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New Life For Mars

A successful commercial space is one that both looks good and functions well. A recent move to Central Park provided a fresh opportunity for Mars New Zealand to unite the colourful Mars and Wrigley brands under one modern roof.

Situated on Great South Road, Central Park boasts more than 30,000m2 of office space, accommodating 45 tenants across multiple buildings. The development provides good tenant amenities, in addition to plenty of parking and easy motorway access. Goodman acquired Central Park with its existing building stock, and the potential for further development, and has recently completed Building 7 – a 5000m2 office block in the complex. The previous tenant’s relocation provided a golden opportunity to upgrade Building 14.

RDT Pacific’s Simon Wilson and Liam Joyce worked closely with Goodman portfolio manager Jarrod Macgregor to provide advice and package an offer favourable to both landlord and tenant – in this case a lump sum contract. RDT Pacific Director Simon Wilson was a natural fit to lead the project and support Goodman in its endeavours to secure the tenant, due to a strong existing relationship and a comprehensive knowledge of sustainable design – a key driver for Mars.

Building 14 was chosen by the tenant following a number of building appraisals. The building was gutted, stripped out back to raw structure and entirely reinstated and upgraded with new mechanical and electrical and data infrastructure. A section of the first floor was removed to add a staircase through the building’s centre, which further enhanced and opened the space. BAAK Architects worked with Mars, Goodman and RDT Pacific to create an integrated building refurbishment and fit out. This initiated an intense, fast turnaround design period to anticipate and meet the needs of both landlord and tenant for the overall design and budget.

Mars New Zealand was last year named winner in the Kenexa Best Workplace Awards medium/large category, largely for its egalitarian structure. The new fit out has been strongly aligned with this non-hierarchical culture and the company’s brand guidelines. All associates are on one floor (accomplished by siting the reception, lunchroom and some meeting rooms on the ground floor). The entire office is open plan, with only one size and type of desk, and directors sit in desk clusters with their teams.

A considered design strategy brought multiple, colourful Mars brands to life from confectionary to pet food, without overpowering the office. Alex Kelly of BAAK explains, “We chose a very neutral palette of colours for the finishes – black carpet and white walls – any colour we did add was in a natural finish, the timber in the feature wall for example. This meant that when the branding was introduced, it didn’t fight with the interior.”

Value for money was paramount. In this case, working to a strict budget also supported a mandate for sustainability. Mars wanted to integrate existing office furniture as much as possible, with the result that all desks, meeting tables and task chairs were reused. The new fit out includes environmentally sustainable design considerations such as a highly energy efficient mechanical system with CO2 monitoring to enhance and protect indoor air quality, LED lighting throughout, and specifying the greenest products practicable.

Jarrod MacGregor is extremely pleased with the project’s outcomes. “RDT Pacific has provided a highly professional service, creating a meeting ground between both tenant and landlord for mutual benefit. The synergies achieved with this project have resulted in an environmentally sensitive commercial fit out that was delivered quickly, to a very high standard.”