A welcoming hub for Auckland's North-West community
The new Te Manawa centre in Auckland’s north-west has fast become a welcoming civic heart for this rapidly growing region. As New Zealand’s first fully integrated community hub, the facility features a library, creative zones, work and study areas and flexible event space. It also includes a Citizens Advice Bureau, the Te Whare Tapere zone for children and a work place for council staff.
Locals and visitors are drawn to the bright, open spaces. With soaring ceilings, stunning architectural features and plenty of natural light, the centre encourages people to linger and explore. The library has been designed to a modern interpretation of a traditional space. It functions as a ‘community living room’ rather than just a place to find books.
The building comprises of two separate multi-storey wings connected by a double height atrium. Structural steelwork and concrete columns are left exposed, contrasting beautifully with the warmth of the timber specified for the cabinetry and internal stairs.
Graham Gates, Dulux PC’s manager in New Zealand, was on hand to recommend a coating system that would enhance the dramatic lines of the steel and provide protection. Internal steel was primed with Durepon FRX. Deep charcoal and bright yellow hues were achieved with Luxathane R, a full gloss two-component acrylic polyurethane.
Externally, the steelwork required protection from the corrosive marine environment. The city of Westgate sits on the shore of Waitemata Harbour, with the surrounding Pacific Ocean coastline just a short drive away in every direction. First primed with Zincanode 402 for zinc-rich cathodic protection, the steel was coated in Duremax GPE to create a durable barrier against the elements. Weathermax HBR was used to create the stunning finish coat that will help resist graffiti and UV so it can retain a flawless surface for many years to come.
Form, function and long term appeal, the Te Manawa centre ticks all these boxes and more. The architects, Warren and Mahoney and builders, Fletcher Construction, have created an enviable example of best practice design and build. It’s no surprise the project was the recipient of the Silver Pin at the 2019 DINZ Best Awards