Inside Generator's new Northern Steamship arm

Inside Generator's new Northern Steamship arm
Shared workspace is all the rage. And now, established business Generator has created a new space that's a cut above.

generator northern steamship britomart interior designShared workspace is all the rage. And now, established business Generator has created a new space that's a cut above.

Back in Idealog #36, we covered shared workspace Generator, a concept going off like a frog in a sock in Auckland’s Britomart precinct. Hardly surprising, given the way people work is changing rapidly, as workers are becoming more mobile.

And hardly surprising that Generator’s lush workspace was met with enthusiasm from the individual workers (and big brands) that wanted a piece of the action.

Now Generator has replicated the model in a new space in the Northern Steamship building (NSS), also at Britomart. Chief executive officer Ryan Wilson says the NSS space provides “an even more sophisticated and modern” work environment.
Beer brand Moa agreed and recently used the space for its IPO launch.

“[NSS] is steadily attracting discerning business people with an eye for a next generation work and lifestyle space that will accelerate growth and success,” Wilson says.

The entrepreneur believes that work doesn’t have to feel like work.

“Style, function and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive.”britomart northern steamship generator interior design

Britomart developer Cooper & Company and Stack Interiors were involved in bringing NSS to life.

“It was important that the companies we partnered with in creating NSS understood the Generator concept and philosophy of providing the next generation of office space,” Wilson says, paying homage to Cooper and Stack.

“When working with Stack, we were meticulous in ensuring that every detail was considered, from stylishly-tiled showers to American oak floors, even a custom-made carpet from Denmark featuring the NSS logo.”

Both Generator spaces are located in heritage buildings, which meant the story of the building needed to be told while still establishing ‘next generation culture’ and being completely modern in its offering. A watermark/logo was created for NSS, which has been incorporated into the interior in various places.

“Because we want to physically stamp the location in the space, we created what I think is a beautiful logo for NSS which we will adapt for our future projects.

“We always work to tell the story of the building and its place, from the names on the rooms, to presenting the NSS watermark in the carpet and windows. This is our way of tipping our hat to
the original NSS company and to the rich history of the building.”

britomart northern steamship generator interior designThe design brief was “ambitious”, says Wilson. Create the best all-round workspace in the country, he asked those involved, and provide members with an inspirational space and more opportunities to grow their businesses.

The space needed to be flexible, intimate and interesting, with good workflow design, without compromising the rich history of the NSS building but at the same time not sacrifice practicality and user-friendliness.

NSS differs from the first Generator in that the original is more about “energy and buzz”, reflecting the nature of the companies in that space and their aspirations for growth, while NSS is “more refined, quieter and more exclusive”.

Still, a major factor is what Wilson labels ‘bumpability’ – the increased chance of bumping into old and new business friends in the space – so the place had to be conducive to social interaction.

And of course, there’s a bar and café area, featuring – you guessed it – the only standalone Moa bar in the country.

“It forms the communal heart of the NSS space, a feature that seems to go down a treat with our members and their guests.”