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Project in Detail

Ironbank

Office (inc mixed use)
Auckland, New Zealand
RTA Studio
2009
World Architecture Festival 2009 - Category Commendation

View from East into 'Service' Street 
Patrick Reynolds - Patrick Reynolds Photography Limited 


IRONBANK was commisioned in 2003 and following a lengthy planning process construction commenced early 2007.
The project was commended in the Mixed Use category of the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards in 2008.

IRONBANK is a 9600m sq. m commercial office building with retail at street level.
It comprises: commercial office, retail (15%), plaza and car parking. It contains 95 car parks accommodated in a
computerized trans-elevator car stacking machine below street level.

The building is Ecologically Sustainably Designed (ESD). Accreditation for a 5 Green Star As-Built rating is
currently being assessed by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

The building has been designed to provide 35 small scale working tenancies (100- 350m sq) combined at street
level with retail tenancies, urban space and through site linkages to foster a sustainable communal working environment.

CONTEXT
The building is located in the Karangahape Road precinct, a unique and historic area on the edge of Auckland’s CBD.
The precinct is currently in a state of renewal after a long period of neglect. The front of the site addresses the
high street which is dominated by a rich mixture of Victorian and Edwardian vintage buildings. Most of these buildings
have fallen into varying states of disrepair over recent decades.

A strong contrast belies the urban condition of this high street against the parallel service street to the rear of
the site. The back street is primarily a service lane and has remained largely undeveloped and unplanned through its evolution.
Its streetscape is therefore architecturally unconsidered and haphazard in its appearance.

There is a one storey level difference between the high street and the service street.

BUILDING
The building is conceived as a manifestation of a cross contamination of the two contrasting street conditions.
The high street being concerned with notions of presentation, display, etiquette and heritage, while the service
lane being concerned with servicing, delivery, disorder and utility. The building has taken the opportunity to address
a transition between these two street conditions.

The building is contained at the high street boundary by a screen concealing the site’s interior. This screen has
been considered as an abstraction of the historical facades immediately adjacent. Behind the screen the building
comprises 5 towers of erratically stacked ‘boxes’ arranged around a plaza and a through site pedestrian link.

In a gesture to the finely scaled historical neighbourhood, we have sought to fragment the building form to alleviate
the potential mass associated with a medium sized office building. Hence, 5 towers are further fragmented vertically
to articulate the composition of stacked office spaces gathered into a socially sustainable working community.

ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
The towers have a ventilated rain-screen façade clad in weathering steel. The screen to the high street is constructed
n GRC (glass reinforced concrete). The balance of the building is a combination of steel frame pre-cast and in-situ concrete.
There are no external coatings to the building’s claddings.

The building is entirely naturally ventilated. Low-e glass, night purging, solar water heating, minimal PVC content,
rainwater harvesting, low energy light fittings, exposed thermal mass and mechanical car stacking are among some of the
ESD initiatives incorporated into this building.

Lead Architect »

RTA Studio
 

Professional Credits »

Client / Developer
Mr Marco Creemers
Samson Corporation Limited
New Zealand
006495222636
marco.c@samson.co.nz

Project Architect / Studio Director
Mr Ben Hayes
RTA Studio
New Zealand
006496303101
ben@rtastudio.co.nz

Technical Director
Mr Tim Melville
RTA Studio
New Zealand
006496303101
tim@rtastudio.co.nz