Designing an extension to a retail centre built more than 30 years ago is something of a balancing act. Should the extension merge with the old, or strike out in a new design direction?
Rod Marler, Westfield's general manager of design, was faced with this choice when the company extended its Westfield Manukau City retail centre by 25%, to accommodate a new 10-screen SkyCity cinema, restaurants, stores and car park.
"We considered how the new design could be contemporary and fresh, but still integrate with the existing centre," he says. "We wanted people to experience a lighter, brighter, more energised space, and to notice the new shops and signage. The architecture couldn't overrule the retail experience."
With an emphasis on indoor-outdoor flow, the exterior incorporates walkways shaded by timber pergolas, feature paving, and canopies to protect restaurant patrons. The extension also reflects the area's landforms and Pacific culture, with local iwi representatives invited to review the creative designs.