Fearon Hay’s Faraday Street Studio

One most exciting things about Auckland city in recent years has been the move to transform its historic buildings. The Imperial, Seafarers, City Works Depot, Amano… there’s been a rebirth of relics all over the city. Two of the architects responsible for creating this new-old Auckland are Jeff Fearon and Tim Hay. They were, at first, just looking for a new office for their practise, but decided to go one further – to purchase a dilapidated cluster of old warehouses (1940’s wool stores), and turn them into a new office, hospitality and retail precinct. They saw past the roller doors and painted-over windows to see what the old sheds could become – a pocket neighbourhood from which they could not only headquarter Fearon Hay, but grab coffee during the day and a drink after work.

And here it is – the new (and already award-winning) Fearon Hay digs, with the feel of a sexy loft apartment and the functionality of a high-performing work space. The office is essentially a massive mezzanine that floats above the original carpark, an open plan office that celebrates the bones of the old building, and introduces a pale poured concrete floor, huge communal pin-up surface, very sophisticated black-tiled bathrooms, and perhaps the best-looking meeting room I’ve ever seen.

The crowning glory is of course that exposed gabled ceiling – anyone with eyes can see why Tim and Jeff would want to design themselves working as close as possible to those huge, rough sawn, criss cross beams. What an inspiring place from which to design other inspiring places.

Special mention to that broodingly handsome steel stairwell.

Photography by Auckland photographer Michelle Weir of Studio:Weir
Michelle specialises in shooting interiors, architecture and fashion.


Fottutamente bello – We look inside the new Amano eatery:








Just… woah.
I’ve been so busy opening a store that I haven’t made it to Auckland in months. And goddamn, so much good stuff has opened since I last visited! I’m going to need at least a few days next time, because one entire day of the itinerary is already booked out with breakfast, lunch and then also dinner at the newly expanded Amano. They’re still doing their crazy-good handcrafted breads and pastries from the Amano Bakery by day, and now they’ve opened a gob-stopping adjoining bar and restaurant. (Or, because the food is Italy-influenced, let’s say forno, bistro and aperitivo.)
Side Note: Guys, I could go on and on (and on) about the cool stuff they’re doing here. Here’s one example – they make their own flour. Yip, all their daily breads and pastas are crafted from flour they’ve milled themselves, here on-site, grinding down South Island grain. It takes Amano around 20 hours to make a loaf of bread. This is actually massively important and special, because industrial flour and ‘regular’ bread is actually awful for your body. So, yeah, you now have even more reason to indulge, and feel not one bit guilty while you’re here. Another example? The menu is created and printed daily, depending on what’s in season and readily available locally. Freshness and provenance is everything. OK, back to the design…
First, a deep, genuflecting curtsy to architect Jack McKinney (McKinney + Windeatt), who is responsible for the design. Phrase of the day is Sexy Freaking Textures. Textures from the exposed bones of the former factory’s long history (pitted, paint-layered walls, huge old pillars and those beautiful big beams), alongside textures from modern features like the terrazzo floors with those big marble off-cuts, and thousands of mother of pearl tiles made from oyster shells.
And oh (oh, oh) those dried flowers installations. Created by Xanthe White.

Can we just have another look at those dried flowers?

I have not seen them with my own eyes, but our amazing contributor – interiors photographer Michelle Weir – tells me that as you walk through the space, the types of flowers and colours change, from neutral to colourful. In the bakery, it’s bushels of wheat that are suspended from the ceiling.
Amano also has its own own mini-market, selling flowers, handmade cheeses and fresh-daily pastas.
Um, Hip Group, I just have one question. How in the hell are you going to top this one?
Photography by Auckland photographer Michelle Weir of Studio:Weir
Michelle is one of our Fancy NZ Design Blog contributors – we are

so grateful for and in debt to our group of photographers. If you enjoyed this feature, p

lease follow Michelle over on Instagram
– and if you need some outstanding 
imagery, get in touch with her.



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