Category Archives: Projects

Red Dot Award Recognises Story Telling Gold

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LZF have added another feather to their illustrious cap as winner of a Red Dot Award 2016 in Communication Design for their Telling Tales campaign.

The three part campaign, inspired by Edward Hopper paintings and the 1954 film-noir masterpiece Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock, is set at night. The cover of darkness provides the perfect backdrop for loads of gorgeous lamps and the captivating nocturnal happenings of its characters.

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Valencia-based Masquespacio Studio art directed the campaign, alongside LZF co-founder Mariví Calvo. The ensuing images are beautifully arresting and pose more questions than they answer.

While lamps certainly feature in the photo-realistic scenes, they are not the solo stars of the show. The stories themselves are told from the perspective of an anonymous female voyeur as she imagines the lives of the people she watches.

The storytelling component of the campaign takes the reader on a journey, as author Grassa Toro explains “What is fantastic is not what you see, but rather when I imagine everything I’m not seeing… [from her building, the narrator of Telling Tales] sees very little, and imagines a lot.”

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The Red Dot Award is deserved recognition for some highly ambitious publicity. As LZF co-founder Sandro Tothill observes ‘We are competing with communication and graphic design studios from all around the world. That we’re actually in that top fifty cadre of companies receiving the Red Dot Award in Communication Design is as much of an achievement for us as being given a Red Dot Design Award.’

Telling Tales is told in three volumes and will be published in an all-inclusive book for worldwide distribution:

Julie & Nelson – Volume I

Lana & John – Volume II

Ana & Silver – Volume III

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Maersk Crosses the Line

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In April 2016 we completed a fit-out alongside Stack Interiors for shipping company Maersk Line’s new Auckland premises. Having completed Maersk’s original fit-out some 10 years ago, it was a pleasure to be invited back to the drawing board.

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Stack created sleek, well-appointed headquarters, specifying a range of furniture including Enea’s Lottus Conference chair, Office chair, Lounge chair and AL table. German manufacturer Wilde and Spieth’s Typus table, the Dual table by Andreu World, Arper’s Colina lounge chair and Catifa 46 chairs. Horm’s Albino occasional table, our own Panama modular seating and a custom built 6.5m boardroom table.

Maersk Line’s latest refurbishment is timeless, comfortable and sophisticated, and is sure to remain on-point for another decade.

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Photos by Rebecca Swan

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Hampton Down’s Members Lounge

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One of our most exciting and creative fit-outs of late, is the members lounge at Hampton Downs Raceway in Meremere. The owners approached UFL in late 2015 with an exclusive design and fit-out brief for the new lounge which was still under construction. The raceway was enjoying bumper seasons and wanted to provide a smart yet relaxed lounge for private memberships.

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The brief was not dissimilar to a high-end airport lounge, a place where people could socialise, work, or just get away from it all and relax. The space occupies a large second storey which is surrounded by decks with premium views overlooking the racetrack.

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The lounge was divided into zones through the choice of furniture which includes Oh! lounge chairs and Chat ottomans by Sancal, UFL’s Pacific Series high-back sofas for privacy and J-Series barleaners, tables and Arper’s Juno chairs for dining. The piece de resistance is our own Panama modular sofa which runs like a spine through the middle of the space.

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For the outdoor area we chose Vondom Stones lounge chairs and occasional tables, and Vases barstools paired with Andreu World Reverse leaners. This all-weather area needed elegant yet tough furniture which could withstand a variety of conditions.

An on-point selection of furniture has created a fun yet sophisticated lounge, drawing race car enthusiasts to enjoy Hampton Downs in style.

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Photos by Jeremy Toth

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Guillermo Santoma’s Casa Magnificent

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Casa Horta, on the outskirts of Barcelona is home to interior and product designer Guillermo Santoma. The 3-storey building has recently been completely refurbished by the maestro who has wasted no time in transforming his space into a sculptural habitat.

The 1920’s building was completely gutted, revealing within its bones hidden volumes and original materials which had been covered by time and less design-oriented occupants. The interior possesses minimalist geometry that Santoma has emphasised with a transcendent colour scheme; pink for the bathroom and kitchen, bottle green for the lobby, blue for the walls and ‘skylight’, all accentuated by pure white staircases.

