Downtown Master Plan

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About this Project

2013 is the third year we have hosted a team of four 4th year Unitec Architecture students in our office to undertake a complex project in a real world setting. This year the selected site was the entire Downtown block on Auckland’s waterfront, and the ‘real’ Client was the property owner Precinct Properties.

The team’s brief was to develop an overall master plan for the site redevelopment, driven by the need to integrate future development with the proposed underground City Rail Loop (the CRL) which will pass under the site. The brief was also to reasonably maximise the overall site development, while retaining the existing Number One Queen Street and Zurich House towers.

Urban Design considerations incorporated into the site master plan included the re-introduction of Little Queen Street to link the historic Ferry and Custom House buildings, and a more intimate scale QE2 Square extending across Queen Street to the CPO Building, continuing the Te Ara Tahuhu Walkway through to the west. At street level several laneways connect through to the reintroduced Little Queen Street.

Most bus services are proposed to be relocated over to lower Albert Street to allow QE2 Square to connect with the CPO Building, and to provide a strong pedestrian connection across to Britomart. The proposed Square also provides for vertical circulation down to the CRL below the Downtown site, with retail surrounding the rail concourse below ground.

A 5-6 level mixed-use podium is proposed for much of the site, the height referencing the three adjacent important historic buildings, while a 43 level 65,000 m2 tower is proposed to the south west corner of the site, with the structural and lift design addressing the complexity of building over top of the curved CRL tunnel.

Project team - Megan Donaldson, Nicola Liew, Jonathan Jordan, Tony Calder.
Mentors - Andrew Kissell & Richard Goldie.


Client Precinct Properties

Location Downtown Precinct
New Zealand

Completion date November 2013



01 Downtown Tower

Downtown Tower

02 Downtown Masterplan Little Queen Street View

Little Queen Street View

03 Downtown Masterplan Albert Street View

Albert Street View

04 Downtown Masterplan Quay Street Elevation

Quay Street Elevation

05 Downtown Masterplan Albert Street Elevation

Albert Street Elevation

06 Downtown Masterplan Roofgarden

Roof Garden

07 Downtown Masterplan Sky Lobby

Sky Lobby

08 Downtown Masterplan Skygarden

Sky Garden

09 Downtown Masterplan Birds Eye View

Bird's Eye View

04T Downtown Masterplan Second Floor Level

Master Plan Second Floor Level

05T Downtown Masterplan Tower Levels

Master Plan Tower Levels

06T Downtown Masterplan N S Site Section

East - West Site Section

07T Downtown Masterplan E W Site Section

East - West Site Section

08T Downtown Masterplan Study Views

Study Views

09T Downtown Masterplan Tower Study

Tower Study

10T Downtown Masterplan Tower Comparison

Tower Comparison

01T Downtown Masterplan Tower section

Tower Section

02T Downtown Masterplan at Quay Street level

Master Plan at Quay Street Level

03T Downtown Masterplan at Customs Street level

Master Plan at Customs Street Level

Technical Aspects – View more images and quotes on this project