Diadem 6 Commercial Bay

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Mark Janezki
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Mike Keen, Todd Dawson, Sung Chua, Ernest Vinarsky, Casey Kukolja, Paula Sparano, Brian Anderson, Brett Gosbell, Chris Oroszvary
  • Client
    Precinct Properties New Zealand Ltd

Commercial Bay is a new world-class retail precinct on Auckland’s waterfront, with wayfinding by Diadem to help people understand the precinct and its offerings.

The wayfinding strategy established makes it easy to navigate the complex development, which combines a mix of existing and new buildings, and connects the retail with the corporate offerings of the wider precinct. The resulting spaces in between buildings presented themselves as laneways, which not only service site circulation, but create the opportunity for laneway experiences. The laneway names, like Little Queen Street, help people understand the site and how it can be navigated. They reference the historical laneways uncovered by Diadem during the strategy stage.

The signage design aligns with the world-class standards of the architecture. Design cues, such as the chevron pattern on the floor, were reinterpreted into a lighting treatment embedded in the signage forms. Fluted glass, timber frames and steel supports combine to create a bespoke solution that carries the simple sign messages. The result is a beautifully crafted design response, which not only helps people navigate, but contributes to the aesthetics of the environment.

The project offered the opportunity to also tell a heritage narrative, repurposing timber and stone artefacts unearthed from the site during the excavation phase. Stone blocks and timber piles from the old sea wall, transformed into seating and a rustic wall onto which movies are projected, tell the rich Commercial Bay story and encouraging longer visitation.

A beautifully considered strategic design deserves nurturing through development and prototyping phases to achieve a high-end result; one that is more than expected retail signage. The results speak for themselves; highly crafted, tactile, and authentic expressions of Commercial Bay.