A destination of design

  • In Association with Tauranga Crossing
  • April 30, 2018
A destination of design

Tauranga region is soon to be home to one of New Zealand’s largest shopping centres, Tauranga Crossing. On completion of all stages of the development, the thriving retail space will be the biggest retail development in the Bay of Plenty, and big spaces require bigger and better designs. Blair Johnston of Warren and Mahoney Architects gives further insight into the innovative and spacious design that has been created to complement the new hub.

The difference is in the detail

While still in its development stages, Warren and Mahoney had a clear brief from Tauranga Crossing, says Chief Executive Steve Lewis. “Our brief to Warren and Mahoney was to create an environment where people could come to relax and enjoy themselves.

A place that belongs to the community, where they feel at home,” says Lewis. Blair Johnston echoes Lewis’ statement, saying the brief “focused on concepts of authenticity and the response to place.”

“The requirements of size and efficiency were secondary to this high-level ambition. We spent a significant amount of time discussing the arrival experience, and the relationship to landscape in particular.”

Lewis says that the owners’ idea for the design was to create something that would resonate with the customer while also “reflecting the vision that many people have for the future of the Bay.”

“We think the attention to detail is an important point of differentiation,” comments Johnston.  “Right from the first conversation, Tauranga Crossing was as interested in exploring the detail of a handrail, or the opportunity for artwork and narrative, as they were in the overall fundamentals of the project. There was a very strong desire for the design to respond to the identity of the place – the history of the site, the climatic conditions of the region, the outlook and attitude of the residents. Ultimately Tauranga Crossing is a place for Tauranga and its people – a place that

meets and exceeds the ambition and expectations for a growing and aspirational regionally dominant hub for New Zealand.”

A Warren and Mahoney original blueprints for Tauranga Crossing 

Express yourself

Retail spaces need to be adaptable so the owners’ brief to the design firm requested a simple palette that was international but still had a unique feel to the Bay of Plenty.

“When briefing Warren and Mahoney we wanted to ensure that they could bring some international elements to Tauranga Crossing,” Lewis says. Johnston acknowledges the adaptive part of the design and understands that retailers need the opportunity to differentiate.

“We are interested in delivering a centre with aesthetic longevity that transcends fashion - which a simple, honest material palette can deliver. This approach also enables the shopfronts and retailers to express themselves.”

A heart of innovation

“The strong focus on entertainment and food led us to the creation of two primary areas,” says Johnston.

“A civic area which connects the outdoor arrival plaza with the internal dining precinct; and a retail backbone.”

“We wanted to create a retail experience with an awareness of external conditions and a connection to the people,” says Johnston. “We hope that this will elevate and differentiate the experience. The central crossing of the project will be light-filled and uplifting – dramatic scale and intimate detail will combine to deliver a memorable moment within the shopping experience.”

The development team has had the people of the Bay of Plenty in mind for the new design, and has assured it caters to the customer while being something quite special.

“We are committed to the local community and serving it in the best possible way, while offering something unique that those passing through the region can stop by, pause for a while and enjoy.”

“Tauranga Crossing is for the people,” reiterates Lewis. “The community who love the area and want to see a bigger future for the Bay. We are excited to bring a taste of the Tauranga lifestyle to life through the design and experience of the centre.”

To find out more visit Tauranga Crossing on facebook and

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