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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The creation of the new Westgate Town Centre is the biggest mixed use development under single ownership proposed in New Zealand. A unique and exciting vision created by the New Zealand Retail Property Group (NZRPG) in partnership with the Auckland Council, the Westgate Town Centre incorporates significant new civic amenities with retail, entertainment and accommodation options within a 156 hectare area in the north west of Auckland. Earmarked as one of Auckland’s dedicated Metropolitan City Centres, the Westgate Town Centre will boast a new 3,500m² library, a town square, a main street complete with restaurants, bars and cafes, extensive parks and gardens, public transport facilities, a specialty retail mall and adjoining supermarket along with large-format and yard-based retail. It will incorporate a rejuvenated existing Westgate Shopping Centre and, on the edge of the newly completed western ring route, will provide a major hub offering new jobs, industry and opportunities for Aucklanders.
The new Westgate Town Centre is taking shape with earthworks already underway.

MASTERPLAN











 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Westgate Town Centre and Library​
(completion 2013, client: Auckland City Council)






The Westgate Town Square and Library is the anchoring civic component of the development of a new town centre at Westgate. This project will not only establish a benchmark for the future urban form but it will also establish its human qualities, its sense of place and provide a core community destination - the design is motivated by the desire for a dynamic, exciting and sustainable new civic environment which will serve the Westgate community for 100 years. The new library building is compositionally arranged as a 3 level volume fronting the Town Square together with a two storey volume addressing Waru St. The main entrance is located at the corner of the site, facing the main Town Square space. This provides maximum legibility for the entrance while also adding the ‘energy of movement’ to the public open space. The most effective contemporary libraries are easily understood and navigated and are defined by clear lines of sight and excellent natural light.

The building is distinctively a ‘stacked’ form, breaking down the overall building mass and allowing clear expression of the individual floor plates and their particular activities. This floor plate configuration generates a dynamic relationship at the building’s corner, expressing the life of the library to the outside world. The building’s openness also reflects the philosophy that good public libraries are open and vibrant with community life by both night and day. This visual openness and legibility also supports engagement with the community, encouraging access and creating a welcoming destination that is both comfortable and familiar for all users. The building form, materiality and colour also seek to reflect the informal and colourful culture of West Auckland and Waitakere. Anodised aluminium panels, zinc cladding, timber soffits and expressed concrete structure combine to provide a substantial and visually exciting architecture.

However, this informality is countered by the need for ‘civic substance’. The clear rhythm of concrete columns facing the town square reinforces the order and stability of a civic institution. This is seen as particularly important in a ‘greenfields’ situation where there are no existing ‘cues’ for civic life. Above all else, the new library building has the responsibility to capture the aspirations of a future community. To this end, its architecture cannot be transient but must embody the recognised motifs of community, tradition and civic character. Achieving these values in a contemporary way is the core challenge of the project.

SUSTAINABILITY
The building is the pilot project for the development of the new ‘Custom’ rating tool for the New Zealand Green Building Council. Sustainability is a central value of this project, and our team has pioneered the ‘new age library’ in New Zealand over the past ten years. The ground has shifted, however, from simple energy conservation to the careful consideration of how a new library can act as a catalyst by having a positive impact on the immediate and wider context. At Westgate, this is achieved by considering the building and public spaces as an educational opportunity for the community. Libraries are about knowledge and learning and our concept considers the opportunity for a ‘sustainability journey’ to be incorporated into the building and public open space. The educational aspects of this concept allow the project to be a living ‘billboard’ for sustainability that can influence all of the development sites that define the town square and wider town centre. The ambitious environmental and social aims of the project represent an opportunity to continue the legacy of leadership in the built environment shown by the Waitakere Council within the new Auckland ‘Supercity’ framework.
 

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There are a couple of quite good things that have happened with Westgate. As part of the original planning the Waitakere City Council managed to learn from some of the mistakes of other places around Auckland. e.g. you will notice that in the town centre there aren't huge setbacks full of car parks so it is much more walkable. Also while there are still lots of car parks, they are all at the back of buildings and there are requirements that there can't be customer entrances from them so that people do use the street to walk to the shops etc.

