The Commercial Bay development demonstrates the value that meaningful engagement with Mana Whenua and application of the Te Aranga Māori design principles can bring to large scale private sector development.
This engagement and approach to the development has influenced and enriched design outcomes, and will provide users with a deeper understanding and connection to place.
When complete, the development will be world class in quality and reflective of the unique identity of Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), making an important contribution to Auckland’s urban heartland.
At the meeting point of the Queen Street valley and Auckland waterfront, Commercial Bay draws together mass public transportation, international quality retail, and workplace environments, underpinned by best practice urban design and sustainability objectives.
The application of the Te Aranga Māori design principles within the design process was a core requirement of Auckland Council in the sale of Queen Elizabeth Square to Precinct Properties. Including Queen Elizabeth Square in the Commercial Bay development area was key to enabling a more fully integrated development, and Precinct Properties embraced this condition.
Commercial Bay was considered from the outset as a comprehensive, site wide precinct. The design brief for the Commercial Bay project team was to deliver an urban experience that reflects Auckland’s position in the world as a place of cultural richness, desirability, and relevance.
Fundamental principles and project strategies that were established early as part of the masterplanning phase (undertaken in 2014) guided the project’s design development, including the following key concepts:
- Symbol and Identity
- Culture and Identity
- History and Placemaking
Central to each of these concepts is an acknowledgement of the development site as a place of significance to Mana Whenua and to Auckland - historically, now, and into the future.
An early focus of the project team on forming strong relationships with Mana Whenua has provided a platform from which to apply the Te Aranga Māori design principles, allowing these key concepts to be articulated through design across the development. The benefits of incorporating the Te Aranga Māori design principles as part of a comprehensive design programme are evidenced in the unique and culturally resonant design outcomes.