"At 119 Great North Road, the luxury cars sparkle like jewels in the windows of the showroom." - Architecture Now
Giltrap’s brief was for a spectacular new building on Great North Road to showcase three premium automative brands - located to reinforce its positioning as the ‘forefront of the end-to-end car sales experience’.
Included in this impressive building is provision for three dedicated ‘star-car’ showrooms at street level, three large office floors above and four levels of dedicated car storage and servicing below.
The design process was guided by Giltrap’s premise of “investment in enhanced engineering and innovation through better design”, and as such a number of innovative design solutions were realised.
While visually the building reads simplistic in form, it is in fact a collection of complex structural components deployed across an array of varied structural systems. At the core of the structural system is a double-storey in situ concrete truss that was developed to ensure a completely free glazed street frontage. Resisting both gravity and lateral loading, the truss visually connects the mixed use building’s nine floors.
Internally, the building faced another issue – the very low height clearance of the star-cars and the practical length of the site to provide adequate vertical ramp transitions. To address this, we devised a curved ramp, set out to align with a sine wave curve, to connect each floor.
Continuing the theme of innovation through better design, and to respond to Giltrap’s intention to maximise the space for their star-cars, Warren and Mahoney worked closely with Giltrap and Targetti New Zealand to engineer a unique, all-in-one service fixture – reticulating the primary lighting, sprinkler and electrical systems. This bespoke feature coined the ‘X1’was designed to mirror the beauty and simplicity of services reticulation seen in that of the service engineering underneath the hood of a car.
Michael Giltrap, group joint managing director, says the design was way beyond what they had ever anticipated.
"We had high expectations but we're blown away by it. It's a great place for customers. Warren and Mahoney has produced a design which perfectly showcases some of the world's most beautiful cars. At the same time, it is the most technologically impressive and environmentally friendly building of its type in the country."
This is the first building of its type to target (and is on track to achieve) a 5-star Green Star Design rating. Giltrap has worked closely with the New Zealand Green Building Council to develop a custom tool tailored to the mix of uses within the project. Giltrap will also be rating the building’s as-built performance through NABERSNZ certification.
"This building is all about cars. A sensuous ramp alludes to a performance driving experience while the traffic flow throughout the building is seamless, with a flawlessly organised integration of activities and services. The meticulous logistics planning and rigorous detailing mirror the intricacy of the luxury cars on offer. Office interiors are highly polished and the two-storey concrete truss that braces the building is a dramatic diagonal element that adroitly frames the ‘jewel box’ car displays." - 2018 NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards Citation.