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The Brickworks, Auckland, New Zealand

Aurecon provides a quick and systematic solution for the structural design of The Brickworks, the new dining and entertainment extension of the LynnMall Shopping Centre in New Lynn, Auckland

The Brickworks, as the name suggests, has a brick façade that commemorates the historic nature of the shopping centre. LynnMall first opened its doors in 1963 and is the oldest shopping centre in New Zealand. Owner and developer, Kiwi Property, has breathed new life into the area by adding seven new dining options, a mini golf tenancy and an eight screen cinema complex, designed to commemorate New Lynn’s heritage as New Zealand’s brick-making capital.

Completed in 2015, after a tight 10-month schedule, The Brickworks provides a new entertainment, dining, and leisure precinct in the well-loved LynnMall shopping centre. The addition of the movie theatres and new dining options have turned the area and the shopping centre into familiar places for locals to enjoy and dine with friends and loved ones.

Minimising disruption in a working centre

One of the challenges for the project team was to work seamlessly and construct the buildings without disrupting centre operations. Teams were able to maximise time and resources to complete the construction with minimal disruption through: clear communication among the project stakeholders; the use of materials that reduced on-site construction time; a single mobile crane lift to lift structures and signage into position in one night, requiring road closure for one night only.

Construction of the cinema complex – with its bulk and mass suspended over the existing carpark – used precast concrete frames, beams, and slabs. The flexible design allowed for the reconfiguration of the braced frames for future retail expansion underneath the cinema.

The use of steel and Speedwall panels for the cinema’s superstructure saved time and work required to achieve acoustic separation. Speedwall panels have excellent fire and acoustic ratings and are lightweight. This allowed for quick installation and the completion of large areas of the building in a short time.

Preserving the heritage character

The dining lane is a single-storey, on-grade construction with building form and architectural finishes designed to align with the existing heritage buildings in the area. The prefabricated Southlight Building roof was bolted together through the truss elements placed on top of the columns. Installation of the entire roof framing took one week.

A ‘project first’ ethos

Aurecon, as part of the ‘The Brickworks Team’ (Kiwi Property, Buchan Group, NDY and NZ Strong), aptly demonstrated what the construction industry can achieve when individuals band together and work towards a common goal.

This complex and multifaceted project moved from concept to completion in only 17 months. This was possible due to everyone involved taking ownership of the project and wanting to see it succeed. No one ever had to solve anything on their own, there was always another team member willing to assist.

This project could not have been delivered on time had the team adopted a traditional discipline owned approach.

The design was progressed by the architect and engineer regularly sitting at the same computer, working through the model, sketching details together and brainstorming options. These sessions achieved more in two hours than would be done with two weeks of phone calls and emails.

The contractor, architect, engineer and at times shop detailers, held regular coordination workshops during construction to identify and resolve items before they became problems on site. To speed up the process, the engineer and shop detailer worked side by side in the contractor’s office to complete critical shop drawing reviews.

“The 'project first' ethos engendered by The Brickworks team’s approach produced remarkable results. The speed at which the project was delivered needed to be seen to be believed, and the result is a development of which we can all be proud,” said Craig Stevenson, Technical Director at Aurecon.

Award winning

The project has won the following awards:

  • Best in Category: Retail Property Award: Property Council New Zealand, Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards (2016)
  • Best Project Team Award: Team The Brickworks (Aurecon, client: Kiwi Property): Auckland Property People Awards (2016)
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