Spaces / Workplace

Meredith ConnellAuckland, New Zealand, 2021 | Jasmax

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Welcome to the jungle.

Background

Meredith Connell is by far New Zealand’s largest litigation firm – celebrating its 100th anniversary as Office of the Crown Solicitor at Auckland in 2021. Led by the firm itself, the new MC Centre project involved many moving parts and exceptional expertise to bring it to life, of which we were proud to be a part.

 

The brief

Growing fast and competing with other top-tier law firms for talent, Meredith Connell wanted to create New Zealand’s best work environment for the country’s best lawyers. The firm envisioned a space where the brightest legal minds could come and be inspired and energised, and work in ways that work for them.

The firm also wanted to put Te Tiriti o Waitangi at the heart of the space. As New Zealand’s largest litigation firm, Meredith Connell also invests heavily in training its team – so the brief included fitting out a full training courtroom exactly like Auckland’s High Court. This is the only training courtroom of its type in Australasia, and perhaps the world.

 

The big challenge

With a Six Green Star rating, Meredith Connell aimed to be the first law firm in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve WELL v2 Certification from the International WELL Building Institute – recognising its commitment to the wellbeing of its people. To meet these rigorous standards meant stepping up to the challenge with every detail.

 

The furniture

UFL was thrilled to provide original European furniture by Sancal and Andreu World. Four different types of seating were specified in rich jewel tones and organic shapes to sit within the ‘terrarium’ spaces and kitchen. Sancal Tonella armchairs, arranged for tête-à-têtes offer a sense of cosy comfort, unexpected in a fast-paced legal environment. Hot pink Andreu World Nuez Lounge Bio armchairs create calm spaces for contemplation.

Sancal Tortuga Highbacks allow for informal and serendipitous meetings among the lush greenery. And deep jade Hula stools by Andreu World bring a sense of play to reception areas.

 

Amazing space

The environment is designed to offer the team a multitude of ways to work: from desks in team spaces, silent concentration zones for deep work, to 12 collab spaces and 11 meeting rooms, plus private phone boxes. Two terrariums evoke New Zealand’s bush, while seating across bridges links work spaces with the spacious and bright Te Kāuta (The Cookhouse). This encompasses a staff kitchen, and café dispensing that invaluable productivity booster – all day free barista coffee.

 

“…we’re not just competing with other law firms. In the 2020s, we have finally reached that long-promised place where the office must compete with home, the local café and even the local park or beach as a place for people to meet their employment obligations in the professional services industries. There’s no doubt the MC Centre will compete successfully with every other work option, every day.”

Kylie Mooney, MC Chief Executive and Project Leader

Designers: Jasmax | Photography: Jono Parker

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