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Whangarei Civic CentreWhangarei, 2023 | TEAM Architects Auckland

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Whangarei Civic Centre

A Vibrant Harmony of Culture and Functionality

Background /

The inception of the Whangarei Civic Centre project transpired just a week before the global upheaval caused by the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. TEAM Architects Auckland, commissioned by the Whangarei City Council, was entrusted not only with the architectural design of the main building but also with embedding its character into every aspect of its use and interior fit-out.

The Brief /

With a robust functional project brief, the Whangarei City Council harboured numerous aspirational goals, primarily to forge a vibrant workplace. Collaborating with local Hapu groups, the design process witnessed the creation of a structure reflecting multi-cultural themes with a robust Tikanga Maori narrative, yet concurrently maintained an open and transparent character to facilitate public engagement with the democratic and public functions contained within.

These interactions and extended dialogues enriched the architectural language of the centre, blending traditional elements with modern design principles. The challenge was ensuring that every element, down to the furniture, mirrored this amalgamation of themes and was conducive to the multifaceted, high-traffic utilitarian space it was designed to be.


In-depth Solutions: Furniture and More /

Navigating through a meticulous procurement process, UFL Group provided most of the chairs, soft seating, and tables, adhering to the specific design objectives. The furniture was not merely selected for functionality but was an integral element in manifesting the aesthetic and thematic values envisaged by the architects and the council.

UFL’s role transcended beyond supply to a synergistic collaboration with TEAM Architects, ensuring the council would be endowed with a space that not only supported but celebrated the culture. Specifying furniture, colourways, fabrics, and finishes, UFL supplied pieces that complemented the rich colour palette, textures, organic groupings, and shapes of the architectural design.

Through UFL’s Cloud range, a sense of calm permeated throughout the fit-out. The Enea Ema chairs and stools were notable not only for their sturdiness but each colour was intentionally chosen to serve a functional role within the various spaces, weaving practicality with aesthetic coherence.

An Ensemble of Quality and Design / 

Thrilled to supply over 1000 pieces of both European and locally manufactured furniture within Whangarei Council, UFL showcased a selection of large low and high-back modular sofas, lounge chairs, sled-based chairs, barstools, dining tables, bar leaners, and occasional tables. Furniture from New Zealand, Spain, and Italy was judiciously chosen to curate pieces that were modern, durable, and built to endure, ensuring consistency across the fit-out.

The space forged by this extensive and thoughtful selection is designed to provide a multitude of working environments for its users: from formal to informal settings, and private to collaborative spaces, all within a framework that reflects and respects the rich cultural tapestry it represents.

“The UFL team of Juliana and Madeleine, ensured timely delivery through excellent communication and attention to detail,” says Kerry Avery, Director at Team Architects.

Embracing the Past, Present, and Future /

The Whangarei Civic Centre stands not merely as a physical structure but as a testament to what can be achieved when cultural narratives, modern design, and functional needs are harmoniously intertwined. It’s a space that doesn’t just house the council’s numerous functions but serves as a tangible embodiment of its cultural and communal values, echoing vibrancy, inclusivity, and transparency in every corner.

The project intertwines the past with the present, creating a space that is poised to navigate into the future with integrity, serving as an exemplary project where culture and modernity are not just showcased but lived every day.

Architect | TEAM Architects Auckland
Photography | Mark Scowen Photography
Furnishings | UFL Group

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