Paataka Place, the new retail and hospitality precinct at Middlemore Hospital

It’s bigger and brighter for Paataka Place, the new retail and hospitality precinct at Middlemore Hospital.

Paataka Place, the new retail and hospitality precinct at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital, has recently opened – much to the delight of patients, visitors and staff.  

Middlemore Hospital is one of New Zealand’s busiest hospitals and home to Australasia’s largest emergency department. The new retail and hospitality precinct offers a wide selection of places to shop and eat, as well as a gathering place for patients, their whaanau and hospital staff.

Counties Manukau Health engaged the specialist retail and hospitality design team at Ignite Architects to redevelop the food and beverage area in order to provide a more welcoming environment to visitors, staff, and patients.

“Ignite feel privileged to have been a part of the team that successfully delivered Paataka Place,” said Grant Armstrong, Director at Ignite Architects.

“We are passionate about using our design skills to create a health and wellbeing focused retail and hospitality environment for all of the South Auckland community to share in, providing a place of respite and delight within the greater hospital environment. We look forward to it being the place to be, and the commercial sustainability that this will ensure.”

Ignite’s design created a vibrant internal ‘street’, which introduces a direct connection to the neighbouring Edmund Hillary building, as well as improving pedestrian flow. It also provides strong commercial benefits to help support the precinct’s health and wellbeing focused retailers.

Paataka Place occupies a prime location beside the main hospital entrance, and features a new glazed ‘push-out’ façade. This adds natural light and allows the retail space to extend beyond the existing ground floor footprint.

As part of the project, the hospital pharmacy has moved and is now on Paataka Place. This makes it closer to the outpatient entrance and more convenient for users.

The Counties Manukau region is the most culturally diverse in New Zealand, so it was important to consider this in the design. The design team anchored the area with a whaanau lounge area, as well as visually referencing key cultural groups within the local community – Maaori and Pacific Islands, as well as Chinese and Indian.

The Accessible Consumer Council was consulted as part of the project, and places for different age groups and levels of mobility have been created. In keeping with the requirements of the environment, all materials are hard-wearing and easy to clean.

The design team ensured the redevelopment could be delivered with minimal disruption to hospital operations and without interruption to existing healthcare services. Where possible, existing surfaces were re-used and the design was developed to work within the existing infrastructure.