5 Steps to creating a sweet business space

The Generator business space on Customs Street has already gained a reputation as a funky, energetic shared office space and members’ club in the heart of downtown Auckland’s Britomart precinct. As residents in this office, the Get Frank team can verify this.

With a new location now open in the iconic Northern Steamship building on Quay St, Generator CEO Ryan Wilson shares with Get Frank the five steps that he went through to ensure this sleek new business space is nothing short of a professional paradise:

1.  Find a cool heritage building (preferably one that has a rich boating history like the Northern Steamship Building) in Auckland’s most up-and-coming precinct, Britomart

Like the original Generator on Customs St, the Northern Steamship (NSS) building has a rich history – offering the ideal heritage location for the new Generator space.

As a former shipping company office that is more than 130 years old, the boating history of NSS comes through in spades; from the maritime map on the walls, to the stunning view of the docks through the original style windows, you get a strong sense of the building’s shipping heritage.

Part of Generator’s charm is the seamless mix of heritage and a more modern and eclectic interior vibe. The latest technology means connectivity and communication is never a problem, while sophisticated design gives the space 21st century style.

2.  Team up with the best interior designers to make sure every detail is covered

Getting your girlfriend, wife, or mum to give decorating advice might work for home, but when it comes to the all-important office, it pays to step it up a notch (no offence mum).

If you want to create a business environment that people actually want to be in, it is a good idea to collaborate with an expert to create an interior space that is inviting, cool and functional.

Stack Interiors helped out with the NSS interior design, creating a unique Generator NSS logo that is embossed on the pillars, glass walls, and even the carpet, sourcing American oak floors, and even custom-made Danish carpet.

The Boardroom is a key feature, complete with glass walls, chandeliers, exposed brickwork and the bar within arm’s reach - you can say goodbye to hours spent in stuffy, windowless meeting rooms.  

At Generator NSS, every detail has been thought of to make sure residents never want for anything. From reception and admin services, to the finer details like beautiful showers, locker rooms and ironing boards, to nice touches like Ecoya candles in the bathrooms, being at work is more like a boutique hotel experience than an urban office.

No matter how much of a bloke you are, you will surely appreciate your office having an individual name; all the office suites are named after the original ships that came through the Auckland harbour when NSS was operational.

3.  Make sure you are the only bar in New Zealand to exclusively have MOA beer on tap

MOA is fast on its way to becoming a major Kiwi success story. With its IPO held at NSS in November last year, Generator certainly appreciates the quirky, straight-up nature of this cheeky beer brewery.

Generator NSS is the only bar in New Zealand to exclusively have MOA beer on tap. Residents and guests don’t really need to be encouraged to make use of this attractive feature.

It can be useful to have something like this to entice business and personal acquaintances to visit your office space - plus you can almost guarantee they won’t have a MOA bar in their own building.

 4.  Bring in business-savvy neighbours that existing residents can collaborate, chat and drink with


From the MOA IPO launch, to the growing number of businesses thriving out of the NSS Generator, you are guaranteed to bump into someone that you can have a good yarn with.

From discussing new business ideas, to current affairs and sport, to all-important beer recommendations, the Generator concept is based around ‘bumpability’ - the ability to bump into other interesting people around Generator.

Collaboration is the next wave of business thinking, and in a space like Generator where your neighbour could be running a Fiji-based beer brewery, or an entrepreneur coming up with the next big thing, residents are encouraged to connect with new people and share ideas in a relaxed and refined environment.

5.  Once you have completed steps 1-4, start planning for world domination

With two successful Generator spaces now up and running, Ryan Wilson and the Generator board have decided it is high time to take the concept to the next level.

While they continue to foster a close-knit business and networking community at Customs St and NSS, the team are now seeking out existing heritage buildings to develop into inspirational business spaces.

With plans to expand nationally, with locations in Wellington and Queenstown on the horizon, and then internationally - with plans to go further ashore to San Francisco, the cool capital of the world - you can expect to see Generator taking off over the next few years.

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  • New Member says
    Thank you for the kind words in Section 2. It was a great project to have been involved with.
    But we (Stack) cannot take credit for creating the Generator NSS logo. The logo was created by Shine.
    Cheers, David Morgan - Creative Director - Stack Interiors. www.stack.co.nz

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