On the top floor of an old New Plymouth post office, Boon architects have transformed a lofty space into a modern, hybrid workplace for law firm Govett Quilliam. Influenced by the character of the space, and by the company’s history and values, the design reimagines the client and team experience for the legal practice. Ideas such as equity, diversity, connection and innovation define its new spaces and interiors.
"The company has a long history in the community," says designer Emily Bolam, "and we referenced elements from this story and local cultural narratives. They asked for a space where clients would feel welcomed and supported, which led to the use of natural tones and textures for warmth, as well as openness in spatial planning."
The tall, warehouse-style space required special consideration for sound — in terms of both reverberation and acoustic privacy. Suspended acoustic panels create filters between public and private areas without fully closing them off. Clients can walk past workplaces and see the team at work, while built-in seating creates areas for a private phone call or impromptu meetings.
The architects selected Neoflex rubber flooring in a natural concrete colour. "It’s a busy practice," says Bolam, "so for practicality, we wanted something really durable. And it’s a big volume, so we needed to dampen sound. The rubber has a clean and contemporary aesthetic, but also a real softness about it that complemented the design."
Against the neutral floor and wall finishes, richly coloured textiles inject areas of colour. A striking brass wall behind reception sits adjacent the stone artwork created especially for the space, with relief design by artist Hemi Sundgren. The artwork frames large, patterned doors into the boardroom and staff hospitality area and creates an elegant foyer to host community events.
Project: Govett Quilliam
Product: Neoflex Natural Series colour 1001
Photographer: Sandra Henderson