Waitakere's Civic Centre is a model for community civics and encompasses more than just offices for city leaders. Located next to a rail stop on the North Auckland Rail Line, the Civic Centre includes a Civic Wing with city council facilities, administration offices and a new public terminal with access to the rail station. Designed by Architectus in association with Athfield Architects, Waitakere Civic Centre is also the realization of the city's sustainable design objectives including energy efficiency and integration of public transportation.
The Civic Centre is composed of three main sections – the civic wing, the administration wing and the link element. The civic wing contains the Council Chamber, Councillor’s facilities and the Directorate, while the administration wing contains public interface facilities and open-plan office space for council staff. A grand staircase connects the five stories of staff offices, encourages natural ventilation and staff interaction. Finally, the link element is a public pedestrian connection to the new rail station and Henderson CBD.
The building was designed foremost with good access to public transportation, amenities and energy efficiency. High performance insulation is used in conjunction with sun shading, integrated air floors and extensive use of natural daylighting and materials were chosen for their sustainable and renewable properties. Water is conserved throughout the building and storm water is treated on site through a green roof and rain garden. Cultural heritage also influenced the design of the building, especially the City Council Chamber, which takes the form of a gourd, a significant local iwi (Maori people).
Images ©Simon Devitt