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Unispace completed the Squirrel offices with a thoughtful incorporation of their brand identity in Auckland, New Zealand. Breathing new life into a tired 1940’s mechanics workshop to create a bold and unique workplace reflective of Squirrel’s (link: adventurous spirit.

The decision to purchase an 80-year-old mechanics workshop is a unique one for a professional firm. Squirrel are trailblazers in the financial services sector and needed a home that supports their high-performing team while reflecting Squirrel’s bold and progressive brand.

Unispace was engaged to undertake workplace strategy, and as a result, the design centres around enhancing employee collaboration and fostering connections. It aims to remove traditional workplace silos, fostering an environment that promotes the sharing of ideas. Overcoming the challenge of creating a workplace that attracts employees into the office; earning the commute.

The design optimizes the distinctive features of the building by repurposing the mechanic’s roller door/loading dock into the primary entrance and reception area for Squirrel’s workspace. Mezzanine-based administrative offices have been converted into a sophisticated executive boardroom and versatile hosting space, while former apartment rooms now serve as collaborative workspaces. The inclusion of EV chargers and upgraded end-of-trip facilities promotes the adoption of eco-friendly commuting options among employees.

The new workplace seamlessly blends functionality with the playful and energetic essence of Squirrel’s brand. It is purpose-built and exudes a sense of pride among the employees. The authentic company culture is reflected in the diverse and functional work settings, making the commute truly worthwhile.

Remaining true to Squirrel’s brand and spirit, the interior is infused with punches of colour. The vibrant, dynamic orange internal stair is a key focus of the design. Urban materials are inserted into the grungy brick basebuild, blending history with the youth of Squirrel.

The project was completed on-time and on-budget, in just 10 months end-to-end, an incredible achievement for a project of this scale and complexity.

Design: Unispace
Photography: David Straight


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