Working closely with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and a specialist project team, Ignite has helped to design and deliver two new world-class sound stages for Auckland Film Studios.
Gifted the name 'Te Pūtahi', meaning to join and intersect, the two stages are located within West Auckland’s extensive network of film production facilities, impressively sized at 2000m2 each.
Intricate design and technical aspects of the project were realised with the collaboration of a specialist team, with Ignite appointed as lead consultant. The team dynamic was key during both the design and construction stages, mitigating site constraints, a tight programme between filming seasons, and the complexities of sourcing specialised components from overseas during the pandemic.
The stages have achieved a Noise Criterion rating below NC-20 and are intrinsically designed for optimised acoustics. This consideration was critical due to the site’s urban position –adjacent to Auckland’s western rail line - subsequently providing occupants with an outstanding filming experience.
In addition to high acoustic standards, other considerations included purpose-designed roof trusses capable of supporting a 20,000 kg load, and advanced mechanical systems for theatrical smoke removal.
Distinct in scale and capability, the sound stages are unique in being the only Green Star rated film studios in New Zealand. Meeting the 4 Green Star Design and As-Built NZ v1.0 certified rating, the project has met best practice sustainability benchmarks. Such initiatives include concrete and steel materials with a high percentage of recycled content, responsible site waste management and sustainable product selections.
The sound stages have a digital twin, capable of producing building management functions for future operations, maintenance and works. This can also be used by production teams, allowing set design to take place within the BIM model before occupancy.
Local iwi, Te Kawerau-a-Maki, gifted the sound stages their name Te Pūtahi, meaning to join, meet, and intersect, therefore cited as an appropriate name for the stages, extending a cultural connection between the property and the community.
The sound stage’s position not only influences New Zealand’s film industry – but prosperity in the local community too. The development is expected to deliver hundreds more high-skilled screen production jobs and support the region’s wide-ranging screen production businesses.