09 Mar 21

Woods Bagot leads design on major Auckland over station development

Concept designs for a new mixed-use complex, with greatly expanded public spaces and connections to what will be New Zealand’s busiest train station and what will be an enduring landmark development unlike anything else in New Zealand, were revealed today. Panuku Development Auckland announced its partnership with developer Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) to deliver the Aotea Central Over Station Development.

The proposal for the 21-storey over station development sets out a plan for bringing in Auckland’s mid-town to life, with an innovative, mixed use, transport orientated development where urban design is inherently linked to world class architectural outcomes.


“The diverse mix of activity, whose scale and complexity are unprecedented in New Zealand, will be associated with the chemistry and highly-charged energy that makes a place great. The host of programs in this pedestrian-friendly public realm – with recreation, retail, offices and residential spaces – will optimise the flow of people, culture and commerce to generate vibrancy at street level.”

Bruno Mendes, Principal

Bruno Mendes

The scheme proposes a variety of experiences and uses for multiple audiences: a ‘Cultural Stack’. Assimilating cultural narratives of the local iwi (indigenous people), it signifies the collision of diverse audiences and cultures that will use this destination in varying ways.

“By reinforcing direct connections with the future Aotea station and nearby arts and entertainment destinations our design intent is for the development to make a positive impact on people’s daily commute and on their experience of the area through 24-hour occupation,” Mr Mendes said.

Blurring the lines between inside and outside, a valuable public space will be created in the form of lane between Aotea Central and its neighbour, Bledisloe House. Providing an urban, pedestrian-friendly, and fresh space for active and passive enjoyment, and supporting retail opportunities, the lane is a key component for a coherent and high quality urban civic precinct which embraces sustainability and culture.

Other radical ground level design moves are double height spaces in retail tenancies to invite plenty of natural light and visual amenity through the lower building (the striking design ensures sunlight requirements into nearby Aotea Square are met) and for the generous laneway to encourage people from Myers Park along a lush pedestrian path through to Aotea Square and into Aotea Central.

Woods Bagot worked closely with MRCB and Panuku Development, and with Resource Coordination Partnership (development and project manager) to facilitate innovative outcomes in the proposal.

The team also acknowledges the invaluable contribution from Panuku’s Mana Whenua Forum in the application of Te Aranga Māori design principles. The forum’s collaborative input will continue during design development which is planned to start next year. Construction will begin after completion of the City Rail Link’s Aotea Station, due in 2024.

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