MediaWorks

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  • 2021

  • Architectural
    Interior

Designed By:

  • AECOM
  • Warren and Mahoney

Commissioned By:

MediaWorks

Designed In:

New Zealand

The Amplifier: MediaWorks’ new workplace in Auckland is inspired by music as a soulful medium, reflecting a nostalgic love for new and old. It occupies an underdeveloped 1970s warehouse. Previously spread across four different locations, the new site provides the opportunity for Mediaworks people to influence and characterise their workplace through time – amplified by the environment and culture.


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  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Mediaworks leased 4500m2 in an undeveloped warehouse which would house their eight radio brands together for the first time. Previously spread across four different locations, the new site was to provide the opportunity for MediaWorks people to influence and characterise their workplace through time - amplified by the environment and culture. The building, a 1970's storage warehouse, offered a non-corporate and esoteric appeal Mediaworks were searching for to support 16 studios, 400+ workplace staff and state-of-the-art technical infrastructure to unify their broadcast performance and ultimately enable video recording for the migration to live televised brand content.

  • The design response, 'The Amplifier', is inspired by music as a soulful medium, reflecting a love for new and old. The journey begins in reception and courses through the fitout where the raw aesthetic is contrasted by soft absorptive materials. The narrative continues with a futuristic soundbar as a reception desk and a mid-century record player as a hub kitchen. Key to the functionality is the studio / production suite requirements to perform at an industry-leading level. With the migration to video-radio, the design focusses on the layout to achieve optimum recording, with acoustics and production support wrapped around it.

  • We worked closely with MediaWorks to ensure their brave and bold culture was represented. Each different radio brand had their own tastes, personalities and ideas - and this is represented in the visual manifestation of sound, creating energy and drama. The distribution and stack of the studios creates a series of neighbourhoods for employees to populate in between. This urban-style planning uses the built environment to structure views and control acoustics between the radio studios. Each environment is acoustically isolated and carefully insulated to achieve 16 spaces that perform consistently.

  • To amplify the rebellious spirit of MediaWorks and the provocative character of the design, we partnered with Autex to design bespoke wall treatments; three abstract expressions of sound - Anechoic (mustard), Noise (crimson) and Beats (khaki). The acoustic material, ideal for providing high-performance sound absorption was custom tinted with retro colours and lent itself to fabrication as flat patterns - crafted to fold like origami to create distinct shapes with little wastage. Exposed services, steel framed walls, timbers and retro-styled partitioning re-energises the experience of sentimentality - transforming a once shy warehouse into the physical and metaphorical 'amplifier' of New Zealand broadcasting. The intent of the fitout architecture is to conceal the building's unique fabric and material but to express its appeal and integrity. We retained as much of the base build and utilised as much material as practically possible; transforming space that recognises its original function. Construction elements and assemblies were kept to their necessities to ensure efficiency of materials and to limit the introduction of non-essential finishes and furnishings.