It was more than six months ago that Icebreaker moved its Wellington-based headquarters north to new “above the shop” corporate offices in the building-formerly-known-as-the-Mini-garage on Auckland’s uber-trendy Ponsonby Road.
The day before the launch, as journalists sipped chardonnay downstairs among the merino thermals, not even the bosses (founder Jeremy Moon and former Air NZ CEO Rob Fyfe) had seen the new global headquarters upstairs.
Architect Jasmax had been given the brief to keep a connection between the offices and nature and, as Moon told Idealog at the time, there was no reason not to trust they had done a good job.
Now the rest of the world gets to see if they are right, with Icebreaker releasing photos of the offices. The space was also a finalist in Architecture Now magazine's 2015 NZ Interior Awards.
Solid timber top workstations, rammed-earth walls built from local soils, and goat’s wool carpet tiles do indeed call to mind Icebreaker’s “Born in Nature” story. Meanwhile, themed meeting rooms reflect the sheep stations where the merino wool is sourced, as well as various Icebreaker-y activities – trail running, skiing, yoga etc. (Spot the chair lift swinging seat, for example).
The bottom floor of the building is also home to a new TouchLab retail store. It shows consumers how a concept developed in the office makes it to onto the racks and into their hands.
Still, we're not sure how “back to nature” Icebreaker can go while nestled among the multi-million dollar properties, chic bars and chic-er patrons on Ponsonby Road.