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At first glance the interior looks like a movie set or a still-life painting by MC Esher. The designer has furnished his home very sparsely, with just the necessities making the cut; a cook top, oven and sink in the kitchen and a toilet, wash basin and shower in the bathroom. There is a sky-light but it’s a painted onto the ceiling, with static pink clouds.

Santoma shares his philosophy on interior design, ‘A place to live is always transformed depending on the needs – the purpose is to live surrounded by something that represents you. Be throughout the construction process, day-by-day, or in the play, I’m continuously rethinking the space’.

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Law & Order

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Understandably UFL’s repertoire of assignments is not confined to our own back doorstep, that being Auckland. Recently we supplied a combination of Spanish and NZ made furniture to a boutique law firm based in Rotorua.

Lance Lawson Barristers & Solicitors, employed Auckland’s RCG, to create a new office environment for their busy practice. One which would both develop and promote an edgy, contemporary culture, whilst upholding the integrity of their business.

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If RCG is ringing bells, that’s because we recently featured another project by the company’s own Ceili Murphy on our blog. This talented local designer worked on the revamp of our UFL HQ no less.

The hub of Lance Lawson, is a central space which runs through the middle of the building. Coined ‘Marketplace’, it was inspired by such and gives the whole office a great sense of openness that encourages transparency and collaboration amongst the team, creating a relationship-driven gravitational pull if you like.

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The Marketplace incorporates slick, monochromatic finishes mixed with timber for a warm, lived-in feeling. Piergiorgio Cazzaniga’s Reverse tables are teamed with Lievore Altherr Molina’s Lottus chairs, and our own J-Series leaner is teamed with the Lottus barstool.

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Our first foray into designing custom workstations was applied in collaboration with RCG for Lance Lawson. This new commercial avenue burgeoned for UFL during 2015 with the installation of several large-scale desking fit-outs within Auckland.

Lance Lawson’s desk-pods were created to help teams work together within the company. Custom light fittings sit above the stations and this traditional desk structure contrasts effectually with the more relaxed breakout areas. The result is a mixture of classic UFL pieces and custom desking working together to form a fun yet business-like space.

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Photos by Amanda Aitken

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Vision Streaming At CBD Office

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October 2015 saw the completion of UFL’s largest office fit-out project to date. The client was Visionstream, one of Australasia’s most prominent telecommunication companies who provide design, construction and maintenance services for advanced communication and industrial networks.

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The well-located new headquarters at 8 Hereford Street, CBD, aptly represents Visionstream who occupy two floors of the prestigious address, which is also soon to be home to Hereford Residences, bespoke apartments with views over Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.

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UFL worked directly with the developer, Tawera Group, along with Josephine Design and Paul Brown Architects who designed the space to encompass workstations and accompanying storage for 450 employees. Product supplied exclusively by UFL includes Novah Cluster desking, storage, meeting tables, cafe tables and chairs.

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Photos by Simon Wilson

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Hellmann Future Proofs

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When a company casts their collective mind back over the year that was, we agree one of our proudest 2015 moments was fitting out Hellmann Worldwide Logistics’ new headquarters. A benchmark in design, functionality and innovation, the new building is 15,000-square-metre ambient and controlled-temperature warehousing complex and head office at Landing Drive, Auckland Airport.

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We’ve probably all seen the building by now, designed by Auckland’s RTA Studio, it’s hard to miss. Almost rock-like in its presence, the building presses down on the earth and one end appears to sink right into it. Superbly modern, the architecture is worthy of the world’s most advanced freight-forwarding company. Hellmann Worldwide Logistics operates 443 branches in 157 countries and employs in excess 16,500 people to serve their customers worldwide.

The new Auckland facility has positioned the firm to deliver a new and expanding level of service to its international and domestic customers. It has also united Hellmann’s two previously-separate Auckland operations in one location.

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Hellmann New Zealand’s managing director, Chris McCagney says, “Our owners, Jost and Klaus Hellmann, have committed Hellmann globally to a very high bar in terms of service excellence, quality, innovation and environmental care. This development ticks all the right boxes. The move to this unique facility at Auckland Airport will bring together the ambient and controlled-temperature operations of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and Hellmann Perishable Logistics in Auckland onto a single prime site, increasing our agility, operating efficiency and capacity for growth.”

