Sustainable fit out leads the way for New Zealand office interiors by creating a stimulating, collaborative and sustainable environment for a team of New Zealand architects and engineers.

As one of New Zealand's most established multidisciplinary firms, Stephenson & Turner is proud of our roots. But we are also constantly in flux. In our latest office fit out, we challenged ourselves to redefine our working environment. The result is a new design studio located on the top floor of a 110-year old building. Contrasting the relationship between old and new, it is a stimulating, collaborative and creative environment for our team of architects and engineers. By breaking free of outmoded open-plan office norms we created a space that encourages the highest levels of group communication.

The usual screens which separate individuals and disciplines are now gone, enabling a fresh "one-team" culture inspired by its surroundings. Meeting rooms, located on an axis with the main entrance, are the only built spaces in the fit out. They float centrally within the existing shell, shielding the café space from the open plan studio. Informal meeting spaces are scattered throughout the studio to encourage communication and enable more sociable interactions within the team.

Customers enter directly into the creative environment of the studio and are encouraged to be actively involved in the design process with our team. By aligning the design with our belief that "a beautiful building begins with people" we established the well-being of our team as a core focus. Natural light and ventilation is maximised through the use of eight operable skylights. These work with an intelligent lighting system which adjusts artificial lighting with the amount of available daylight. The result is a healthy, comfortable, open and airy working environment.

The studio also features sustainably harvested and reused timber, heat-pump and radiant heating as well as a green wall and strict use of low VOC paints and adhesives. A particular focus on construction waste minimisation resulted in 90% of waste materials being recycled or reused.

S&T is truly walking the sustainability talk by being New Zealand's only design firm to occupy a 6 Star Green Star Office Interiors rated studio, showcasing our capability to the world.

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