Auckland's newest high-rise building has been unveiled as part of an international architecture competition.
Standing at around 180 metres high, the 48-level multi-use tower will have 226 apartments, a 233-room 5-star hotel, a ground floor "Market Place" and even feature a rooftop zen garden.
The winning design was created by Melbourne-based architects Woods Bagot, in partnership with New Zealand firm Peddle Thorp.
Peter Miglis, Woods Bagot principal and design leader, said the building was designed with New Zealand's natural landscape and unique geology and fauna in mind.
"That has been our place of inspiration. It is a strong, city-defining tower with an elegant silhouette that is enduring for the skyline of Auckland and provides a companion to the city's iconic Sky Tower," Miglis said.
The competition, run by Melbourne-based property development company ICD Property, saw five of the world's best architects each partner with a New Zealand firm to design a building for Auckland's skyline.
The $200 million project is expected to be completed by ICD Property around 2022, and will be located at 65 Federal St, a block away from the Sky Tower.
The tower's Market Place will feature everything from vendors selling local produce to eateries and bars.
Miglis said a key focus for the design was to ensure the tower was an inclusive public space.
"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," he said.
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"Through Federal Street'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 and cafes."
Richard Goldie, Peddle Thorp NZ director, said the extensive use of dramatic curved and pleated timber in the building would highlight a strong sense of place and community.
"Our major civic buildings, the Auckland Museum and Auckland Art Gallery, both use timber to stunning effect. It's the material with which we privilege our most significant buildings and the curved timber designs we have created will be prominent on the lower levels of 65 Federal St for everyone to see and share," Goldie said.
Local firm Warren and Mahoney, international firms Cox Architecture, Elenberg Fraser and London-based architect Zaha Hadid were also in the running.
Mayor Phil Goff says he welcomes the innovative approach to the design of the building.
"It will be a landmark for the city and provides much needed residential and hotel accommodation. It is a huge investment, which is a statement of investor confidence in Auckland. It will provide hundreds of jobs during and beyond construction," he says.
Architect and urban designer Julie Stout, who was on the selection panel, said the detail and thought put into the lower levels of the tower was key.
"The most elegant thing that Woods Bagot and Peddle Thorp did was address the street. They created a very active urban people space and populated it with every day activities like eating, shopping, and a market type environment," Stout said.
"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 and Federal St will be a terrific laneway street and this building will create an interesting community building."
Michael Mai, ICD Property managing director, said the competition generated an overwhelming positive response.
"We're extremely excited and proud to be able to deliver this project in New Zealand. We see this tower as an opportunity for Auckland to set a new benchmark for quality and liveability, and it will be a project that is led by design excellence to achieve better urban design outcomes, not just for New Zealand, but around the world," Mai said.