Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Sky Tower to be mirrored in skyscraper

A view of the proposed NDG Auckland Centre building.
A view of the proposed NDG Auckland Centre building.

A glimpse at plans for the country's tallest new skyscraper shows how it will have open skydecks, with gardens or trees, and has been designed to reflect the Sky Tower.

Paul Brown, architect of the hotel, shopping, cinema and apartment 52-level NDG Auckland Centre, has developed plans to plant on some levels and said the tower would mirror its bigger neighbour, providing a double image of the city's tallest structure.

Auckland Council supplied the full property file to the Herald.

In his design report to the council, Mr Brown told how levels within the $350 million soaring giant would be open to let the wind blow through and for safety such as fire evacuation.

"The tower form is broken into three parts. These are separated by skydecks which provide an open exterior space which will provide amenity for hotel guests and restaurant patrons as viewing and activity spaces," said Mr Brown.

The new building would face SkyTower "and reflect its presence with a physical distortion ... this will create a more legible skyline in Auckland where the two tallest buildings complement each other rather than fighting".

Consulting engineers Norman Disney & Young prepared an infrastructure report, saying the skydecks would be on levels 29 and 46.

Most of the tower is to be a 266-room hotel, speculated to be a Ritz-Carlton which does not operate in New Zealand.

The engineers said 28 levels of the 52 were for the hotel and only four levels were for the 36 apartments: eight two-bedrooms and 28 studios.

Mr Brown said the tower would have a 10-level podium, lower-level cladding would be stone but aluminium and glass would be used above that.

The main hotel entrance would be on Albert St.

Furu Ding, a multimillionaire Shanghai businessman, bought the long-vacant site where the Royal International Hotel once stood between Victoria St West, Elliott St and Albert St. The site is owned by NDG Asia Pacific (NZ).

Consultants who are working with Mr Ding's business said he visited here only occasionally but had representatives in New Zealand.

- NZ Herald

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