Two celebrated New Zealand architecture and design studios, Athfield Architects and Isthmus Group, have been appointed to design the new community facility and upgraded town square for Avondale.
Athfield Architects, commissioned by Auckland Council, will design a new multi-million dollar community and library facility in central Avondale. Isthmus, commissioned by Panuku Development Auckland, will design the upgrades to the town square. The two architectural firms will be working closely together to develop an integrated design.
Athfield Architects brings a wealth of experience and expertise in designing civic and community spaces, including Te Pātaka Kōrero o Te Hau Kapua (Devonport Library) and Waitohi (Johnsonville’s library and community hub in Wellington).
The creation of unique and welcoming public places is an area that Isthmus has shown strength in through an array of projects including Freyberg Place (central Auckland) and the Kumutoto Precinct (Wellington’s waterfront project).
Whau ward councillor Tracy Mulholland welcomed the appointments. “I’m delighted to have Athfield Architects on board and excited to see these highly-anticipated projects get underway which I know will be warmly welcomed by the people of Avondale.”
Kay Thomas, Chair of the Whau Local Board, is also positive about the appointments. “This year has been a challenging time for the community. I’m excited that the future Avondale will be a place where locals can meet in the enhanced town square and the purpose-built community facility.”
Mirla Edmundson, General Manager Libraries and Information, Auckland Council says the selection process was important to ensure that the appointed architects could deliver the best possible outcome for Avondale.
“We wanted to ensure that cultural practice and sustainability principles will be incorporated into the successful design. We had input from mana whenua and council’s sustainability team fed into the evaluation process and we are eager to see how the designs develop with community involvement.”
Panuku Development Auckland, council’s urban regeneration agency, is leading the regeneration of Avondale’s town centre over the next 15 years. Panuku is also working closely with the rest of the council whānau including Auckland Transport, Kāinga Ora, private sector developers and the Avondale community.
John Carter, Panuku’s Priority Location Director for Avondale, is excited to lead this programme. “Avondale is a suburb with a huge amount of potential and our role is to ensure that the regeneration is well-planned and supported by appropriate investment. We are excited to see some lively community spaces being created for Avondale through this design work. All of this complements Panuku’s work in facilitating high quality housing and improved connections for pedestrians, cyclists and those using public transport; to strongly support a vibrant future Avondale.”
Formal consultation on the design is planned for mid-2021.