On the isthmus of the Iwi
Panmure Interchange is located in the southern suburbs of Auckland, the seaside city famous for its international regattas built on a strip of land between the Gulf of Hauraki and the natural harbour of Manukau, in the North of New Zealand.
Designed by the New Zealand firm Opus Architecture, Panmure Interchange is an excellent example of participatory urban design which has engaged users and the local community in a project to improve and integrate the public transport system.
With a budget of 17.5 million dollars, the station at Panmure handles around 2,000 passengers a day and is one of the busiest in the region. The new interchange between trains and the high-frequency bus service, inaugurated in January 2015, was the starting point for the development of improved connections to the city’s eastern suburbs aimed at improving commuters’ journeys. The interchange features a variety of infrastructures, including new roads, bridges and a tunnel. The urban design required a multidisciplinary approach employing integrated technologies, and posed a highly stimulating challenge to the team at Opus Architecture.
Thanks to the involvement of the local community, the interchange respects the spirit of Panmure, an area which in past centuries was one of the largest Maori settlements in the Auckland peninsula dominated by the low volcanic peak of Maungarei / Mount Wellington. As a homage to the area’s history and culture, the station’s design is based on transparency, leading the gaze out towards the green cone of the extinct volcano. The cone of the volcano is also reflected in the shape of the roof and in the two translucent, green entrance blocks, which symbolise the underground world. Finally, basalt has been used extensively to dialogue with the volcanic rock that occurs abundantly at the location.
The design consists of a new central pedestrian court connected to both sides of the tracks, as well as two lifts, escalators to both platforms and four stairways at the main access points. The building was designed to withstand the windy, oceanic conditions of its location using high-quality materials such as wood, stainless steel and heavy-duty glass. Laminam’s Filo ceramic panels (in the Ghisa colour) are used to enhance the building’s glazed façades, creating separated volumes which point to, while concealing, the functional structures like the entrance, ticket office and washrooms.
The building, with its roof that opens like a compass towards key features of the landscape, has quickly become not just a shelter for commuters, but a symbol of new times on the isthmus of Iwi — a word that in the Maori language signifies the various tribes that together form a people, a nation.
Laminam, Filo series
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,1%
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): 50
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant