The international design competition to create a new high-rise tower in central Auckland has announced five finalists. The five teams include Warren and Mahoney, Cox Architecture, Zaha Hadid Architects, Elenberg Fraser and Woods Bagot. The landmark tower competition is run by Melbourne-based property development company ICD Property. Each of the teams were asked to complete two versions of their design, one following current city Unitary Plan rules and one version that could be built given more open planning parameters.
The Auckland tower competition doubled as a forum to discuss how the city develops and the future of Auckland’s skyline. ICD launched the competition between the five architecture firms in July, and the final design will be built at 65 Federal Street near the Sky Tower. Hosting a range of inspiration, the diverse tower concepts include local design inspiration from Māori cloaks to sky gardens and the city’s streetscape. ICD believes that the new $200m Auckland tower will contribute to the city’s future growth and development.
ICD managing director Michael Mai said the designs would bring an international standard of high-rise living to Auckland. “As ICD’s first international project outside of Australia, we chose Auckland because we see a strong future in continuing to work here. The city has many positive and unique aspects – from its multicultural make up through to the stunning scenery and landscape.”
Warren and Mahoney
Warren and Mahoney’s entry is inspired by a korowai, which can be seen in the building’s cascading façade. Warren and Mahoney principal architect Andrew Barclay says the Federal St project is an opportunity to reflect Auckland’s unique population, cultural diversity and geography. “At present Auckland does not have a mixed-use hotel and residential building that has these qualities,” he says. “The project is located in one of Auckland’s most exciting locations, so it has a responsibility to contribute to Auckland’s increasingly vibrant inner-city life, both during the day and by night.”
Phil Rowe of Cox Architecture says the challenge posed by ICD’s Auckland project was to address how architects and designers can improve and inspire the future of Auckland. “It has to be done in a very Auckland way, rather than importing what is perceived by fashion to be ‘best practice’. The building will be a visual icon for what Auckland can and will look like in the future.”
Zaha Hadid Architects
Zaha Hadid Architects design was inspired by bringing the city’s streetscape into the very heart of the tower with a Sky Garden. “Auckland’s ambition and vision for the future must cater for everyone in the city, and in that respect mixed-use projects and plenty of publicly accessible spaces will be the most successful,” says associate director Michele Pasca di Magliano.
For Callum Fraser of Elenberg Fraser, the most exciting aspect of the Federal St project is delivering to Auckland an environment worthy of the city’s position as a leading global tourism destination. “This is a real opportunity to see what the future looks like. The world looks to New Zealand for its freedom, ingenuity and independence of thought,” he said. “The spotlight on Auckland is to see what that means for the physical construction of the city, which is only a by-product of that culture.”
Pete Miglis, principal architect at Woods Bagot, says the project will transform Federal St and its surrounds, especially at street level with a focus on giving the streets back to the people. “It will also enhance the city’s skyline and importantly it’s all about a building that will reinforce Auckland as a global city.”
The competition winner will be announced in October by ICD Property, and ICD will take ownership of the site from Sky City in April 2019. Construction is expected to finish in 2022