Warren and Mahoney Architects 77 PwC Auckland

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Directors
    Andrew Tu'inukuafe, Kate Henderson, Ashley Morris, Ellie Jackson
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Alaska, NDY, Holmes Consulting
  • Client

PwC’s Auckland practice spans six levels of the high-rise section within Commercial Bay on the waterfront. With naming rights to the tower, the new workplace had to make an impact and be true to the strategic drivers of the business’ commitment to new ways of working. The new environment needed to support and encourage innovation, collaboration and agility of 900 staff.

The first move was to understand how the levels could be connected to avoid teams being silo-ed. Early on through the integrated fitout model, locations for a central stair were tested. Landing on a centrally located offset stair that acted liking a ribbon connecting the space, we were able to join floors without an avert ‘Atrium’ feel. The concept of a “vertical village” allows all parts of the business to stay connected and be seen.

The workplace aims to show that there is more to PwC than meets the eye – they are trusted advisors that are innovative, professional, collaborative and open.

The central idea,‘Unexpected and Open’, is a direct expression of PwC’s ambition to redefine professional services. This principle was reinforced throughout the design of the entire space

A flexible, non-hierarchical layout limits the built environment to the core of the building and client-facing spaces, allowing workspace to be easily reconfigured and scaled up or down. All spaces are seamlessly technology-enabled and designed on an agile ‘move anywhere, do anything’ principle. The openness extends to clients, with touchdown points for visitors to work and a barista on standby.

Connecting the six levels was critical. On each landing, a decompression zone is made up of tea points, lockers, meeting rooms and open collaborative settings as a space to connect, refresh and collaborate.

Moving out to the façade, natural light and views are available from the Harbour Bridge across to the east, where a selection of tech-enabled work points and alterative settings allow staff to choose where they do their work for the day. An area for more focused work sits to the western side of the building to operate as a quiet zone.

Client spaces and the major social hub brings Partners, staff and clients into the heart of the business connecting them to the entire workplace, physically and visually.

Hospitality and events are catered for with a full-service kitchen and two floors housing a series of individual room that open up to host large scale functions.

Materials are pared back throughout, with white and concrete softened by plantings, cork, wall graphics and wayfinding colour. The gold staircase moves through each floor in a bold, confident gesture that unites the six floors. All the materials used perform on other levels than just appearance - acoustics, strength, navigation and durability.

The end result is an activated environment where innovation, collaboration and a sense of purpose is realised.