Richards Partners

Address: 40 Kitchener Street, 1010 Auckland, New Zealand

Sector: Designer

Year: 2019

Architect: Harriet Pilkington, Nigel Rye

The clients are sophisticated, exacting and well-travelled,” she continues. “They want to feel as though they are in a luxury boat or going into a Porsche showroom.

Architect Harriet Pilkington

The office of Richards Partners is a dignified combination of traditional values with contemporary design, of a historic building structure with modern lightness.

Concept and implementation

For Brian Richards, founder and head of Richards Partners, this historic building provides the perfect environment for the new headquarters of his strategy and branding company that bears his name. “We wanted our space to reflect the refinement of our business over 30 years: a place people would gravitate to and a place with quiet confidence in itself yet not intimidating in a corporate sense.” Brian Richards (Architecture Now 12/2019)

The office combines the atmosphere of a private club with the elegance of an artist’s studio. The historic building’s structure meets modern, simple interior. The floor plan has the shape of an H and the numerous rooms are divided into two bright pavilions. The impressive atrium is the aesthetic centre here – an arrival zone where you feel welcome and comfortable, and where the special ambience is immediately noticeable. „Ambiguity would have been debated every day by clever lawyers. It’s fitting that… over 100 years later, we are doing something similar with our clients every day in what was the former courtroom: discussing the ambiguity of brands as intellectual property of great value.” Brian Richards

For the staff of Richards Partners, areas for retreat and contemplation, as well as niches for concentrated work are important. The workstations are equipped with STUDIO worktables and shelving system. The smart design of STUDIO fits perfectly into the office setting of Richards Partners. A subtle understatement is created by the melamine tabletop in slate. The modular STUDIO shelving system facilitates individual work processes and separates different areas in the room. The office layout makes use of the natural light coming in through the high arched windows and the workstations are arranged in a rectangle around them.

The centre of the office is a meeting area, a room-in-room solution defined by partitions made of glass and steel. The lounge offers space for informal discussions and exchange. 

About Richards Partners

The creative agency and consultancy Richards Partners specialises in corporate strategy and branding. The team around founder Brain Richards comprises of around 30 consultants who develop corporate strategies together with their clients. The company office is located in downtown Auckland, a design oasis in the heart of the business district of the New Zealand metropolis. The baroque building on Kitchener Street was designed by the Scottish architect Claude Paton in 1913 and was originally built as a district court.


Photos: © Richards Partners / Samuel Hartnett