woods bagot to build 'high-rise for the people' in auckland, new zealand

woods bagot to build 'high-rise for the people' in auckland, new zealand

melbourne-based architecture practice woods bagot, in partnership with new zealand firm peddle thorp, has been chosen to complete a 180-meter-tall tower (590 feet) in auckland. four other firms — cox architecture, elenberg fraser, warren and mahoney, and zaha hadid architects — were shortlisted for the project, which is set to complete in 2022. inspired by the region’s natural beauty, the winning scheme draws from the geology of the site as well as its local flora and fauna to create a building described as a ‘high-rise for the people’.

woods bagot to build 'high-rise for the people' in auckland, new zealand
all images courtesy of woods bagot



located at 65 federal st, a block away from the city’s famed ‘sky tower’, the 48-level, mixed-use development will contain 226 apartments, a 233-room 5-star hotel, and a ground floor market place selling local produce alongside eateries and bars. the competition was run by melbourne-based development company ICD property, who will now realize the $200 million NZD ($129m USD) scheme.

woods bagot to build 'high-rise for the people' in auckland, new zealand
the tower will climb to a total height of 180 meters, or 590 feet



from the street to the publicly accessible roof plaza — which comprises the hotel lobby as well as a rooftop cinema, bar, and lounge — the forms, colors, and textures of the region’s landscape have informed the building’s materiality. featuring a café, wine store, and a market place showcasing local products, the ground level is open at any time of day. the mezzanine, accessible via a grand spiral staircase, boasts a martini bar, restaurant, and gallery. further up, the hotel and residential offering includes a pool, spa, and health bar.

woods bagot auckland tower designboom
the building’s ground floor is open throughout the day



peter miglis, principal at woods bagot, says the building couldn’t exist anywhere else. ‘echoing new zealand’s inimitable geology, federal street has been imagined as a natural formation,’ miglis says. ‘the building sits gracefully within the skyline’s silhouette and the internal experience has been carefully curated to suit the city’s needs. sightlines to culturally significant landmarks, the height of the streetscape, pedestrian connectivity to key destinations and auckland’s weather have all been carefully considered in order to create a structure that could only sit within this particular skyline.’

woods bagot auckland tower designboom
a market place selling local produce is joined by various eateries and cafés



miglis says a key focus for the design was to ensure the tower was an inclusive public space — from street level to its rooftop zen garden with 360-degree views. ‘we know that the skyline defines a city’s identity, yet it is the streets — where people inhabit the city — that define its character. so, understanding the future vision for auckland was important when designing the building’s lower level. through federal street’s transformation into a pedestrian laneway, it has the potential to become a public destination, like a town square or public plaza, and that’s very much what we had in mind with the idea of a market place where local produce is on sale alongside restaurants and cafés.’

woods bagot auckland tower designboom
the tower contains a pool, spa, and health bar



‘our major civic buildings, the auckland museum and auckland art gallery, both use timber to stunning effect,’ adds peddle thorp director, richard goldie. ‘it’s the material with which we privilege our most significant buildings and the curved timber designs we have created will be prominent on the lower levels of 65 federal st for everyone to see and share.’

woods bagot auckland tower designboom
the scheme has been conceived as a ‘high-rise for the people’



‘we’re extremely excited and proud to be able to deliver this project in new zealand,’ says michael mai, ICD property managing director. ‘we see this tower as an opportunity for auckland to set a new benchmark for quality and liveability, and it will be a project that is led by design excellence to achieve better urban design outcomes, not just for new zealand, but around the world.’ see designboom’s previous coverage of the project in its competition phase here.

woods bagot auckland tower designboom
the development is located at 65 federal st, a block away from the city’s famed ‘sky tower’

woods bagot to build 'high-rise for the people' in auckland, new zealand
the project is set to complete in 2022



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman and philip stevens | designboom

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