New Opportunities in Napier
To design a space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing is no small feat. Often, the clever design elements and touchpoints that make a space beautiful are not the same that make it effective. When asked to intertwine the two into a practical yet appealing proposal for a workspace, Catalyst worked hard to ensure that every element designed will serve a purpose in achieving both of these goals.

A workspace set to be in the heart of Napier, exposed from all angles in an eye-catching location visible from the town centre, the MSD Building will be an office space for Oranga Tamariki and Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, spanning three levels with dedicated car parking available on the ground floor and basement.

Responding to Murphy Property Developments’ vision of a high quality working space for its occupants, Catalyst originally set out to create a double-storey commercial building, but after researching and scoping the site, Catalyst decided there was room for more so quickly progressed with an additional storey to be added under the Napier council’s district plan rules. The client saw the addition as a great way to add value to the building, as well as creating more job opportunities for the locals with the provision of a modern space to carry out their work.

But it didn’t come without challenges. One of which was the addition of another layer to an already complex infrastructure, while trying to make as minimal change as possible to the existing design. As well as being the famous Art-Deco town of New Zealand, some of the sites in Napier also hold archaeological value which creates a few challenges but with the right team of consultants, the correct procedures will be followed to see this through before commencement of any works.



Made with the environment in mind, the panels are manufactured from natural, raw materials that have been made with low energy processes. While being so close to the centre of town, the aesthetic of the outside of the structure was also important. Catalyst has incorporated Aluminium Louvres in part of the façade for providing sunshade as well as an architectural feature, while earthy materials like wood panelling will be used for the main entrance to welcome in guests and add a touch of warmth upon arrival.

Moving forward with an agreed modern design and minimalist approach, the next step will be to incorporate as much natural light as possible with a north-facing outdoor area, something that MSD saw as key in providing a modern workspace that facilitates and encourages breaks.

The carefully curated working space will sit across a site area of 2151m², providing 3200m² of office space shared between multiple tenancies. 

The project will be completed in different stages with the basement dig to begin in December 2019 and construction to be completed by March 2021.