Icebreaker is an iconic Kiwi brand, sold in 2017 to US-based VF Corporation, which owns internationally recognised brands The North Face, Timberlands and Vans. The 2015 completion of their Global Headquarters was a preemptive decision to position the company for growth into this international market.
Icebreaker had decided to relocate its headquarters from Wellington and bring together two offices in Auckland. As such, a key element of the design was to bring these two groups together in a unified, exciting setting which rewarded the commitment of their loyal team.
The brief was to create a collective, soulful space which captured the essence of Icebreaker’s brand and core values, while accommodating a diverse range of organisational activities; which encourages crosspollination of ideas and discussion.
Taking Icebreaker’s concept of ‘born in nature, worn in nature’ as a key driver for space planning of the tenancy, the fitout was essentially divided into a Born side (internal functions representing the staff spaces and production of the garments) and a Worn side (external functions representing the client meeting suites and the journey once the garments are produced).
Project highlights include, rammed earthwalls which were installed using soils handpicked and sourced from a local Auckland quarry, opting for raw, ‘honest’ materials such as goat’s wool carpet and solid timber finishes, and a real functioning, living, growing green bridge, which spans the lift core and reception. Found objects, sourced from op-shops and antique stores between the North Island’s Northcote and Paeroa, have given individual characteristics to the fitout, creating a real sense of Icebreaker meets Ponsonby.