IRONBANK was commisioned in 2003 and following a lengthy planning process construction commenced early 2007. The project was commended in the Mixed Use category of the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards in 2008. IRONBANK is a 9600m sq. m commercial office building with retail at street level. It comprises: commercial office, retail (15%), plaza and car parking. It contains 95 car parks accommodated in a computerized trans-elevator car stacking machine below street level. The building is Ecologically Sustainably Designed (ESD). Accreditation for a 5 Green Star As-Built rating is currently being assessed by the New Zealand Green Building Council. The building has been designed to provide 35 small scale working tenancies (100- 350m sq) combined at street level with retail tenancies, urban space and through site linkages to foster a sustainable communal working environment. CONTEXT The building is located in the Karangahape Road precinct, a unique and historic area on the edge of Auckland’s CBD. The precinct is currently in a state of renewal after a long period of neglect. The front of the site addresses the high street which is dominated by a rich mixture of Victorian and Edwardian vintage buildings. Most of these buildings have fallen into varying states of disrepair over recent decades. A strong contrast belies the urban condition of this high street against the parallel service street to the rear of the site. The back street is primarily a service lane and has remained largely undeveloped and unplanned through its evolution. Its streetscape is therefore architecturally unconsidered and haphazard in its appearance. There is a one storey level difference between the high street and the service street. BUILDING The building is conceived as a manifestation of a cross contamination of the two contrasting street conditions. The high street being concerned with notions of presentation, display, etiquette and heritage, while the service lane being concerned with servicing, delivery, disorder and utility. The building has taken the opportunity to address a transition between these two street conditions. The building is contained at the high street boundary by a screen concealing the site’s interior. This screen has been considered as an abstraction of the historical facades immediately adjacent. Behind the screen the building comprises 5 towers of erratically stacked ‘boxes’ arranged around a plaza and a through site pedestrian link. In a gesture to the finely scaled historical neighbourhood, we have sought to fragment the building form to alleviate the potential mass associated with a medium sized office building. Hence, 5 towers are further fragmented vertically to articulate the composition of stacked office spaces gathered into a socially sustainable working community. ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE DESIGN The towers have a ventilated rain-screen façade clad in weathering steel. The screen to the high street is constructed n GRC (glass reinforced concrete). The balance of the building is a combination of steel frame pre-cast and in-situ concrete. There are no external coatings to the building’s claddings. The building is entirely naturally ventilated. Low-e glass, night purging, solar water heating, minimal PVC content, rainwater harvesting, low energy light fittings, exposed thermal mass and mechanical car stacking are among some of the ESD initiatives incorporated into this building.