AECOM House occupies a prominent location on the Eastern Gateway Beach Road approach to Auckland City centre, which was identified by Auckland Council as an important landmark site, and has resulted in the distinctive architectural response, which was completed and opened by the Prime Minister John Key on 9th November 2012.
The result is an eight storey 5-star Green Star commercial building, with a gross floor area of 13,252m², and with predominantly large office floors which were required in response to market demands, with retail and food tenancies at street level.
Physical Context - The design objectives beyond the brief were influenced by the District plan rules governing the height constraints and by good urban design principles, such as maximising the active edges of the building, building to the street edge and to design with a focus on sustainability. Enhancing the public realm and privacy relative to the two neighbouring residential buildings was also an important objective.
Historical Context - Prior to being transformed into a railway yard, the site was reclaimed from the ocean. The choice of material selection reflects this history with polished distressed Stainless steel panels appearing to shimmer as the ocean does and a series of coloured glass fins at regular intervals around the curved façade which transitions from blue to green, much as the ocean changes colour as it disappears into the distance. The character of this elevation varies significantly according to the sun’s position and the viewpoint.
Basalt was selected for the column cladding as this reflected material used consistently by other buildings around the park and we felt this also reflected the volcanic heritage of Auckland; however we wanted to use polished basalt with white veins, to both work with the stainless steel, and to also imply movement and rippling.
The more recent history of the site as goods inward shed within the railway yard is recognised by re-using retained column bases to create public seating outside the entrance. The history of the site can be followed within the entrance lobby where we have integrated a 1939 aerial photograph collage showing how the site used to look.