Doors to Auckland’s newest retail facility, the NorthWest Shopping Centre, opened to the public recently.
The $155 million retail development is part of Auckland’s $1 billion Northwest Transformation — New Zealand’s largest transformation and investment project, aiming to turn the area into a buzzing metropolitan centre over the next 10 years.
Project architects The Buchan Group was appointed by Stride Property Ltd (formally DNZ Property Fund Ltd) to provide architectural design and delivery, as well as graphic, branding and signage design for the NorthWest Centre following a previous involvement with the development for more than six years with New Zealand Retail Property Group.
The Buchan Group principal David Thornton says the opening of the centre is the first stage of an integrated development to help meet the burgeoning west Auckland population and growing business needs.
“NorthWest caters to the needs of all shoppers, with particular attention to mothers and families, with the overall layout and design welcoming visitors with the warmth of natural materials and design to create an open and inviting ambience,” Mr Thornton says.
“The interior design was inspired by the natural environment of the west coast region, as well as some of the farming and cultural history of the north-west.
“It features exposed natural timber, black granite and stylised dappled leaf motifs and tiles which reference the beaches of Muriwai, as well as vineyard trellises and the rich farming and agricultural connections with splashes of colour and organic materials.
“In line with the area’s natural surrounds, high ceilings and large windows invite natural light into the building, and selected materials have been used, including wall and floor tiles to help illustrate a black “washed up” sand look with concrete rendered walls.”
Marking the end of a two-year development, the shopping centre is 2.7 hectares of lettable area, including major department store Farmers, major supermarket Countdown and 116 speciality stores — all located in New Zealand’s largest planned urban, business and retail facility at Westgate.
“NorthWest will provide locals with the opportunity to meet in a family-friendly environment where retail, leisure and entertainment needs will be satisfied in the one location,” Mr Thornton says.
“The centre opens onto a new shared public space, with a town square and main street retail section coming to the area by late 2016. This will bring together internal and street-based retailing environments, and will continue to build on the Town Centre’s reputation as a leading business, retail and entertainment hub for the region.”
“The size of four rugby fields, this first stage of the town centre connects with this significant civic space to the community which will, over time, create a genuine ‘community hub’.
“We believe the end product is a true representation of what the next generation of shopping centres will look like, with an integration of varied mixed use, retail, commercial and dining facilities.”
Also planned by The Buchan Group, the second stage of development called NorthWest Two is currently underway, and will consist of 0.8 hectares of retail stores, bars and restaurants.
The centre is expected to employ up to 700 people, and is a 15-minute drive from 475,000 residents.