Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct
The Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct represents an opportunity to combine the lifestyle opportunities of Auckland and New Zealand with a globally competitive hub for innovation and research.
Warren and Mahoney worked with Panuku, Precinct Properties and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to realise an ambitious design-led vision for an Innovation Precinct. Our involvement has been from initial masterplanning through to detailed architectural design. The Precinct consists of 48,000m² of high quality, sustainable office space across five buildings within the Wynyard Quarter block bounded by Halsey, Pakenham, Madden and Daldy Streets.
Stage 1 consists of a 6 storey new-build commercial development and the adaptive reuse of an existing industrial warehouse, Mason Bros, providing a range of diverse workplace and retail spaces together with associated public laneways.
Innovation is a globally competitive marketplace and the design of the Precinct is informed by international trends in innovation and clustering. The Precinct references New Zealand’s rich tradition of innovation and invention and incorporates technology and design to achieve exemplary technical, commercial and environmental performance.
By nature, Innovation Precincts are organic, living environments. As such, the Precinct provides a wide range of spaces to support businesses at different stages of their evolutionary cycle, actively ‘curating’ a range of business types – from embryonic to established – through the provision of scalable and flexible spaces. The design of the Precinct breaks down the conventional boundaries between businesses. Co-working spaces that allow businesses to come together in neutral, flexible and technology-rich environments provide a completely new kind of environment for the city.
A successful Innovation Precinct never sleeps – it is always alive, always working, always safe. The Precinct will be linked to the global community, accommodating the working styles of flexible, programme-oriented teams working to inflexible deadlines.
The site contains a number of existing industrial buildings. It is rare for a collection of such character and functional heritage to have been retained along Auckland’s waterfront. These existing character buildings are seen as a powerful asset for the development and a number of these structures are converted into contemporary workplaces - providing an authentic and desirable counterpoint to the contemporary architecture forming the majority of the Innovation Precinct.
The Architectural approach of the new buildings responds to the form and materiality of the existing character buildings of the Precinct – ensuring that the resulting architectural form is ‘grounded’ in the industrial legacy of the waterfront. New buildings adopt a simple industrial materiality (brick, steel, timber, glass) and present highly textural and active edges to all public laneways – a ‘raw’ rather than ‘refined’ expression. At a city-wide level, the proposed buildings adopt a highly modelled roofscape echoing the familiar ‘sawtooth’ form of the industrial structures currently inhabiting the site.
In transforming ‘industry’ to ‘information technology’ the precinct seeks to reconnect the story of Auckland’s waterfont with innovation, regeneration and entrepreneurship. The Precinct aspires to reflect the emerging identity of Auckland as a young, multi-cultural, ambitious, South Pacific city.
The Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct will be a destination for all Aucklanders - the public face of an innovative city – a vibrant and accessible place that will entertain, inform and inspire, playing a key part in making Auckland the world’s most liveable city.
“The world’s best minds have lots of options as to where to locate themselves, so the creation of a precinct for like-minded people on a great harbour in proximity of Auckland, those all add up to a precinct that can be a leader in innovation. It’s a place for people and it has a life that extends beyond 9am to 5pm. It’s not a soulless office park, it’s a combination of residential and office uses with public spaces, great streets and great parks, and all of those elements bring the precinct to life.” - Blair Johnston, Principal.