Sylvia Park is one of the premier shopping centres in New Zealand. With more than 200 retail stores along with a grocery store, cinema and other amenities, it offers something for every visitor. The area also serves as a business park, and there is plenty of open land available for additional development in the future.
The shopping centre sits in the Auckland suburb of Mount Wellington, easily accessible to the more than 1.6 million residents of the region. While connections to the area’s public transit network mean not every shopper arrives by car, Sylvia Park must provide parking for a substantial number of visitors each and every day it opens.
Sylvia Park needed to comfortably provide access to shoppers in the run-up to the 2019 holiday shopping season. With large crowds expected during that period specifically, and a general need to provide safe and effective parking, the company had to increase the number of spots available for shoppers. The project that emerged to address this need was the Sylvia Park South Eastern Multideck (SEM) car park.
The plans for the new structure called for five levels with enough space to accommodate 900 vehicles. The design is state of the art, incorporating new technologies for traffic management that improve safety and the flow of shoppers into and out of the building to make the entire shopping experience from arrival to departure as enjoyable as possible. Locker played a key role in the successful completion of the project. We provided perforated aluminium panels that address core needs for car parks related to natural light, air flow and temperature control.
Unique design and functional considerations
Our New Zealand branch office and facilities led the way in producing the perforated aluminium panels necessary to complete the Sylvia Park SEM. Despite the need to carefully fabricate the panels to create a clean and cohesive visual identity, using multiple variations in the perforation hole size, our team performed admirably under pressure.
One major consideration was precise engineering and planning to ensure the individual panels would reliably and closely fit together. This part of the process involved extensive collaboration with drafters through the very end of the project to ensure a uniform appearance. It also required the development of a range of samples and resultant trials to arrive at a design and structure that pleased all major stakeholders and met key project requirements.
The coating used on the perforated aluminium panels may be the single most identifiable factor for employees and shoppers at Sylvia Park who use the garage. The two-tone blue and green colour scheme stands out during the daytime without overpowering the surrounding area, creating a sense of harmony. At night, lights illuminate the panels to increase visibility and provide a new and engaging visual experience for those who visit, shop and work in the area.
The powder coating colours were made to order and proved to be a smashing success from the very beginning. The stakeholders all agreed to move forward with the first samples, making one of the last steps of producing the finished perforated aluminium panels one of the easiest.
While visual appearance plays a crucial role in the identity of any structure, the panels we created for Sylvia Park also needed to address some issues common to car parks. Air flow is vital for removing carbon dioxide while maintaining as comfortable and safe a temperature as possible throughout the year. Perforated aluminium allows for effective exchange of air while providing a useful degree of visibility.
Similarly, access to natural light makes a space more enjoyable, even a transitional one, such as a car park. It also provides a quick reference point to weather conditions and the general state of the outside world. Perforated aluminium provides this necessary element while also discouraging wildlife from entering the structure.
Cooperation: A vital tool for a successful final product
As is so often the case with major construction projects, Locker worked alongside a variety of partners that all played major roles in designing, constructing and completing the Sylvia Park SEM car park:
- Leading New Zealand commercial construction company Naylor Love served as the general contractor.
- International architecture and design firm Buchan Group filled the architect role.
- New Zealand-based Design Production, a design fabrication specialist, installed the perforated aluminium panels. Our relationship with Design Production introduced us to this project.
Along with these major stakeholders, we subcontracted the design portion of the project out to a Perth-based group as a value-added service. We also subcontracted parts of the engineering design work to provide the best support possible for Design Production to fix the perforated aluminium panels to the substructure.
A major undertaking
Despite a number of challenges, including an especially short turnaround time for creating and delivering the 1,600 square metres of panels required for the car park, we and all of the other stakeholders worked together to ensure a complete, safe, attractive and successful final product.
The Sylvia Park SEM car park received final sign-off just weeks before Christmas 2019, but was operational in time to help the shopping centre alleviate stress on current parking facilities. It provided an easily accessible and secure area for customers to park and continues to do so.
At Locker, we pride ourselves on our ability to collaborate effectively on major projects with a variety of stakeholders. We do so while consistently providing top-quality perforated metals, woven wire, expanded metals and a range of related products in a variety of configurations for architectural, industrial, mine and quarry use. To learn more about how our experienced team can support your next project with dependable, durable and visually impressive solutions, get in touch with us today.