The main aspiration of Swiss global Pharmaceutical company, Roche, when designing its new NZ office was to ensure that their European roots were combined seamlessly with a distinctly Pacific flavour. This was certainly achieved when they engaged STACK to work with them on the search for and subsequent design and delivery of their 98 Carlton Gore Road office. STACK worked closely with the base build architects and the landlord to ensure that Roche was able to take full advantage of the building of which they took the majority share, including naming rights.
The entire upper floor was set aside as workspaces for their 50 strong team. A key change for Roche was the move from individual offices to an entirely open plan environment. Staff concerns were allayed through design workshops involving a cross section of all departments and team champions to endorse change. A full mock-up of the workspace was provided early on, to encourage feedback and allow customisation of the space. The result is one which all users now enjoy.
An internal stair was proposed as a necessary means to connect the two Roche upper floors. The workspace immediately surrounding the stair is a collaborative space, fostering interdepartmental meetings/communication, through various open and private meeting settings. This is in contrast to the peripheral space set aside for contemplative, quiet tasks. It was important to Roche that the front of house space, maintain the level of sophistication and professionalism expected of its Swiss roots. A palate of warm whites and timber achieve a Swiss aesthetic without becoming overly sterile or clinical.
The architectural geometry of the reception counter, lighting and other furnishings is inspired by the chemical structure synonymous with Roche medical science. The coral inspired feature installation to the waiting area, utilizes the same geometry with a decidedly more organic appearance. This look insures the welcome area has a definite Pacific identity.
Natural light enters the reception through large glazed sliding doors to all perimeter meeting rooms. The meeting spaces themselves carry the same oak panelling, integrated into its functional joinery elements but contrast the waiting area with a darker furniture palate.
Behind reception, the bold use of colour has made its way down the stairway to the fully catered staff café which operates for staff refreshment as well as hosting groups of delegates. It is the true heart of the space and the company.
Photography: Rebecca Swan