One of the world’s leading architecture practices will reopen its office in Auckland next month following a three-year period of basing its New Zealand operations in Christchurch.

In its latest announcement, Woods Bagot said it would relocate its Christchurch office and would open its Auckland studio on January 11.

The office will be located in Britomart in the heart of Auckland’s commercial area.

Operating through sixteen studios across six regions and employing more than 850 architects and design consultants, Woods Bagot is one of the world’s largest architecture firms.

It has delivered projects in New Zealand for ten years, including the New Zealand International Convention Centre in collaboration with Warren and Mahoney and Moller Architects as well as the PwC Tower at Commercial Bay which was also delivered in collaboration with Warren and Mahoney.

It opened an Auckland studio in 2016.

In late 2017, however, the firm consolidated its New Zealand operations into a Christchurch studio to focus on projects associated with rebuilding following the Canterbury earthquakes in 2011.

As part of that, the firm collaborated with Warren & Mahoney to design the Te Pae Christchurch and Convention Centre (image below) – one of seventeen anchor projects that formed part of the blueprint for the rebuild.

Under construction: Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, designed by Woods Bagot in association with Warren and Mahoney.

With Te Pae nearing completion, the firm is now relocating back to New Zealand’s largest city.

There it will work on numerous projects including a 15-level mixed-use office and hotel development at Sylvia Park being undertaken by NZX listed Kiwi Property (see below).

The Christchurch office will remain open until the completion of Te Pae in the middle of next year.

Woods Bagot with Peddle Thorp NZ

Woods Bagot director and regional executive chair (Australia & New Zealand) Kate Frear said the return to Auckland had been planned and was a natural progression in a strengthening market.

“New Zealand has been an important part of Woods Bagot’s regional pipeline for a decade and has steadily grown over the past four to five years,” she said.

“The nation has also managed the pandemic extremely well and is positioned to come out of it even stronger.”

Architect Kate Frear is a Woods Bagot Director and Regional Executive Chair – Australia & New Zealand.

Frear said the relocation would not impact South Island projects.

For several years prior to the opening of its Auckland office in 2016, Frear says the firm delivered projects remotely from outside New Zealand.

Combined with international expertise from its global studio, she says an expanding team in the Auckland office will be well equipped to deliver projects.

All staff from the Christchurch studio have accepted offers to relocate to Auckland and the firm is now recruiting additional staff in Auckland.

An appointment for the role of the Auckland studio chair will be announced in the new year.


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