Our team extensively rebuilt and refurbished this single level supermarket.

Birkenhead, Auckland

The project

The commercial design challenge put in front of us was to not only increase floor area – 1215 square metres larger than the previous store – but to increase the building’s presence and allow the store to continue trading throughout the redevelopment.

The finished build successfully achieved the client’s brief of providing a modern, attractive shopping environment within a commercial architectural design which will attract a wider customer base. Increased visibility and presence of the supermarket creates a landmark in the neighbourhood.

The architectural design produces an ‘activated street edge’ which addresses both urban integration issues and commercial need for greater building presence. The eastern and northern façades were lifted and glazed to increase visual attraction and presence of the building.

The remaining large building façades are broken up by use of repeated bays, glazing and louvres to reduce overall visual scale of the building.

Although it is a large commercial building it sits comfortably alongside surrounding domestic neighbours.

The design

The store design has an efficient internal layout providing easy pedestrian flow from the entry point to the checkouts. This perceived simplicity provides a more pleasurable shopping environment. The existing store’s low ceiling height was raised to expose roof trusses which creates a sense of space in the retail hall. Design of the new extension to the eastern side uses raking ceilings and high level glazing to provide efficient use of natural lighting increasing visibility both inside and outside the store.

The site was challenging due to the close proximity of residential neighbours – limiting disruption and noise pollution was key. A further significant issue was an existing gulley on the original site which had been covered by fill material.

To overcome this our commercial architecture team delivered an innovative and cost-effective foundation design for the new extension to best match the existing building’s performance settlement profile.

Ecologically sustainable design (ESD) features including recovering heat waste, low energy utilisation and appropriate material selection were incorporated to enhance the building’s performance.

Low energy utilisation has been used where possible. LED self-adjusting light fittings are installed in the main entry foyer and in external loading bays where they are able to efficiently regulate lighting output. The use of fluorescent retail lighting in lieu of metal halide lighting also provides significant energy efficiency.

Waste heat from refrigeration condensers is utilised for heating of domestic water for use in toilet facilities and in food preparation departments.


Key details


New World Birkenhead Refurbishment
Foodstuffs North Island Limited
Birkenhead, Auckland
$25 million
Mid 2014
Retail, FMCG

Project team

Richard Elliott, Wilson Pickering
Building Services Engineering
Matthew Foskin, Ivan Loh, Rodney Shankaran
Civl Engineering
Michael Martin, Fiona Keir, Mike Doherty
Geotechnical Engineering and Testing
Malcolm Stapleton, Wayne Campton