AUCKLAND // NEW ZEALAND
The new owners of the Metro Centre in Auckland wanted to strip out 1400m2 of a large volume area for a socially relaxing 10 pin bowling experience focused around a simple food and drink operation and which can also be used for international standard competition.
There are 12 bowling lanes serviced by a bar and kitchen at entry level, a 120m2 deck off the bar seating area onto Aotea Square and 4 mini lanes in a mezzanine functions area. The concept proposed splitting up the lanes and dividing them into separate intimate experiences without the loss of the sense of the whole. It was important to retain and reinforce the raw industrial feel of the existing volume and to soften and invigorate the edges for patron comfort. The three entrances flow into one level floor for the playing and entertainment area for accessibility and social engagement. Acoustic materials and detailing were specifically chosen to control sound transmission to the cinema complex above and to the slab below, to heighten the experience of the ‘strike’ at one end of the lanes and to absorb and quieten the bar and player areas for conversation and social communication at the other end.
The design allows the playing and bar areas to grandstand over the adjacent public square and to be separated from it. New and youthful technology is everywhere, edgy but comfortable: The use of Kaynemaile screens, NZ technology invented for Peter Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ films, gives a sense of separation between the lanes, and creates spaces between for seating, playing pool and the latest video games, Colour changing led technology is used to illuminate these screens as lively and themed backdrops and more subtlety behind the ball racks, at reception, behind the bar and in the white acrylic player tables.The use of German technology absorbent material finishes over the new lanes provides texture, warmth and comfort.