In the heart of Manukau City, the Vodafone Events Centre is a unique piece of architecture that promotes the diverse cultural background of its surrounding areas.
In a joint venture with Cox Architects, we took a lead role in the centre’s planning and architectural design, including the theatre, indoor arena, outdoor plaza and events space, car parking, and landscaping.
Working closely with the local community, iwi (tribes), and artists, we developed a theme of “coming together as one,” that celebrates our shared histories of journeys across the Pacific to arrive in Aotearoa (New Zealand).
The complex interaction of form and architectural styles represents the meeting of Māori and Pacific cultures. The giant truss spanning from end to end of the building can be interpreted as the tāhuhu (ridge pole) of a whare (traditional Māori house), while the light weight ‘leaves’ of the roof are similar to the lightly framed roofs of fales (traditional Samoan houses).
The brief included a 700-seat theatre and 3000 seat indoor arena, reconfigurable to accommodate a range of conferences, sporting, and entertainment events. Flexibility of operation was key, and both venues can operate simultaneously. The result is a functional, eye-catching design, which illustrates the multicultural nature of Auckland’s population, and contributes to a sense of belonging to Aotearoa.