Tōia Otahuhu Recreation Precinct - GHD Design - Backup Live

Tōia Ōtāhuhu Recreation Precinct
Auckland, New Zealand

Ōtāhuhu Recreation Precinct combines library, pool, and sports facilities in an inviting and accessible community hub, where Ōtāhuhu residents can come together to swim, play, learn, and relax.

Ōtāhuhu lies on one of the narrowest pieces of land between the Waitemata and Manukau harbours. Once an important portage and trading and meeting point for Māori, the vision for Tōia was that it would become a focal point for Ōtāhuhu, and hub of community activity.

Together with a team of specialist consultants, we were appointed to review existing masterplans and in turn prepare a new masterplan for a library and aquatic centre, to complement the existing recreation centre. The masterplan reconciles competing uses and circulation requirements, delivering visitors to the ‘heart’ of the precinct where they can comprehend all the precinct has to offer.

Bright, warm colours create approachable and inviting interiors imbued with a sense of fun and with easy access between spaces, "swimmers" can become “readers, “readers” can become “swimmers,” and everything in between.

Material selection and interior design focussed on creating a light, airy environment, with natural daylight entering through roof lights and high glazed walls. Robust and durable finishes, appropriate for a highly utilised public building, are used throughout.

Above the library’s main walkway hangs "Spirit Level," a cloud-like glass sculpture by local artist Daniel Clifford. Each of Spirit Level’s 1600 hand-blown glass spheres captures the breathe of a member of the Ōtāhuhu community. In 2015, Clifford partnered with locals in collaborative workshops, and the resulting work creates a shared sense of Tōia’s history and future.