric as was practical for required usage.
The project is a metaphorical embodiment of Google - ‘Te Tai (the tide).’ Te Tai is a narrative of place, featuring stories of pioneers, landscape, and culture. It considers its users through an experiential lens, inviting them on a journey from the peaks of mighty mountains to the shores of our rugged coastlines. The landscape culminates in a ‘Gorge’ experience which is a joinery centrepiece made from stacked Tri-board, carved into large, sheer walls with an immersive digital ceiling above. Content is tailored throughout the day to change the identity and ambience of the space. In addition, QR coded experiences throughout the workspace tell stories of the region of Tāmaki Makaurau.