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Whangrei Civic Centre

Developer: Whangarei District Council
Architect: Team Auckland Architects
Contractor: Canam Construction
Location: Whangārei
Service Type: Facade Engineering

The Whangārei Civic Centre's gateway project embodies a harmonious blend of multicultural themes and Tikanga Māori, showcasing a transparent exterior as a symbol of democracy in action. Following a meticulous examination of building forms, a tee structure emerged as the optimal solution, strategically minimizing the need for support columns. Across four expansive levels, substantial floor plates encircle a towering four-story atrium, serving as a prelude to the Council Chamber. Publicly accessible spaces and services find their home on the ground floor, accompanied by dedicated rooms for community and hapu activities. The upper levels, accommodating up to 470 staff members, embrace flexible open-plan clusters, integrating biophilic principles to invigorate both the workspace and the entire structure. Two captivating open-air green wall stairs anchor the design, providing panoramic views of the surrounding hills and adjacent park.

DESIGN ENGINEERS played a central and indispensable role assist Starke Group in shaping the Whangārei Civic Centre's architectural landscape, bringing our wealth of expertise to bear on engineering and technical intricacies. Our primary focus was on the aluminum-framed curtain wall system, a key element contributing to the building's aesthetic appeal and structural integrity. Meticulously overseeing the flush glazed curtain wall system, the DESIGN ENGINEERS ensured a seamless integration that not only showcased transparency but also met the highest standards of architectural finesse.

In addition to their mastery of curtain wall systems, the DESIGN ENGINEERS undertook the intricate task of managing the structural glazed system. This involved a careful balancing act to marry aesthetic aspirations with the demands of structural soundness, creating a building envelope that seamlessly blended form and function. Simultaneously, our expertise extended to the bracketry system, a critical component in fortifying the building's structural framework, underscoring the DESIGN ENGINEERS' commitment to ensuring the long-term durability and stability of the civic center.

Beyond these foundational elements, the DESIGN ENGINEERS assumed a critical role in addressing seismic considerations, crafting accommodation system designs that not only met but exceeded stringent code requirements. This aspect of their work played a crucial role in enhancing the civic center's resilience to seismic events, contributing to the safety and security of its occupants.

The involvement of DESIGN ENGINEERS did not stop at structural elements; we played a pivotal role in the meticulous selection and feasibility study of the glazed facade system. This comprehensive approach encompassed a rigorous verification process of test reports, ensuring the structural robustness, water penetration resistance, air infiltration control, and seismic resilience of the facade. By delivering a comprehensive PS1 package, the DESIGN ENGINEERS demonstrated our commitment to excellence, providing a robust foundation for the Whangārei Civic Centre's glazed facade, where engineering prowess met architectural elegance.


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