A jumbo jet screaming down the runway shouldn't wake sleeping guests at the country's largest new international hotel, say its designers.
The $65 million Novotel Auckland Airport will be unveiled at a dawn ceremony tomorrow, complete with high-tech features to block out its noisy neighbour.
Architect Jonathan Hewlett of Warren and Mahoney said acoustic elements included extensive double-glazing with a 600mm cavity to lock out sound, sandwiched between American 21mm exterior laminated glass and 10mm interior glass.
That air gap and the depth of glass would be enough to soundproof rooms alongside Auckland Airport's terminal and runways.
The hotel's general manager, Paul Columbus, said even an A380 super-jumbo taking off shouldn't disturb guests.
The 13,000sq m hotel is owned by Tainui Group, the largest stakeholder, NZX-listed Auckland Airport and the world's biggest hotel chain, French-based Accor.
Hewlett said triangles featured strongly as a design theme, reflecting their use in traditional art, design and architecture by Tainui.
The hotel appears to float on giant triangular columns, the shape repeated in landscaping, wall panels and ceilings.
"The zig-zag pattern is common for Tainui. It reflects travel, journeys, so it was appropriate here," said Hewlett, who worked with Warren and Mahoney designer Anna Keen.
All-wool carpets, made in New Zealand by Feltex, feature ironsand designs; bedheads show toitoi. Hewlett and Keen said the entire hotel was strongly recognisable as a New Zealand building, all materials being sourced locally except stone imported from China.
Beech from a sustainable Southland forest is used in furniture and on wall claddings. A hydroponic wall of native plants is the main entrance feature in the 6m-high lobby and a tawa leaf design is on walls and in the lifts.
Fifteen mature pohutukawa were transplanted from areas around the airport to create a fully-formed garden at the hotel entrance.
Columbus said the hotel employed 100 staff, which could rise to 150. Between 500 and 600 guests could be in the 263-room hotel at any time. The top two floors were premier accommodation.
"The ground floor has the lobby, restaurant and bar area known as The Square where 152 people can dine.
"Level one has seven dedicated boardrooms, each for 10 to 12 people, where business people can meet. Level two has the main banqueting suite which seats up to 200 people and also three more boardrooms," said Columbus, formerly area general manager of seven Novotel hotels in England's northwest.
The big glass-clad high-rise, built by Hawkins Construction and project managed by Greenstone Group, stands between the carpark and international terminal, the Jean Batten memorial being moved alongside.
Peter Hook, Accor's general manager communications for Asia Pacific, said the new hotel captured New Zealand's past, present and future.
"This will play a key role in the country's tourism future, providing both the first and last impression of the country for most overseas visitors."By Anne Gibson @Anne Gibson Email Anne