With an ambitious design and planning vision, a new high-rise tower approved for central Auckland will reshape the city’s skyline and change the way people live in the inner city. ICD Property’s recently approved 183m, 55-level residential tower at 65 Federal St is set to feature 357 residential apartments and a 1,000m2 ground floor Market Place to activate the streetscape and serve as a community space. Resource consent for the tower was granted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) under the COVID-19 Recovery (Fast Track Consenting) Act 2020 following an extensive consultation period with Auckland Council and mana whenua.
ICD Property Managing Director Matt Khoo says it took a collaborative approach with Council to ensure 65 Federal St delivered positive benefits for the city rather than being restricted by planning guidelines.
“It is imperative to us that every building we deliver will stand the test of time and serve the community. Integrating timeless and sophisticated designs with futureproofed systems is important to us so every project can leave a lasting legacy and positively uplift the lives of its users,” says Khoo.
65 Federal St continues this legacy and will be a building for the people – for residents, businesses, and visitors to Auckland / Tāmaki Makaurau. A major part of 65 Federal St’s design and consent phase saw ICD Property work collaboratively to develop a design Council was comfortable to support as part of the resource consent process. What makes the tower unique is its aspirational design going beyond typical plot ratio and height restriction guidelines. The building’s 29:1 plot ratio – the total floor area of a building compared to the area of its site – is significantly greater than the traditional 13:1 ratio on inner city sites. The unprecedented 29:1 plot ratio maximises the potential of the site, creating greater community benefits including enhancing the Federal St area and supporting the significant need for housing supply. Positive impacts for the local community, economy, and Auckland’s tourism market that could not have been achieved under the traditional 13:1 plot ratio. The design also includes a self-imposed height limit to ensure views are retained from the Sky Tower’s public observation deck out to the Waitematā Harbour.
The aspirational tower is designed by global architecture and design studio Woods Bagot in partnership with New Zealand firm Peddlethorp.
Key to the design of 65 Federal St was understanding the future make up of Auckland, including the redevelopment of Federal Street as a pedestrian laneway. The tower will be a catalyst for change in the Federal St precinct with features such as the ground level Market Place playing a significant role in bringing the streets and laneways of the area alive. It also supports the growth of the city, by providing 357 new homes, and will be an impressive addition to the Auckland skyline. Peter Miglis, Woods Bagot Principal and Design Leader, says that despite its height, it is 65 Federal Street’s generosity in spirit to the streetscape and public realm that is a centrepiece of the design. “We know that the skyline defines a city’s identity, yet it is the streets – where people inhabit the city – that define its character,” says Miglis. “The transformation of Federal Street and the tower’s proximity to the City Rail Link means it will become a public destination, acting as a guiding presence for Auckland, a lighthouse for the public to orientate themselves in the CBD.”
A communal area on level 38 will have wide city views, a large lounge area, and a commercial kitchen to cater for family gatherings and community events, and level 8 features a health and wellness centre including a gym, pool, and other substantial amenities.
The visionary ground floor Market Place is set to become home to an array of restaurants, cafes and outlets selling local produce, as well as being used for everything from cultural festivals through to cooking classes.
Previously Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff, said he welcomed the innovative approach to the design of the building. “It will be a landmark for the city. It is a huge investment, which is a statement of investor confidence in Auckland. It will provide hundreds of jobs during and beyond construction,” he said.
Undertaking a series of collaborative workshops with local iwi groups has inspired 65 Federal St’s building design to include key elements of New Zealand’s unique natural landscape, geology, and fauna. ICD Property is thankful to mana whenua representatives Graham Tipene (Ngāti Whātua o Ōrākei) and Lorna Rikihana (Ngāti Pāoa) for their generosity and expertise in working with the design team to introduce narratives that connect the design to its history and people. Recognising the site’s stunning natural surrounds in Tāmaki Makaurau, the building’s facade is inspired by the diversity and texture of New Zealand’s flora with references to textures and colours native to Aotearoa. Peddlethorp Director, Manuel Diaz, says the collaborative design approach adopted by the ICD Property design team and mana whenua was crucial to a successful design outcome. “A building of this scale and position will not only redefine the skyline but will also act as a catalyst for further revitalisation of the urban realm. The creation of communities close to city amenities, public transport and places of work will continue to recognise the central city as a great place for families to raise our tamariki.” Khoo says ICD Property could not be prouder to have the contribution of local iwi on the project since it began and looks forward to continuing to work alongside them during the project’s development. “The involvement of mana whenua was essential to ensure the design of the tower addresses iwi input in a genuine and respectful manner. We believe we have created an elegant and beautiful design that everyone will enjoy.”
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