Motts to design new mixed-use development in Auckland, New Zealand

A harbour view of the 85 Customs Street development in Aukland.

Mott MacDonald is designing 85 Customs Street, a new mixed-use development in Auckland, New Zealand on behalf of Shundi Customs Limited. Once complete, the 52-storey residential tower will become the city’s tallest, adding a new dynamic to the skyline.

At 46,635 sq m of floor area, 85 Customs Street will consist of 221 luxury residential apartments, studios and penthouses, two floors of retail and restaurant space and two floors of commercial office space. A five-storey basement will provide car parking, while two floors of VIP car parking will be available above ground and accessed by vehicle lifts. 

A health club with a swimming pool and steam room, spa and sauna facilities is also planned as part of the development. Additionally, the scheme includes the full refurbishment, conversion and extension of an adjacent existing 12-level office building into an international standard boutique hotel, as well as the seismic strengthening and refurbishment of an existing two-level heritage hotel and public tavern at the west end of the site.

Mott MacDonald’s role comprises structural, building services and façade engineering. The consultancy is also responsible for the geotechnical, fire and acoustic design, as well as wind modelling.

Nick Gillespie, Mott MacDonald’s project director, said: “Our client’s brief called for the apartments to have clear, unobstructed views to the north over Auckland harbour which greatly influenced the building’s design. Our structural solution uses an architecturally expressed external mega-frame to the east and west elevations of the building, supplemented by a braced elevation on the south side. The building also incorporates an innovative distributed damping system, the first of its kind in Australasia. This system controls the building sway with a series of damping devices which are hidden within party walls, meaning there is no reduction in the building’s net area.”

“Standing at 187m, the scheme will be 20 metres taller than Auckland’s current tallest building the Vero Tower, which dates back to 2000. 85 Customs Street will pave the way for a new breed of tall buildings in the city, changing its skyline significantly,” Gillespie added.

Construction of 85 Customs Street is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

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