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Auckland International Airport’s departure area takes top honour at retail design awards

If you’ve recently taken a stroll through Auckland International Airport’s departure lounge you’d struggle to not to be impressed by the revamp. The spruce up seems to have caught the eyes of judges at the recent Red Retail Design Awards too, with the international departure area named Supreme Winner.

If you’ve recently taken a stroll through Auckland International Airport’s departure lounge you’d struggle to not to be impressed by the revamp. The spruce up seems to have caught the eyes of judges at the recent Red Retail Design Awards too, with the international departure area named Supreme Winner. 

The Awards, which promote excellence in retail design, received over 50 entries across categories this year, including a record number of international entries. 

The airport’s departure area has been extensively remodelled to enhance the overall passenger experience and features the iconic Pou Manawa fabric tree at the heart of the area. 

“Our international terminal area has seen a lot of positive design changes recently,” says Adrian Littlewood, Auckland Airport's general manager for retail & commercial. “We have been working very hard to create a unique environment that offers our passengers a first-class travel experience and still subtly reflects New Zealand design.” 

The area was designed by Adrian Nancekivell & Ignite Architects and shopfitted by Furniture Lab. 

The judges commented: 

“While there were so many high calibre entries this year, the Judges felt this entry reached beyond through innovation and risk taking culminating in a uniquely New Zealand retail experience. It showed the potential of retail design led ethos seamlessly integrated into a multidisciplinary approach – cultural values and stories told with cutting edge design on a critical international stage. The challenge in planning retail environments to integrate multiple retail categories, in a relatively small space—is massive. This design delivers a well planned and executed experience that we can all be proud of when leaving our country or returning home.” 

The other big winner on the night was Gascoigne Associates who took home seven out of the total of 18 awards categories, bringing their awards haul for the last three years to 23. 

Gascoigne’s numerous wins came for its work on the Glassons flagship store in Newmarket, the Cocoro Restaurant and Auckland’s Telecom concept store. 

The Glassons store won the ‘Apparel’ Award along with the overall Group Award in the ‘Personal Category’. In addition it scooped the sponsor’s Flooring Award. 

The judges said: 

“The international standards in fashion retail design have not only been met, but exceeded with this design and the innovation and attention to detail across so many areas is already apparent and has resulted in an uplifting brand experience.” 

Cocoro Restaurant took out both the Restaurant and Bar Category along with the overall Group Award for the ‘Nourishment Category’ as well as a sponsor award for best shop front. 

“We felt Cocoro’s design complimented the buildings architectural features exceptionally well to create contemporary, relaxed spaces. The shop front is an impressive introduction to the experience inside – reflecting a consistency with the design and clever execution of the brand elements,” said the judges. 

The international award went to the Element Collective store, designed by Richard Stanton—Prospace and shopfitted by MP Group Shopfitters. 

The student nod went to Joanna Shyu from AUT for her Moochi Refinery project. Judges called it a “very well planned and presented concept. The clever integration of designers area and café to extend the mix, adding theatre to the retail experience and maximizing the square footage”. 

You can check out the remaining winners HERE.

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