Te Awa Shopping Centre at The Base


Te Awa is an iconic shopping destination, a community meeting place and a showcase of Tainui identity.

Spanning four hectares, Te Awa Shopping Centre is a significant retail development for the city of Hamilton. Part of the wider The Base retail precinct, it has a gross leasable floor area of nearly 30,000sqm and accommodates major retailers, boutique stores, eateries and cinemas.

Te Awa’s design brings together the unique culture of its owner, Tainui Group Holdings, and leading-edge building technologies. Balancing these inputs required a highly collaborative relationship between Tainui and the design team. The result is a modern facility with an authentic sense of place, which challenges traditional mall typology.

Inside the building an internal street, covered by single-span steel structural ribs and an ETFE roof, forms Te Awa’s main spine. This street spills out to the exterior entrance plazas, maintaining a seamless pedestrian flow and connection to the large format retail stores on the rest of the site.

Busy Te Rapa Road, which runs along one border of the centre, was an important consideration in the architectural design. By varying form and scale, detail, rhythm, materiality and landscaping, the design provides a human scale at pavement level and a civic scale for motorists and passers-by.