An eye-catching $80 million Takapuna commercial building with bright orange curving internal stairs has won the world's top 'inside office' award at the World Architecture Festival.

B:Hive off Taharoto Rd at Smales Farm was yesterday announced as the winner of the category.

Judges described it as an exemplary case of a sustainable and flexible workplace.

The building was designed by Australian architects BVN, working with the local Jasmax.


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Paul Gunn, Smales Farm chief executive, said today the award was vindication for the business he heads.

Social meeting space around central stairway. Photo / file
Social meeting space around central stairway. Photo / file

"We are delighted that B:HIVE has received the ultimate international recognition," Gunn said.

The development is a co-worker block and Gunn said its creation was a key move towards the vision of creating a diverse urban community and an example of what can be achieved by between architects and clients.

Paul Gunn of Smales Farm. Photo / Greg Bowker
Paul Gunn of Smales Farm. Photo / Greg Bowker

The building epitomised core values of community, innovation, sustainability, quality and wellness and it was extremely rewarding to hear the judges identify these elements in their decision, Gunn said.

"What's more rewarding is the consistently positive feedback we receive about the unique environment we have created and how we have assisted the growth and success of their businesses," he said.

Outside B:Hive is The Goodside, an indoor/outdoor dining hub with a group of top restaurants. That area opened late last year, with bars, cafes and gardens used by the kitchens in food preparation.

Beautiful B:Hive - Smales Farm's vision is praised. Photo / supplied
Beautiful B:Hive - Smales Farm's vision is praised. Photo / supplied

Asked how he was going to celebrate, Gunn said it was perfect timing that a Christmas party was planned for the tenants this week and that gave the best opportunity to celebrate.


The same building took a national award at NZ Institute of Architects Award last month.

It won the interior award for the stylish B:Hive office block at Smales Farm Takapuna, with its brightly coloured internal stairway "sculptural, at the heart of the building, works well as a focal point and a social fulcrum, twisting its way up through the light-bathed atrium".

BVN said the five-level building is the anthesis of a traditional office block because its genesis was to be a place more for community engagement to attract startups, small companies and individuals.

Wellness was a primary consideration in the design so mixed-mode ventilation using facade thermal chimneys draw air through the atrium. A skylight brings in the sunshine and walking the stairs energises workers.