Placing people at the heart of commercial design has achieved industry recognition for Chow:Hill Architects at the 2022 Commercial Property Awards.
Chow:Hill’s design of Ebbett Gateway and the interior refurbishment of 586 Victoria Street have won Gold and Silver respectively at the 2022 New Zealand Registered Master Builders Association Commercial Project Awards.
Brian Rastrick, Chow:Hill Director and lead architect, says the co-design of each commercial space has enhanced client, customer, and employee experiences and demonstrated the value of designing for people, not just functionality.
“Both spaces, although very different in their service offering, encapsulate similar design themes: collaborative workspaces, flexibility of space, and use of natural light. Our design focused on shaping the user experience of both complexes in a way that still allowed for modern design practices to be showcased.”
He also believes Chow:Hill’s commercial design success reflects his firm’s commitment to collaborative design.
“Throughout the design process, we took an integrated view with careful consideration given to the physical, cultural, and environmental elements of each space. This was matched with keen commercial awareness to provide value via smart design, planning and innovation.”
Facilitating a collaborative work environment is central to commercial design success.
GATEWAY TO COMMERCIAL CO-DESIGN
Chow:Hill’s design of Ebbett Group’s flagship site in Te Rapa blends opposing brand styles into a modern, state-of-the-art complex, more akin to a high-end hotel
“We wanted to recognise the automotive brands’ corporate identities but create a retail precinct that inspired strong physical and visual connectivity to the surrounding urban landscape, while evoking a warm welcome for staff and visitors,” Brian explains.
“By focusing on pedestrian movement rather than vehicles, and designing space for multiple purposes, we’ve created a congenial corporate environment that incorporates Scandinavian-inspired design and statement architecture.”
REVITALISING HAMILTON’S CBD
The refurbishment of 586 Victoria Street was designed to achieve a modern workspace and support more agile team dynamics.
“Our vision for 586 Victoria Street was a multi-storey building that included a sense of personality and identity – both inside and out,” says Brian. “We modelled the space on a modern industrial aesthetic that allowed us to preserve and respect the history of the original building, while contributing to the revitalisation of Hamilton’s CBD.”
These projects showcase the ability of good design to maximise a commercial space, while enhancing connectivity for community and commercial benefits.
Both Ebbett Gateway and 586 Victoria Street were collaborative projects undertaken with construction partner, Foster Construction. “These projects were designed and built by locals, for locals,” says Brian.
“As a project team, we wanted to shape two unique urban environments that energise and enhance the surrounding community. These innovative design solutions deliver authentic spaces that provide opportunities for Hamilton’s present and future economic success.”
Chow:Hill and Foster Construction are also working together to further enhance Hamilton CBD’s south end, with the development of Union Square.
Chow:Hill’s design of St Andrew’s Village in Auckland received a Gold Award at the NZ RMB Commercial Awards, held in Christchurch in May.