The Pacifica Residential Tower Plus Architecture: Reshaping the Skyline
Project Name: The Pacifica Residential Tower
Project Architect: Plus Architecture
Project Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Project Year: 2021
Project Area: 44138 sq. m
Height of the Tower: 178 m
Head Architect: Ian Briggs
Project Team: Piers Bowman and Jaimin Atkins
Structural Material: Concrete
The Pacifica Residential Tower Plus Architecture is Auckland’s highest residential skyscraper, reaching up to 57 floors. This covers a height of 178 m and accommodates around 200 apartments. The structure will play a key role in the transformation of Auckland’s Central Business District into a fully liveable zone, with a mixture of flats, hotel, and retail zones.
The Pacifica Residential Tower Plus Architecture, with apartments varying from one-bedroom to premium super-penthouses, not only addresses Auckland’s dwelling need but also serves as a crucial base for an area undergoing increasing development.
It is located in a district of structures of many designs and dates, most of which are slated for refurbishment or construction, in a precinct that was formerly traditionally dedicated to warehouse and port-trade services.
The construction of The Pacifica by Plus Architecture began in 2016, and the skyscraper was constructed for builder Hengyi. It offers a real high-end experience in the core of Auckland, with 272 sky-high luxury homes equipped with the finest quality amenities, including a warm lap pool, media room, steam room, sauna, spa, gym, residents’ lounge, library, and barbecue patio. Confined balconies, termed winter gardens, are found on the top floors of the building that create a barrier between the homeowner and the outdoors, identical to a front garden.
The building’s lowest six floors hold a 43-room luxury hotel, while the upper five stories house 15 penthouses. gym, sauna, The newly listed “super penthouse” features five bedrooms, five full and four half bathrooms, a distinct guest suite, a formal sitting room, a chef-style kitchen, and also a butler’s kitchen, banquet-style dining room, cellar, and wine tasting room, entertainment room, library, spa and steam room, art gallery, sky garden with double-height ceiling, private office, board rooms, and up to 12 parking areas. Owners of these penthouses can also take advantage of a rare international buyer exemption certificate.
The Pacifica Residential Tower Plus Architecture is influenced by the natural beauty of Auckland and its surroundings. The laneways influenced the building’s distinctive form, with its lower floors intersecting before expanding above.
”Every element of The Pacifica is inspired by its environment: the twisting totem-like design on the building’s exterior that resembles a traditional Maori Pikorua, symbolizing togetherness, the shifting glass façade that mirrors the sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour and the archetypal Auckland laneway,” mentioned the team at Plus Architecture.
The glass facade, which rises above the podium level, is intended to reflect the neighboring context’s wide-open clear skies and spectacular waterfront, with every attribute influenced by its surroundings, including the jewel-like structure, material advancements, and color palettes that indicate Auckland’s magnificent coastal environment.
The design pays attention and caters to the local cultural values by highlighting the Maori Pikorua symbol of two interwoven pikopiko ferns, which is depicted in the structure’s exterior’s ‘twist’ design.
Auckland is considered one of the best cities in New Zealand with its setting in between waterfront and laneways. These two elements marked the beginning point for the design’s inspiration in order to deliver a structure that is one-of-a-kind.
The form and material palette are a reflection of the natural environment of the site. As a result, The Pacifica Residential Tower Auckland responds to the site through its unique facade and illustrates the existing features.
“It almost became quite a natural experience, rather than, what wacky shape can we make? It was: what naturally grows out of the human-centric experience of the city at street level, and how does that then grow up into the skyline?” states Ian Briggs, the Director of Plus Architecture.
“When you’re in that streetscape, the façade that is flush with the street feels correct to scale. And yet, when you look up, not only does the tower sit back, but also those elements that form the façade on the streetscape are seen to then travel up into the sky. So, it works at the street scale, it works at the city scale, and you see the way that those two combine where it coils from the street up into the sky,” Ian Briggs added.
Almost all of The Pacifica Auckland’s premium units, developed by Hengyi, have panoramic views over the bay to Rangitoto Island, including a ‘super penthouse’ with one unit spread across two-story plates. The complex is located just a block away from the Britomart retail store and hospitality zone, ensuring that residents have access to a variety of retail and restaurant alternatives.
This skyscraper unites the city with an elegant, ageless podium facade before rising higher with a dynamic form that approaches the altitudes of Auckland’s biggest manufactured and natural monuments.
The glass building, once above the podium level, pays tribute to Auckland’s big open blue skies while also drawing the deeper blues of the harbour close to meeting it. A progression from a dark structure in the lower half to a whiter, lighter sky at the peak is created by a specially curated combination of blues and clear glass in a glossy and matte finish, as well as an interaction between the reflection of the clears and blue.
The Pacifica’s position is crucial for Auckland’s CBD, which is increasingly shifting its attention away from the Queen Street valley towards the waterfront. The reclaimed sections of Auckland’s waterfront formerly served as a vital hub for storage and trade connected to port operations. But, like in other cities around the globe where harbour regions have become urban regeneration hotspots, Auckland’s attention is now especially focused on Waitemat Harbor’s border.
The ‘sense of place’ was extremely essential, and the Plus Architect’s project team spent a lot of time working on it. The tower streamlines the neighbouring context, natural elements, and the architectural design language to achieve that.
Winter gardens (covered balconies) are used in upper-level residences to offer a buffer zone between residents and the outside, emulating the transitional area that a front lawn would give, for instance. In addition to the external features, compared to modern European or Australian interiors, apartment surfaces contain natural materials and significantly darker woods, reflecting trendy New Zealand designs.
Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) is a feature of all the projects catered by Plus Architects, and it considers the type of glass, the quantity of glass, it’s positioning, and how much shade it may provide to ensure the best possible ambience for occupants. Despite the full-height glass in The Pacifica Auckland, the panels are set in tight frames to regulate heat and bring a sense of confinement; to give the essence of being in a safe space than residing on a platform.
The facade of the structure, which rises over Waitemat Harbour, is supposed to mirror Auckland’s waterways. The building’s unusual twisting shape and crystalline tint are influenced by Auckland’s famed beaches’ waves. The graded glass diffusion mirrors and replicates the vibrant colours of the bustling waterfront below.
The design acts as a warm shell and forms a welcoming atmosphere with luxury amenities. The Pacifica Residential Tower Plus Architecture is an icon for Auckland’s CBD and cityscape. The bold and unique approach towards design merges well with the neighbouring context.
The design of this skyscraper with twisting and intersecting glazing facade offers utmost aesthetics to the facade with a meaning behind it. The form is a result of a deep concept that relates to Auckland’s natural elements like the waterfront, skies, and engineered laneways.
The elegant and lavish interiors with sophisticated material and colour palette offer a comfortable living and at the same time enhance the experience of gazing at the magnificent natural views. The Pacifica Residential Tower Plus Architecture has reached new levels of royalty and luxury which hasn’t existed before in Auckland’s core.
The design appears to have grown from the grounds of Auckland that blend well in its locality. The structure is the epitome of high-end living with well-connectivity to the basic amenities in the neighbourhood. Designers approached the design with great sensibility and sensitivity towards the environment.
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