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Open plan offices embrace ABW model

Kim Stewart Oct 10
Open plan offices embrace ABW model
Catalyst Group took the role of lead architectural designer for the Department of Internal Affairs in Wellington.

Activity Based Working (ABW) is the next stage in the evolution of the open plan office, says Jacqui Cuff from architecture and construction experts Catalyst.

The company recently completed a project for the Department of Internal Affairs in Wellington, adopting principles of ABW in their design.

The project, which spanned three years from start to finish, saw Catalyst take the role of lead architectural designer.

Catalyst was tasked with creating a collaborative and productive workplace, suited for the diverse requirements of an organisation with more than 1000 employees.

Activity-based working provides organisations with a range of flexible work settings for activities such as meetings, project collaboration and concentrated work.

Unassigned desks paired with a variety of spaces, allow workers to select environments in which they are most effective, improving productivity and workplace morale.

Catalyst workplace utilisation surveys, typically portray desk occupation in the range of 70%-80%. With a bit of creative design, organisations can optimise their rental footprint”, explains Jacqui.

“The office is a versatile, fun environment that can be adapted at minimal cost, to meet their diverse needs. This style of workplace is a growing trend which suits highly collaborative companies. We encourage all businesses to look at more agile ways of working, providing employees the choice of how and where to work,” she says.

Catalyst has differentiated itself in the marketplace by being more than an architectural practice.

The company’s team of architects, designers and project managers work throughout New Zealand providing a full architecture, design and construction service that can be adapted to the design needs and budget of any commercial project.

Their multi-faceted offering, helps to mitigate typical problems such as time lags and unforeseen costs that often result when the design is out of step with the construction process. “Our builders are aesthetically conscious and our designers are conscious of how the project will be built,” she says.

A point of pride for Catalyst is the Constellation Brands fit-out project, which won a silver BEST Workplace Design Award in 2017 – the first time they’ve entered the competition.

The project facilitated the transition from three buildings into one head office location in Auckland.

The eventual space enabled Constellation Brands to impress and showcase international wine partnerships, with high-end finishes such as marble, rose gold and moss walls, says Jacqui.

The design enabled collaboration through provision of multiple informal meeting spaces located in high circulation zones between the three floors.

With offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Catalyst is well positioned to service the needs of clients nationally.

At present it is working on design and build fit-out projects for Hobson Wealth Partners and Objective Corporation and is taking a project management role on the Marsh & McLennan Companies fit-out, all in the new Deloitte building in Wellington.

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