Having already designed the existing Unleash Space for the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the University of Auckland, we were invited back for the new space, but this time on a much grander scale. With the University constantly adapting and expanding, CIE had secured a prime position along Symonds Street, big enough for all their amazing ideas to come to fruition.

The new Unleash Space was to be the innovation hub and create space on campus. A go-to place for all students and staff from all faculties and stages to imagine, create for today and prototype for tomorrow. CIE had always had a sense of fun and vibrancy, and we wanted to reflect this in the new space. With all this in mind, we set to work.

With such a large area, the space was zoned and allocated differing functions. The ‘Maker Space’ was an area to hold all the state of the art equipment and technology that would allow anyone to create to their hearts content. The space is zoned by custom steel joinery and mesh that sets it apart from its surrounding. Custom powder coated electrical trays also run along the ceiling, making a vibrant feature of a traditionally boring service structure.

The ‘Collide Space’ is a flexible workspace where you can work on your ideas and projects, meet with your team, brainstorm, or simply sit and think. We ensured everything in this space could be moved so that it could adapt to any needs that may arise. Artificial turf, bright carpet tiles, and planter boxes break the large open space and provide a sense of structure to the otherwise fluid space, with booth seating a perfect addition for those looking for privacy and quiet.

To the rear of the space sits the ‘Inspire Space’ where events, workshops, and seminars can be held to inspire and motivate as well as provide key insights and lessons. Meeting rooms line the back of the space, with some even able to be booked by students. Doors are painted in chalkboard paint so their use can be easily identified and changed, and walls are painted with a whiteboard paint so notes to be taken.

Throughout the rest of the space, other features include moveable whiteboards and AV equipment, charging stations for everyone’s devices, a mini kitchen for tea and coffee, and a large welcoming entrance wall where students can place their polaroid photos once they have joined. Overall, the space truly sets out to achieve what was originally envisioned, “a vibrant, welcoming space with the tools, support, and inspiration to unleash your potential.”