I have also heard that the bus interchange is now going to be moved as they finally realised that having it next to a shared space probably isn't the smartest idea.

Here are some aerial shots of the plans from a while ago:

and a closer shot of the town centre, much better than the existing shopping centre


Interesting just how much town centre stuff is happening in the West with this and New Lynn going on at the same time.
 

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It's not much better than the existing Westgate, still looks like you basically have to drive to get from shops on one side to the other and there's a massive state highway going through the middle. I find it disingenious that they show all these renders of small roads and plenty of people about when the reality for most of the development is a huge carpark with some shops on the edges, just like the rest of the awful big box developments around Auckland.
 

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Couldnt agree more.

Just out of interest, where is the bus interchange going to be? Will it replace the awful bus sidings that exist in the current Westgate?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I personally find it much better than the old Westgate ... parking isn't the central focus of the development (it is mostly located behind the buildings) and the street frontage is more pedestrian focused. I also prefer the architecture to the old one. As long as NZ remains a car-centric Nation, the more parking we will get. In an ideal world all the parking would be underground :) ....

What I don't like is the road (shared space) cutting through the town square ... totally unnecessary.
 

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It's not much better than the existing Westgate, still looks like you basically have to drive to get from shops on one side to the other and there's a massive state highway going through the middle. I find it disingenious that they show all these renders of small roads and plenty of people about when the reality for most of the development is a huge carpark with some shops on the edges, just like the rest of the awful big box developments around Auckland.
lets face it.. if u go shopping u dont want to catch a damn bus so u take ur car.. cars need somewhere to wait for u whilst getting the shopping. hello?!
 

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lets face it.. if u go shopping u dont want to catch a damn bus so u take ur car.. cars need somewhere to wait for u whilst getting the shopping. hello?!
Speak for yourself, I don't go shopping with a car. It's about time you spent some time outside NZ to see how the rest of the world lives quite happily and more prosperously without filling their cities with carparks.
 

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neither do i dude.. i dont even have a license but people with kids and shopping bags wouldnt catch a bus.. stop using my situation as an excuse for your silly opinions mate ;) oh yeah westgate isnt really classified as the city or central for that matter
 

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neither do i dude.. i dont even have a license but people with kids and shopping bags wouldnt catch a bus.. stop using my situation as an excuse for your silly opinions mate ;) oh yeah westgate isnt really classified as the city or central for that matter
Viinniie, many people over here in Europe catch buses and trains to do their shopping and yes, with children. Children are the reason that buses here have buttons on the middle doors for people with pushchairs to make it easy for them to get onto the bus and all trains have areas for pushchairs. This situation can and does exist elsewhere in the world so it isn't Drosophila using your situation to justify his opinions - he is using his experience in Switzerland, and I am using my experience in Sweden to tell you it can happen.

That said, it's nice to see parking is relegated to the back of the shopping centre. As SYDNEY says, it would be nice to remove the road from the centre of the town centre. It is a shame there is still so much parking in the area as it really is overrun with parking opportunities.
 

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Viinniie, many people over here in Europe catch buses and trains to do their shopping and yes, with children. Children are the reason that buses here have buttons on the middle doors for people with pushchairs to make it easy for them to get onto the bus and all trains have areas for pushchairs. This situation can and does exist elsewhere in the world so it isn't Drosophila using your situation to justify his opinions - he is using his experience in Switzerland, and I am using my experience in Sweden to tell you it can happen.

That said, it's nice to see parking is relegated to the back of the shopping centre. As SYDNEY says, it would be nice to remove the road from the centre of the town centre. It is a shame there is still so much parking in the area as it really is overrun with parking opportunities.
thats in Europe.. Im talking about Auckland mate:cheers:
 

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thats in Europe.. Im talking about Auckland mate:cheers:
Yes because the things living in Auckland aren't the same animals known as humans that live in Europe. Funnily, these same animals also manage to go shopping without a car in places as backwards as North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia - but luckily Auckland has evolved past the human stage but is now incapable of functioning without a car.
 

