The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment have a collaborative new home for 1800 staff in the redeveloped former Defense Building in Wellington. This project won two Excellence Awards in the NZ Property Council Awards for 2015.
The large scale redevelopment of the 74 year building in Stout Street, with around 21,000m2 of rentable area over eight levels, attracted the attention of Government, who began negotiating for the premises, initially with the intention of securing the building for Ministry of Education. Late into the negotiations, the decision was made to relocate the newly formed Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), bringing 1800 staff together from five separate buildings into one collaborative headquarters.
The building had long been part of Wellington’s heritage fabric. Many heritage features of the building have been restored, including the facade, marble foyer and art deco staircases. Salvaged timber has been reused in a feature wall in the atrium. The redevelopment blends old with new; including all the latest technology features expected of a modern office environment, including energy efficient Dali lighting systems, new miconic lifts, wireless technology and an innovative curved LED screen above reception. The old semi enclosed loading bay at the rear of the building has been transformed into an eight level glass topped atrium, anchored by a ground floor reception area and public cafe.
MBIE’s new headquarters is a reference site for future Government fitouts. At 11.65m2 per person, it has achieved a 31 percent reduction in office space, delivered superior workspaces and is expected to save the Government $40-$50 million over the next 20 years.