“A key driver was to look at the wider environment and trends, both here and particularly overseas, to understand the types of customer needs we expect to be servicing in the future and the infrastructure that requires, we also worked to ensure we didn’t box ourselves into any corners and built in the flexibility and scale to adapt and grow as tomorrow’s requirements reveal”.

“Increasingly we are seeing customers who require multiple types of infrastructure across the supply chain and to be able to obtain that from one company, on a single site is a very compelling proposition.”

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Mr McCagney says sustainability and minimising ozone depletion/ global warming impacts were other key drivers in the build, so as to maximise the potential for customers to trade off “clean and green”.

“Our refrigeration plant utilises ammonia which has a very low carbon footprint and by installing a large air-cooled condenser, this plant requires no water or other chemicals. We’ve also invested in high-end electric forklifts, variable speed drives, EC fans, LED lighting and daylight harvesting to minimise power usage.

“The green aspect of this facility is huge and we have also become a much more efficient business.”

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UFL worked closely with top management personnel, to create a polished, efficient and fun head office. We were asked to deliver a complete design and supply package, which included the boardroom and meeting room, the reception area and counter complete with custom joinery, spatial office design for 60 staff which included a huge amount of desking and mobile storage units, also breakout spaces and a huge, vibrant and friendly café. Eclipse Architecture were also involved in the design of the interior. Colour design was required and saw us pairing neutral greys, blues and blacks with chrome finishes, and bright yellow within the upholstery and polypropylene used in the chairs.

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Mr McCagney says a focus on people and fostering a culture drove the integrated nature of the design, which has turned traditional warehousing form on its head by incorporating an office within the overall build.

“A key aspect of this is the cafeteria which we have designed in an open-plan form within the two-storey administration area. When a customer arrives at the reception foyer they are instantly integrated within the ‘marketplace’ of our staff in the cafeteria as well as having sight-lines further into the warehouse operation.

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“The new facility is an exemplar of how you can create a really exciting form of architecture in a functional industry build, and that speaks volumes to what is the Hellmann brand and the Hellmann Family ethos — we are showing the way forward in quality of facilities and workplace.”

Praising owners Jost and Klaus Hellmann for seeing the value in good design and showing the faith to “let us get on with running the business”, Mr McCagney also emphasises the huge commitment this investment shows in the local market.

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“A unique fourth-generation company that is about to move into the fifth, Hellmann has been operating in New Zealand for close to 30 years now. We’ve been proudly working with a number of our customers for a long period of that time and this facility will ensure we are positioned to continue to replicate our past successes going forward.

“This is a truly world-class, landmark development and in another 20 years’ time I believe it will still stand out as a magnificent, flexible, ecological and efficient facility. Hellmann has made a clear statement to those servicing the New Zealand logistics industry that if you want to be in this business, then you need to invest — because here is the new standard.”

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Hellmann was a project that challenged due to its manifold nature. Logistics aside, one that attested UFL’s ability to do it all, a one-stop-shop.

All furniture was sourced from Italy, Spain and Australia and local manufacturers.

20151022_hellmann_0118Photos by Jeremy Toth

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Designing The Designers

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Following on from the blog last week about Sancal who’ve recently completed a stunning renovation of their office, we thought the timing perfect to share our own refurbishment here at UFL headquarters on Rosebank Rd. Hark back to May 2014 and enter designers John Lenihan and Ceili Murphy from Auckland based architectural firm, RCG.

Several reasons incited our need for a change; the current office was an awkward size and we required a larger, more efficient space for our expanding team which was almost doubling in size. A contemporary environment that functioned well was vital, as was a beautiful space which aptly represented not only our own established brand but also that of the agencies we exclusively represent here in New Zealand, all of whom are Italian and Spanish furniture manufacturers and purveyors of cutting-edge design.

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We wanted to showcase our own J-Series workstation. The system originated as a table, then a barleaner. The design has proved so popular that we decided to rework it as a workstation. The J-Series can be customised in terms of size, finishes and cable management to suit even the most discerning of clients.

