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New Zealand's biggest retail redevelopment the $790 million Newmarket Westfield is due to open its first shops in the next few weeks and today a new video is out explaining the 230-store 8.8ha project.
ASX-listed Scentre Group has made Newmarket Behind the Design featuring New Zealand architect Ken Crosson speaking to Will Drew, responsible for the building design.
The five-minute 58-second video shows the installation of the new airbridge to connect 277 Broadway with 309 Broadway above Mortimer Pass, between Gillies Ave and Broadway, explains the orientation of buildings and civic artist Peata Larkin's three panels on 309 Broadway referencing the past, including a cabbage tree.
The skypool is a 36m by 6m skylight above the entertainment and leisure precinct at 309 Broadway, combining light and water features. A Scentre spokesperson said this was "a real investment in design. The scale and size of this skylight structure is unlike anything our team has delivered to date."
Drew said seven green walls were being developed where 25,000 plants would feature and "all of that 80 to 90 per cent native."
A Scentre spokesperson said the mixture of New Zealand and Australian native plants would include arthropodiums Matapouri Bay, metrosideros Tahiti, blechnums silver lady and lomandra tanika.
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Mark Knoff-Thomas, Newmarket Business Association chief executive, said people were eagerly awaiting the first shops.
Scentre already announced those would open in this year's third quarter from July till September.
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"The development brings with it a plethora of new brands to the local market, and many of the more familiar brands who popped out will be "popping back in," Knoff-Thomas said.
He predicts a wider area rejuvenation, noting the strong dining and entertainment offering once Westfield Newmarket opens.
Scentre's Will Drew says in the video that the original 277 had "different levels from 309, so we had to tie in the new building with the old and that has added significant complexity to the design of this structure."
People were becoming more sophisticated in how they shopped and what they expect from a lifestyle centre, he said.
"People are wanting one place to come and shop, eat, be entertained, meet their friends, bring their family. It's a much more holistic approach to retail to shopping, far more so that anything in the past," Drew said.
The buildings at 277 and 309 were "very big footprint buildings and it was critical to ensure they sit comfortably within the surrounding context. So a number of architectural elements were added into the facade, particularly 309 to help break down that scale and bulk to ensure it doesn't sit like a sore thumb on Broadway," he said.
Crosson said the new structure at 309 Broadway appeared or read like a collection of buildings and Drew said that was deliberate and a variety of materials were used on external facades to achieve that.
Drew said 10 restaurants opening above 309 Braodway would be the "jewel in the crown" of the redevelopment.
The new multiplex cinema was visible from the Southern Motorway and had been clad in a translucent polycarbonate material "which we can illuminate from the inside so it should shine or glow like a jewellery box."
Knoff-Thomas said people were excited to welcome all the brands "new and old in the first stage opening. Consumers are going to be delighted with what's on offer. Newmarket will be New Zealand's epicentre of retail with the best strip and mall shopping, plus entertainment and hospitality, that you can find in New Zealand."