ASB North Wharf
ASB North Wharf, BVN Donovan Hill with Jasmax
Photo by John Gollings
A new bank building on Auckland’s waterfront wins New Zealand’s highest architectural honour – as well as awards for sustainability, interior architecture and commercial architecture.
ASB North Wharf designed by architecture practices BVN Donovan Hill and Jasmax is the winner of the 2014 New Zealand Architecture Medal. At the awards ceremony in Auckland on May 9, 2014, the building also received honours in the categories of commercial architecture, interior architecture and sustainability. The awards jurors – convenor Richard Naish (RTA Studio, Auckland), Michael Banney (m3architecture, Brisbane), Stuart Gardyne (Architecture+, Wellington), and Bronwen Kerr (Kerr Ritchie, Queenstown) – described the ASB headquarters as an “ambitious experiment in commercial architecture.”
The latest in a series of buildings by the same architects for the same client, ASB North Wharf is an even more ambitious exploration of typological possibilities. It is a totally integrated project – an architectural realisation of a workplace philosophy, an exemplar of environmentally sustainable design and a contextually aware presence in a new maritime precinct. The building marries technical achievement and poetic expression, spatial organisation and social purpose. Transparency and inter-activity are the principles to which the design adheres; it is a profound shift from the stolid forms, static workstations and rigid hierarchies of the traditional banking environment. This is design for a digital age in which everything is fluid, including the movement of money. The architecture of the building dissolves workplace barriers and encourages creative encounters; it offers individuals a choice of spaces they may temporarily occupy, and some control over their immediate environment. It accommodates modern workplace practices and influences workplace behaviour in a technologically advanced business sector. In ASB North Wharf we may be seeing the future shape of work.