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Key designer pieces that feature in the space include the piece-de-resistance, Link Chain lamp, a customised light that our friends at LZF made especially for our project. We get constant admiration for this piece, and it is the first thing that visitors see as they enter the showroom.

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Our meeting table and chairs are both by Andreu World, the table is the Reverse, and the chairs are Smart. We are in love with our sleek Arper Catifa 46 chairs, which sport black shells on black swivel bases, a style which never fades. The two framed artworks are Losanges Rug by Nanimarquina, and an Anna Kidman photograph.

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Photos by Anna Kidman

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New HQ Oozes Style at Sancal

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Our Spanish friends Sancal, manufacturers of quirky and cool commercial furniture, have recently renovated their headquarters in Yecla. Thinking it high-time their own working environment was as beautiful as clients such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Amazon and Visa, they employed interior design firm Taza & Tacillas to work some magic. The designers achieved a fresh, uncluttered and welcoming ‘interior garden’, a metaphysical green space which is lively and inspiring, a place where employees can create and develop without constraint.

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From the upholstery, to the furniture, the paint on the walls and the potted plants which adorn benches and desktops, the whole space embraces colour, function and passion. The company have used the refurbishment to showcase and utilise some of their most endearing product designs, like Tartana domes, Pion tables and stools, REW sofas, lush Tea and Casta chairs, Konoha benches (inspired by leaves), Tonella armchairs, Mandarinas cushions, Tab stools, Nudo tables and Elephant ottomans.

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A green and grey carpet literally leads us down the garden path, as it meanders past pods of workstations which are acoustically ‘enclosed’ by gigantic umbrella-like Tartana canopies. Another mural, this time by Malota, treads the green path with an illustration of over-sized potted plants. A colourful botanical installation by Jesús Galváñ, decorates the kitchen area which also doubles as a meeting room.

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Further incentive for the office makeover was to play catch-up to the 2013 renovation of their factory. Undergoing an utterly gorgeous transformation into a bright, breezy utilitarian space, the revamp commemorated the company’s 40th birthday. Well-known European muralists Agostino Iacurci and Ricardo Cavolo were commissioned to paint ginormous artworks on the walls of the cutting and sewing areas and the mammoth corridor leading to the dining room.

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The recent revamp reveals that Sancal is a company that provides not only a stimulating and carefully planned environment for their employees, but also a beautiful and modern headquarters from which to promote their unique brand and showcase their avant-garde product.

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The Padre Rubinos Institute

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Famous philanthropist Amancio Ortega, founder of Spanish fashion label Zara, established The Amancio Ortega Foundation in 2001. The foundations purpose is to endorse charitable projects within Spain, offering assistance to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. Particular emphasis is placed on education and social aid, like food, medicine and housing.

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Recently the charity built The Padre Rubinos Institute in A Coruña, a multi-purpose municipal centre which is a haven for those in need. The Institute provides a wide range of community services, including a day centre for the elderly, a playschool, classrooms, multipurpose areas, public parks and even a hostel.

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Folk by Rafa Garcia

Designed by Elsa Urquijo Arquitectos & Tattoo Contract, the designers have achieved with the institute what every community space should be but so often isn’t; serene yet functional, with an overall air of tranquility. The designer’s specified white both internally and externally, with contrast provided in the form of natural wooden accents within the building, and landscaped green spaces with grass and trees outside, all of which harmonize to create a feeling of peace and well-being.

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In such a multipurpose building, the furniture needs to be adaptable. Sancal collaborated with the Institute to include some of their most functional yet elegant pieces. Designer furniture is not something that jumps to mind when one thinks of a public space founded by a charitable foundation, but that’s part of the reason this Institute is such a success, and proves that designer furniture and architecture is not the sole right of the wealthy and privileged.

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Furniture includes the fun Party sofa by Luis Eslava, quirky cool Tab Tables by Nadadora, the popular Folk sofa by Rafa Garcia and the comforting Soul armchair also by Garcia.

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Soul by Rafa Garcia

Although solemn social issues oversee the reason for this building, the overall design refuses to walk in these shoes. The Padre Rubinos is one altruistic space that is fresh, modern and beautiful to behold.

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Tab by Nadadora

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