AUCKLAND // NEW ZEALAND
Client: JNJ Holdings
Built at the turn of the century, the original metro centre (renamed Skyworld) became an iconic building in the heart of Auckland city’s entertainment precinct. Almost twenty years on, it remains an important contributor to midtown Auckland: offering an IMAX, gold-class and regular cinema, bowling alley, various indoor entertainment, restaurants and food stalls. The need for expansion and reconditioning resulted in this proposal of an extra floor level, new entrance, elevator and outdoor rooftop area to suit the current and future needs of this entertainment complex.
With an eclectic building such as the Skyworld centre, this design had to be a modern and enticing addition, while remaining equally sympathetic to the existing architecture of the complex. To achieve this, the proposal is designed within the confines of the existing structure. The entrance foyer is set in the envelope of the glass ‘beak’ angled towards Wakefield St – allowing visual and physical permeability from Queen Street and Aotea Square. The new elevator within the proposed entrance foyer allows for direct access from the street to the restaurants and floors up above, without having to meander through the main quarters of the building. The new floor addition sits directly on top of the existing atrium, acting as an extrusion of the existing structure to form the new level spaces. And finally, the outdoor rooftop area perched above the existing cinema building provides scenic, unobstructed views of Aotea Square and Queen Street. This new outdoor area, although elevated above street level, could be considered as an extension of the Aotea Square – where similar activities and public events from the square can take place in this area as well.
Derived from the existing canoe-shaped atrium of the metro centre, this addition takes the form of an elongated hull, spanning the distance of the atrium and the glass ‘beak.’ The sleek shape and metallic curvature of the hull correlate with the existing futuristic, space-inspired aesthetic of the Skyworld building. The restaurants and bars that inhabit this new floor addition have the ability to spill out to the adjacent outdoor rooftop area where events and exhibitions can take place. Perched high above the hustle and bustle of Queen Street, this proposal offers an exclusive new dining/entertainment experience that is both detached from the busy streets and remains as a convenient and accessible inner city amenity.