The brief was to design a space which delivered an authentic experience, that showcased New Zealand. The space needed to be functional and flexible to provide a home for New Zealand companies to connect with China and host clients and conduct day-to-day business. The Center is divided into two wings, business (office, meeting rooms, hot desks) and event/greet (entrance, cafe, demonstration kitchen, event space). At the street entry, a mix of native NZ and Asian tree ferns is showcased on a living plant wall before heading up to the main floor. Coming out of the lift you are instantly welcomed into a New Zealand space where the naturals colours from timber and stone evoke New Zealand’s iconic landscapes. The custom chevron oak floor is inspired by a traditional Maori Marae (traditional meeting house). This natural wood flooring is used throughout the whole space to create a sense of uninterrupted flow and bring a natural warmth to each area. With no formal reception desk, a New Zealand welcome greets you in the form of trained barista offering fresh coffee. The coffee counter uses a marbled green stone which represents jade / greenstone which is a precious stone in both Chinese and New Zealand culture. The greeting area, opens out into a casual seating and meeting space area. The large tables were custom made for the space from Native New Zealand Rimu and Tawa trees. Beyond that there is a large event space for product launches and seminars and a fully-functional commercial and demonstration kitchen that doubles as a bar during evening events. Floor to ceiling windows allow the space to be filled with sunlight as the surrounding tree canopy envelopes the whole space.
The two independent spaces can be connected at the touch of a button with as the dividing wall vertical retracts into the ceiling cavity, creating a large harmonious entertainment wing for hosting 250+ person events. In the business wing more homely elements bring a more relaxing working ambiance. The brown leather seats, soft floral pink, green and yellow tones in the furnishings bring subtle bursts of colour referencing the native Kina shell. The conference and meeting rooms not only create privacy through excellent sound proofing it also provide cutting edge technology for hosting conferences to the world with high-end media. Movable walls provide flexibility for a variety of meeting room configurations. Contemporary New Zealand artists are displayed prominently throughout the space. Custom made pendant lights from various New Zealand Designers feature in the casual meetings rooms, hot desking and break out area. New Zealand Central is a well thought out and designed space for connecting New Zealand business to China and allowing people to proudly showcase their country to future clients.