London, United Kingdom
Auckland, New Zealand
Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
New York, New York
Kate Frear, a director who has been instrumental in strategising Woods Bagot’s success in the New Zealand market, today announced principal Andy Gentry as the chair of the firm’s newest studio in Auckland, New Zealand.
Frear believes Gentry’s leadership style is the best fit for the young studio in a progressive part of the world.
“Andy is a leader who listens, it’s one of his strongest attributes,” she said, “His ability to build relationships and steer large development projects clearly and collaboratively is outstanding.”
“New Zealand is a world leader in progressive policy on diversity, culture, and sustainability. It’s very exciting to establish a strong local presence on the ground, with the ability to connect clients to the expertise within our business around the world.”
For the better part of five years Gentry was the chair of the firm’s Melbourne studio—one of Woods Bagot’s largest—during a period of the city’s unprecedented growth.
“New Zealand is experiencing similar growth potential—especially in transport, workstyle-lifestyle and sustainability—so there’s great alignment of experience and learning that Andy will bring to those conversations,” said Frear.
“Andy is an accomplished and influential communicator who advocates at all levels for design to embody the priorities of local communities. His leadership on major, challenging public projects such as the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre demonstrates a critical engagement in the development of strong place-making and people-focused architecture,” said Frear.
Woods Bagot opened its Auckland doors in January, intent on bolstering its combination of global expertise with local knowledge and values as the firm’s point of difference. It’s what underpins Gentry’s belief in the value of a welcoming presence on the ground.
“When it comes to relationships and fluid workflow, you can’t underestimate the value of time spent face-to-face. We can certainly achieve good things remotely but I believe firmly in the magic of building culture and community in person,” said Gentry.
Gentry is supported in Auckland by senior associate Eric Buhrs who managed Woods Bagot’s Christchurch studio for five years—including overseeing a major regeneration project, the Te Pae Christchurch Convention and Exhibition Centre. (Designed by Woods Bagot in association with Warren & Mahoney, Te Pae will be officially opened on September 30 by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Adern.)
Cemented by steadfast integrity and a generosity of knowledge, Gentry and Buhrs have initially focused on recruiting the best local talent to resource the studio’s new work and plan to grow the studio base further to equip it for projects of all scales.
“New Zealand is a world leader in progressive policy on diversity, culture, and sustainability. It’s very exciting to establish a strong local presence on the ground, with the ability to connect clients to the expertise within our business around the world,” said Gentry.
Talk to Andy Gentry about Woods Bagot in New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
09 Mar 21