Papamoa Plaza services a population of over 20,000 residents and is Tauranga’s largest suburb. The redesign and extension of Papamoa Plaza elevates the retail offering in the region through the relocated food court, six new speciality retail tenancies, a dining area, new shopper amenities, and an upgraded entrance façade and external plaza.
The Papamoa Plaza redesign and extension was delivered by Ignites Master planning and Retail teams over two stages, completed in 2015 and 2016. Papamoa Plaza was named winner of the hospitality and retail category of the 2017 Waikato and Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards.
The design draws inspiration from the nearby beach and sand dunes. A vision of decking and tussock dunes, rustic and natural timber forms and nautical elements like mooring ropes and strategically-placed sea green and aqua wall tiles have created the coastal theme. As a nod to the local area, the regional colours of yellow and blue are included. The undulating nature of sand dunes is reflected in the external roof canopy of copper aluminium, offset by dark steel structure.
Along with providing a design statement, each of the main entry points to the Plaza are now clearly defined. Full-height glazing floods the new food court area with natural light. The new multi-purpose outdoor area leads directly off the food court. This is designed to provide a space for the community to gather, attend events and entertainment – or simply enjoy dining outdoors. An undulating artificial turf zone offers a space for children to play. Colourful stepping stones, in Bay of Plenty blue, provide options for exploring or sitting. A concrete and timber amphitheatre anchors the space reflecting the nautical inspiration.
Four bespoke lighting statements of copper-colour perforated steel ‘seagulls’ – are strategically hung along the centre of the food court. Feature lighting has been added to the existing interior thoroughfare to provide a point of interest, as well as subtly direct foot-traffic past the retail tenancies and toward the food court. This series of aluminium, angular lengths are inset with LED light panels, which are positioned at different lengths to create the idea of organic movement.
The refurbishment was enthusiastically supported by retailers, with investment in new fitouts brought forward to coincide with the refurbishment, while demand for space in the new extension exceeded demand at the time of opening.