The Woods Bagot & Peddle Thorp design for the Federal St tower.

Streetscape treatment clinches Federal St tower design choice

Melbourne-based developer ICD Property has selected a design by Woods Bagot, also of Melbourne, in partnership with local firm Peddle Thorp, for a 180m, $200 million apartment & hotel tower to rise on the site of the Federal St carpark in central Auckland.

ICD ran a design competition among 5 firms – London-based Zaha Hadid, locals Warren & Mahoney and international firms Woods Bagot, Cox Architecture and Elenberg Fraser – asking them to create 2 designs, one following current city planning rules and the other showcasing what could be built with generous planning regulations & a primary focus on design excellence.

Woods Bagot teamed up with Peddle Thorp, Zaha Hadid & Cox Architecture with Opus, and Elenberg Fraser with Jasmax.

The chosen design is a 48-level tower about 180m tall, containing 226 apartments, a 233-room 5-star hotel, a ground-floor market place for vendors to sell local produce through to eateries & bars, and a rooftop zen garden. ICD expects to complete it by about 2022.

The Federal St carpark, half a block from the SkyTower.

ICD bought the parking building at 65 Federal St, corner of Kingston St, from SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd in May for $40 million. For a 1641m² site, that works out at $24,375/m². When the sale went through in May, Colliers capital markets national director Peter Herdson said high profile apartment & hotel development sites in the cbd had sold for $20-22,500/m².

The existing parking building has 427 spaces on 7 levels, & total floorspace of 11,487m². The sale price equated to $93,677/parking space.

Casino, hotel & conventions operator SkyCity has been using the building for staff parking, but that will move to the NZ International Convention Centre under construction between Hobson & Nelson Sts.

The new tower will stand half a block from the 237m-tall SkyTower.

Streetscape defines city character

The new tower’s ground-floor design.

Woods Bagot principal & design leader Peter Miglis said: “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 St’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 & cafes.”

Local architect, urban designer & Save Our Harbour campaigner Julie Stout, who was on the selection panel, said the design would greatly enhance Auckland’s skyline, but the detail & thought put into the lower levels of the tower was key: “The most elegant thing that Woods Bagot & Peddle Thorp did was address the street. They created a very active urban people space and populated it with everyday activities like eating, shopping & a market-type environment.

“This area of Auckland is going to see exponential growth in the next 10 years with the convention centre, more hotels in SkyCity and the city rail link being finished. There is going to be a flood of people into that area, Federal St will be a terrific laneway street and this building will create an interesting community building.”

Links: ICD Federal St website
Video of 65 Federal St

Earlier story:
10 May 2018: Melbourne developer buys Federal St carpark

Attribution: Company release.

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