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The Showcase

A retail showcase designed, consented and delivered in nine weeks

Project Snapshot

Client: Cooper and Company
Brief: Make and install a removable retail precinct in downtown Auckland
Key Challenge: Design, consent and delivery within a strict five-month time frame
Contract Range: $3 - $4m
Time Frame: 5 months
Manufacture and Installation: 9 weeks
Architect: Assembly Architecture


The Showcase forms part of the upmarket retail precinct, the Pavilions, located in Britomart, Auckland. Cooper and Company, developers of Britomart, engaged Cheshire Architects to complete the concept design for a building to house four prestigious retailers. The project had an ambitious deadline – five months from design to completion – in order to be ready in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. With the site earmarked for a large commercial development, the brief was to build a temporary structure that could be economically assembled and disassembled.

Once manufacture was underway, the highly coordinated relationship between project architects, Assembly Architecture, and the wider consultant and contractor teams was integral to delivering a quality result within the remaining three month time frame.

The building’s various elements were broken down into three systems to allow for parallel development – structure, envelope and external cladding – all of which was primarily prefabricated. Site work was reduced largely to bolting elements together.

The Showcase is made from structural steel clad with purpose-designed perforated black aluminium panels. At night the building glows like a lantern, lit from within by over 1200 linear metres of LED lighting.

The Showcase was built in an impressive nine weeks. A lot of thought went into the logistics of building in the central city to minimise materials deliveries and street closures. Our team worked weekends and nights and were commended by nearby tenants for their consideration and proactive approach.

From Cheshire Architects:

“This is a thousand square meter project that was designed, developed, leased, documented and consented within three months. It was constructed in only nine weeks. To deliver a project of this delicacy and precision within these time frames required a highly coordinated relationship between the designers at Cheshire Architects and the architects of record, Assembly. More importantly, that coordination had to extend into the wider consultant and construction teams, and particular modular building experts Stanley construction.”

The Showcase is an excellent display of the potential of offsite manufacture. The need for rapid construction did not affect our ability to deliver on a highly bespoke design where almost every construction detail was customised for the project.

Awards for the Showcase:

  • 2012 NZIA Auckland Architecture Award

  • 2012 Best Awards: Silver

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