For New Zealand-based designer Scott Fitzsimons, a deep understanding of material and process drives his studio’s durable, functional and engaging craftsmanship. He talks to Zenith Design Studio about the motivation and meaning behind his latest ALTER collection
Zenith outfits New Zealand’s largest litigation firm MC with the flexible designs to enable the firm’s ‘working the way that works for you’ ethos.
Outgrowing their Auckland office in 2019, New Zealand litigators MC relocated, becoming the cornerstone tenant of the new MC Centre at 8 Hardinge St, across a single interconnected workspace of 5500m2.
The new MC Centre held much promise for New Zealand’s largest litigation firm: to attract the best young talent, growing the team to 300 by 2023, and to offer the tools to accommodate its lawyers’ diverse ways of working.
“We believe it is important as many of our team are in the office each day. In the modern professional-services industry, where people are working in the office, up at the court, with a client, at home or wherever works best for them, we need them to actually want to be in the office each day,” says Kylie Mooney, MC Chief Executive and Project Leader.
But MC also decided to take a precedent-setting approach to wellbeing in their brief, becoming New Zealand’s first professional services firm to achieve WELL v2 Certification from the International WELL Building Institute.
That required MC and its suppliers to provide evidence of meeting standards across 108 different features covering ten concepts: Air, Water, Nourishment, Light, Movement, Thermal Comfort, Sound, Materials, Mind and Community.
This multi-dimensional, ambitious workspace fit-out was MC-led and involved an incredible array of expertise to bring it to life, of which Zenith was proud to be an integral part of.
Space is distributed at MC Centre through six ‘neighbourhoods', each centered around the themes of Land, People, Exploration & Immigration, Diversity, Enterprise & the Human Mind and Capital, the things we build to make the things we value.
No one at MC has an office. Instead, everyone has their own desk in one of the neighbourhoods, with partners located with and working directly with their teams. Everyone, from the newest intern to the Crown Solicitor, has the same adjustable sit-to-stand Zenith Rumba desk.
Every MC employee has also been provided their own Zenith Belite ergonomic chair. Clever engineering ensures that Belite’s minimal part count delivers flexible and responsive performance. Constructed from sustainable materials, Belite reflects MC’s commitment to create an environmentally conscious workplace.
Designed with cognisance that the MC Centre would need to compete with their employee’s homes and favourite cafés as their preferred working environment, MC prioritised comfortability with spaces and tools echoing of the domestic sphere.
MC chose the Hull lounge to provide this softness to the workspace. Here again, environmental impact was accounted for, with the Hull lounge constructed entirely from a single sheet of Eco plywood.
Each neighbourhood has its own collaboration rooms, designed for internal meetings, client meetings and AVL court appearances. There are also meeting rooms and conversation areas throughout. Additionally, each neighbourhood has two enclosed phone booths for confidential phone calls, as well as a nearby concentration space, for silent, focused work.
Zenith’s Precinct Screening Systems provided MC with a middle-point between confidentiality and collaboration. Lightweight and reconfigurable, the frameless system sits flush atop any worktop to create clean and delineated workspaces.
Following Auckland’s long lockdown, MC employees were introduced to the space on the premise of a rostering system for days at the office and days WFH. But no one wanted to leave.
Kylie Mooney says the novelty hasn’t worn off. “We are reminded every day that everyone met their brief, when we look around and see all our team at work, working in all the different spaces, and working in the way that works best for them. It’s what we asked for, and all our suppliers delivered as a team, better than we ever imagined.”