Woods Bagot and Peddle Thorp tower over competition

By Wright Communications

The 50-level hotel and residential tower will be built for Melbourne's ICD Property, a developer known for its passion for innovative and forward-thinking design.

Woods Bagot Principal, Peter Miglis says the building couldn't exist anywhere else.

"Inspired by New Zealand's extraordinary geology and fauna, this will be a simple, confident building form on the city skyline that also provides a companion to the existing Sky Tower.

"Sightlines to culturally significant landmarks, the height of the streetscape, pedestrian connectivity to key destinations and Auckland's weather have all been carefully considered to create a structure that could only sit within this particular location.

"We see this building, on this site, as an important moment to add a defining piece of architecture to Auckland's cityscape."

Richard Goldie, Director of Peddle Thorp explains that the building's lower level has been designed to fit the future vision for its surrounds in the city.

"Federal Street is already a 'destination' for the public within Auckland's CBD and that will only be enhanced through its transformation into a pedestrian-focussed laneway.  A building's character at street level is as important as its impression on the skyline."

The lobby to the hotel is located at the top of a podium, freeing the lower street levels to be highly public focussed.  A key feature will be a ground level marketplace offering the finest New Zealand food and beverage. Elevating the 'sky lobby' also gives the public an opportunity to enjoy the building and city from another aspect.

The 180-metre-tall building will occupy a 1600 square metre site at 65 - 71 Federal St, between Victoria and Kingston Streets, just to the north, seaward side of the Sky City complex.

Only a few metres shorter than Auckland's tallest planned development, the Seascape in Customs Street (also designed by Peddle Thorp), the tower will combine retail space, a hotel with more than 200 rooms, investor apartments and owner occupier penthouse suites.

"The building's orientation towards the ocean is a unique gesture that speaks to our place in the Pacific," says Richard Goldie.

The design features the extensive use of timber in its public spaces which again is a strong expression of place.

"Our major civic buildings, the Auckland Museum and Auckland Art Gallery both use timber to stunning effect. It's the material with which we privilege our most significant buildings."

And the winning design is notable for its respect of the Sky Tower.

"The Sky Tower is the primary marker that locates the city centre. Our design respects the Sky Tower, in the way we respect 'first arrivals'. We do this by ensuring our building protects views to the horizon from the Sky Tower's observation deck.

"The brief called for a scheme complying with a floor surface ratio of 13:1, and another at 18.5:1. We recognised that to achieve the higher number we would need to achieve Auckland Council's vision of 'design excellence'.

"Our solution delivers exemplary design combined with public amenity.  We believe this kind of thinking is what Aucklanders expect and deserve when it comes to the architecture of our significant buildings," says Richard Goldie.

The building will be green-rated to the highest possible level with an embedded power network.

Parking will all be underground, while above the hotel there will be apartments for rent and lease with the top 15 floors being luxury owner occupier apartments.

The tower will be clad in curtain wall glass - a glazing system with aluminium mesh between the panes of double glazing to improve the building's performance acoustically and structurally.

With open balconies not possible at high levels because of the wind strength, inside conservatory winter gardens with angled façade panels will provide the feel of an outdoor environment.

The development, which is expected to cost around $200 million should be completed by the end of 2022.

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