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Yes because the things living in Auckland aren't the same animals known as humans that live in Europe. Funnily, these same animals also manage to go shopping without a car in places as backwards as North and South America, Asia, Africa, Australia - but luckily Auckland has evolved past the human stage but is now incapable of functioning without a car.
you crack me up, sometimes.. is that so? I am an Aucklander, a good animal ;) without a car.. still manage aswell :) I mean a family with lots of shit to lug around.. A bus would be a last resort in that case if you had a car hands down, whatever you do in Europe where you are good for you man. Auckland is unique sorry so get over it
 

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you crack me up, sometimes.. is that so? I am an Aucklander, a good animal ;) without a car.. still manage aswell :) I mean a family with lots of shit to lug around.. A bus would be a last resort in that case if you had a car hands down, whatever you do in Europe where you are good for you man. Auckland is unique sorry so get over it
Mate, he lives in Auckland, I'm the one now living in Europe. I believe Drosophila is a NZer who lived abroad then returned to NZ so his opinion is no less valid than your own (I think I'm right here - please correct me if I am not).

In many cases though, you're wrong about Auckland being unique when it comes to urban planning - it follows quite a standard formula seen in the US, Canada and Australia though without the large rail systems seen in Australian cities (bar Adelaide). Hence why people who have read about international best practice and ways other auto-centric cities in other countries with similar planning policies to NZ have helped mitigate deleterious effects of the car with new developments can comment on ways in which things can be improved for the better.

Also, by using Europe as an example (or Japan or Hong Kong as the same happens there) in this case we are both only saying that families can use public transport and that a car isn't required for chores and shopping trips. This isn't to say that Auckland is like Europe, or Japan or Hong Kong, but more that this scenario can occur which you said in your initial argument and just now in the post I quoted that they don't want to or can't. This is also not to say that Auckland should copy what is done in these countries as they aren't similar at all, it is more saying that behaviour can be modified by transit provision and good planning, therefore, a similar situation may be seen here in the future by looking to cities that ARE more similar to Auckland that are managing to redress the balance of modal share.

Does this help at all to explain things?
 

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Mate, he lives in Auckland, I'm the one now living in Europe. I believe Drosophila is a NZer who lived abroad then returned to NZ so his opinion is no less valid than your own (I think I'm right here - please correct me if I am not).

In many cases though, you're wrong about Auckland being unique when it comes to urban planning - it follows quite a standard formula seen in the US, Canada and Australia though without the large rail systems seen in Australian cities (bar Adelaide). Hence why people who have read about international best practice and ways other auto-centric cities in other countries with similar planning policies to NZ have helped mitigate deleterious effects of the car with new developments can comment on ways in which things can be improved for the better.

Also, by using Europe as an example (or Japan or Hong Kong as the same happens there) in this case we are both only saying that families can use public transport and that a car isn't required for chores and shopping trips. This isn't to say that Auckland is like Europe, or Japan or Hong Kong, but more that this scenario can occur which you said in your initial argument and just now in the post I quoted that they don't want to or can't. This is also not to say that Auckland should copy what is done in these countries as they aren't similar at all, it is more saying that behaviour can be modified by transit provision and good planning, therefore, a similar situation may be seen here in the future by looking to cities that ARE more similar to Auckland that are managing to redress the balance of modal share.

Does this help at all to explain things?
thanks for that insight i did not need to know.. sounds like you two would be perfect making your own city from scratch :)
 

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thanks for that insight i did not need to know.. sounds like you two would be perfect making your own city from scratch :)
You know, I give up. I try being nice and having a decent discussion and I get one-liners and absolutely no substance back. I admire your passion for your city, but every city needs improvement. Take a leaf from SYDNEY's book in this case - he loves Auckland more than anywhere, but he is the first to criticise when things aren't done properly or need improvement. Where I live now needs to improve in terms of dealing with integration of foreigners and beautification of suburban highrise apartments from the 1960's-70's for two examples of things I've noted here and yet I am incredibly happy with where I live just as SYDNEY is where he lives. Looking for ways to improve somewhere and discussing ways to improve things only becomes a problem when one can no longer see the good in where one lives.
 
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