Little Creatures is the brainchild of long-time Ignite partner, Lion. Designed inside the historic Sunderland Hangar, the unique hospitality destination contains a microbrewery, dining hall, independent food & beverage tenancies, a family zone, and a cellar door where visitors can take away their own flagons of beer. Since its opening, Little Creatures has quickly become one of New Zealand's busiest hospitality venues.
Working with the client, the design team’s goal was to give customers a hospitality space they had never seen before, with each distinct space having its own unique character within the hangar.
“Little Creatures creates something special – a heritage building with a modern feel, a community venue, and a cool attraction. Designing it inside a repurposed seaplane hangar has been truly memorable.”
Completed in partnership with Cheshire Architects, the project has resulted in a successful re-occupation of an iconic military aviation hangar once threatened with demolition. The history of the building is woven into the design of Little Creatures in a way that supports its new functions. The redundant hangar doors were cut down and repurposed as zone dividers, and discarded hanger purlins were used for bar construction.
A carefully crafted mix of touch points were selected to feature within the hangar. The all-inclusive drinking and dining hall provides a welcoming space for the community to come together, while a family zone playground ensures that both young and old will be entertained within the space. At the heart of it all is the steely micro-brewery and beer operations; every detail of its operation open to the public - transparent, connected, and unpretentious.
All elements of the fit-out have been designed to support the brand story. Little Creatures, with its own heritage of celebrating the individual, now has a one-of-a-kind venue in Auckland that reflects its brand.
This project won a Gold Pin in the Repurposed category and a Bronze Pin in the Hospitality category at the 2019 Best Awards. It also won a Auckland Commercial Architecture Award at the 2020 NZIA awards.