The new space is located across two floors in a newly constructed five-Green-Star-rated building in Auckland's Newmarket. The challenge for designers Unispace was to connect the spaces and provide good cross-functional interaction between the floors. Their idea was to harness the building's raw energy and to radiate it from a central source, with the central element to be an imposing glass and steel spiral staircase encased in timber bands that wrapped around the balustrade in an unconstrained way.
Woodform was contracted to provide the timber detail using black Beech, a sustainable New Zealand hardwood chosen for its raw, imperfect appearance and grain. Woodform trialled the difficult species using one of its five bending processes, resulting with an excellent outcome.
The complex design required the timber to connect with holes pre-formed into the glass while crossing up and down at random points within the helix bend, which involved incredibly accurate bending and manufacturing.
Templates were cut on the CNC. Each template was used to mark a selected piece of timber which was then bandsawn and spindled to shape. The profile was then impregnated to render it flexible, roll formed into the corresponding helix shape and held on a jig to dry. Lengths ranged from 2.7-3.3m and once on site were fitted and drilled into position.
Woodform also bent and supplied Black Beech for the feature wall in the main reception area.
The result is space that enables interaction between units while being playful, fun and a joy to work in.