London, United Kingdom
New York, New York
Masdar City, Abu Dhabi
Auckland, New Zealand
Architecture studios Woods Bagot and Peddlethorp have joined forces to bring both global and local expertise to Kiwi Property’s current Sylvia Park projects. The two studios have a longstanding relationship collaborating on many successful developments across New Zealand.
“It’s about combining global benchmarking and experience with rich local knowledge, keeping the project grounded within the local context in terms of engagement,” says Richard Goldie, Director, Peddlethorp.
“We are finding a lot of clients are looking overseas for best practice in a variety of areas and desire global intelligence and benchmarking,” adds Andy Gentry, Principal and Auckland Studio Chair, Woods Bagot.
Both firms say that Sylvia Park is an important piece of infrastructure for Kiwi Property and the overriding vision for the whole precinct was a key driver.
“It’s about ensuring that Sylvia Park wasn’t just a place people visited; it was a place people interacted with, a destination,” explains Richard Goldie.
The project involved the design of two towers and a new entrance to the centre. Gentry says user experience was at the core of the design. The tower at 3 Te Kehu Way is being delivered at the moment and Gentry and Goldie’s team has been working on it for two years. It is due for completion in mid-2023.
Offering six floors, the height was a conscious decision to offer the public shelter from prevailing wind conditions while ensuring public areas were not overshadowed. The L-shaped building has also been positioned to protect from noise from Mt Wellington Highway. They say it’s a great example of how the two architectural practices have worked together.
“Richard’s local understanding of these weather conditions and how people experience the space has been extremely valuable. If we want people to linger we have to create inviting spaces,” says Gentry.
He says it has been a deliberate and strategic move by Kiwi Property to develop Sylvia Park into a mixed-use precinct. Long stay occupation rentals, rather than just retail occupation, will make Sylvia Park more of a neighbourhood, creating a sustainable community.
Mana whenua has also been an important part of the process and there are responses in the building to reflect the history of the site. For example, patterning on precast panels represents the pūriri tree that used to be a predominant part of the vegetation. Multiple shades of green have informed the colour choices for the development.
The native pūriri tree was a source of inspiration for the patterning on the precast panels.
“There is an authentic story that runs through the development creating a sense of place,” says Gentry. “Those kinds of narratives are particularly important.”
“It’s about giving historical expression to create a genuine place that everyone’s incredibly proud of,” says Richard. That’s what Peddlethorp and Woods Bagot bring together. We really lift the bar for the project and push the boundaries.”
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