Located in Chapel Road, Botany Downs, the newly constructed Botany Town Centre is a sight to behold. A focal point for the rapidly growing neighbourhood, this innovative centre offers shoppers over 150 stores to select from. The seemingly bottomless choice of retail outlets includes over 130 specialty stores and 20 larger format stores, embracing old time favourites in never before seen formats.
Covering a massive 50 acre (18 hectare) site in south east Auckland, the extensive scale of this project has firmly established the Botany Downs Town Centre as New Zealand's largest retail centre. Bounded by major arterial roads to the east and west and new residential subdivisions to the south, this centre is centrally located to its target market.
Ten buildings cover half of the site accounting for approximately 90,000 square metres of floor area; 54,000 square metres of retail space. Carparks, roads and landscaping cover the remainder of the site.
The term shopping centre does not give full justice to this development's integration of retail, entertainment and community, which position it as the heart of the town, and thus deserving of the Town Centre title.
Rapid development was a driving force for all involved. The ground was broken and blessed by Ngai Tai of Umupuia, the local iwi, on October 11, 1999, and less than two years later - thanks to the daily labour provided by 800 workers - the project was completed.
Divided into four sectors, the landscaping includes native bush, a leafy rural landscape, suburban style gardens and 'health and home' theme gardens. With landscaping incorporating more than 100,000 plants complete, nature will gently develop the centre's flora and fauna over the coming years. The distinctive Titoki, featured in the Botany Downs Town Centre logo, is a key feature of the extensively landscaped grounds. The impressive array of foliage is complemented by cobblestone pathways, gazebos, fountains, courtyards and artworks, encouraging the weary shopper to sit back, relax and soak in the atmosphere. Or perhaps the casual diner may be lured into one of the many innovative retail spaces to make an unplanned purchase or two.
The sheer scale of this project necessitated the use of a myriad of paints, specialist coatings, engineered coating systems and colours to create the desired decorative and protective finish.
Exterior precast cementitious surfaces were finished in Resene Sandtex, a Mediterranean style texture, applied by hopper gun over Resene X-200 weathertight membrane to give a trendy textured finish to large wall areas.
Cement plaster was coated in Resene X-200 weathertight membrane for optimum integrally coloured waterproofing. Soffits were finished in Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss for a glossy clean contrast against the flatter wall finishes.
Complex verandahs have been protected using an engineered coating system of Resene Zincilate 11, Resene Armourcote 510 and Resene Uracryl 403 gloss urethane for maximum protection against the elements. Rough sawn verandah beams and other exterior exposed timbers were stained with Resene Waterborne Woodsman to protect and beautify the natural timber. The stained exterior timber blends well with the extensive landscaping, providing a bridge between the solid structures and natural environs.
The common interior paperfaced plasterboard envelope (excluding fitouts) was finished in Resene Zylone Sheen low sheen acrylic, selected for its washability, wide colour availability, low sheen finish and low odour properties. These generally monolithic broadwall and ceiling areas have been complimented by the application of Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss and Resene Enamacryl gloss waterbased enamels on trim and joinery for maximum block resistance and durability. The lower odour associated with these new generation waterbased enamels, compared to their traditional solventborne counterparts, will also be beneficial during future repainting projects as the lower odour will minimise disruption to shoppers and staff.
Exterior exposed steel at the entry from the northern carpark was finished in Resene Imperite IF 503 Metallics for an extra touch of glamour.
Using the concept of American architects Altoon & Porter, Hames & Sharley developed a design for the entire Town Centre project and independently created the Food Express concept. Gathering together resources as required throughout the project's progression, Hames & Sharley were instrumental in managing the project through to completion. As the critiquing retail architects for 150 retail outlets and retail design mentors, 2MD Design Consultants were responsible for implementing the retail vision for Botany Town Centre, liaising with all tenants to ensure their chosen design fitted with the overall theme as developed by the American concept architects. A careful blend of lessons learnt from the American architects and an in depth knowledge of the New Zealand retail market, has resulted in this truly vibrant town centre environment, markedly different from a shopping mall, with all the retail dynamics a shopper would normally experience in High Street.
Individual stores have been fitted out to appeal to their distinctive target markets. Many are new generation stores that will be rolled out to other regions as part of ongoing national retail development programmes.
The successful combination of texture, metallics and low sheen finishes throughout the exterior and interior envelopes melds together for a stylish fashionable finish. On a sunny Auckland day, nothing comes close to wandering in an open town environment with outdoor cafes and stores, soaking in the weather as you enjoy the complete shopping experience. Whether shopper, diner or casual stroller, this Town Centre offers something for everyone, every visit.
|Check the centre out for yourself online at www.botany.co.nz
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