Having originally met in a shared office space, when a spot came up in a nearby building, Havelock North residents Emma Lindsay and Amy and Tim Gillespie seized the opportunity to create a coworking destination of their own, which they’ve called Joll Commons. We got the goss from strategic sales manager Emma.

So Emma, what attracted you guys to this site and who was involved in transforming it? The site is elevated and gets amazing natural light, which is something everyone comments on when they first walk in. Our clients also love the central location among great coffee shops, eateries, and new yoga and pilates studio Alma. There’s also a fantastic restaurant downstairs, Mijita, that makes delicious margaritas for after-work socialising.
Amy has her own studio, AG D, so she led the interior design. The owners of the building, Jonathan and Cristina McHardy, had worked closely with architects RTA Studio in designing the Joll Road precinct, and RTA were great to work with when it came to ensuring our vision came to fruition.

Fab fit-out: Joll Commons coworking space

Fab fit-out: Joll Commons coworking space

Fab fit-out: Joll Commons coworking space
MAIN IMAGE Gallerist Andrew Crawford operates from downstairs, so there’s a range of his artworks and antiques throughout the spaces, along with art by Nick Herd on loan from another local gallery, Parlour Projects. “We regularly put different works on display and aim to sell them on their behalf,” says Emma. TOP & MIDDLE Emma says: “Knowing we’d have a concrete floor, a steel ceiling and lots of people working together, we were concerned about how Joll Commons would feel once it was being used, but RTA really nailed that for us and the acoustics work beautifully in every area.”

How did you want the place to feel? Offices can be so cold and boring, but we strongly believe that a workplace with an aspirational aesthetic enhances productivity, culture and collaboration, so we aimed for it to feel like a stylish residential space. The main work zone is an open-plan area with a long pine table made by carpenter, sculptor and furniture designer Grant Bailey that’s separated into work stations topped with his crafted twist — burgundy leather. Rather than typical office chairs, people sit at these desks in Eames-style chairs with their feet on the Nest rug by Armadillo that anchors the room. Above the desks hang an assortment of rice-paper lightshades by Hay from Cult, which gives everything a gorgeous glow, and at one end we’ve installed a banquette seat and some of Grant’s café tables.
Adjoining this area, there’s a communal lounge featuring two Clerici chairs by Matiazzi from Simon James, an Arcade armchair by Simon James and a vintage marble coffee table in a teardrop shape from Babelogue. The kitchen features a table made by Grant and Hee bar stools by Hay from Cult.
We have a boardroom available to our clients and for members of the public to rent that contains a circular table made by Grant under an Arch pendant by Johan Lindstén and Markus Johansson for Oblure from Good Form. There are also a couple of private, sound-proofed phone booths and, further down the hall, nine private offices and four desks that are tenanted on 12-month leases.

What informed the colour and material palettes? A mix of planned choices and happy accidents! We started with a colour scheme
of burgundy, blue and neutrals, then added more warmth with natural materials like stone, ceramics and timber. Amy had been admiring a Laminex Formica colour, Kalamata, for a while and it turned out to be the perfect hue to tie in with our desktops, and textural Melteca Melamine in Aged Ash brought a cosy vibe to the mix. Opting for vibrant colours in a commercial setting may seem risky, but by committing to a cohesive concept, we’ve been able to create a striking environment that exudes sophistication.

What’s it like to work here? We love it. It feels light, airy and serene, and we particularly like hearing how much our tenants enjoy it too and how much work they feel they get done when they’re here. The rotation of interesting people with diverse careers means every day is different, which is fantastic. It’s a great way to meet new people and share ideas. It’s all come together so well.

Interview Alice Lines
Photography Hazel Redmond

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