Fisher & Paykel opens luxury Auckland Experience Centre in Aotearoa New Zealand
Last week the Resident team toured Fisher & Paykel’s new Experience Centre in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The Centre has been designed to reflect Fisher & Paykel’s uniquely ‘Designed in Aotearoa New Zealand’ identity and philosophy.
Created in partnership with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, kaitiaki of Tāmaki Makaurau, its luxury kitchens and experience spaces – designed for hosting as well as demonstration – take their place in a sequence of elemental sculptures and a materiality that connects the luxury appliance company’s products to its place of origin. It is a place to “inspire bespoke architecture, kitchen perfection, and the life lived in the heart of the home”, says Mark Elmore, Fisher & Paykel’s VP of Design & Brand. From the rammed-earth and black-sand-infused plaster walls to the 700-year-old wind-felled tōtara flooring and basalt upon which Auckland is built, every element within the Auckland Experience Centre has been thoughtfully selected in collaboration with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei to emphasise connection to place.
The building interior is a carefully orchestrated sequence of sculptural moments and luxury spaces. The threshold’s six-ton basalt sculpture – a contemporary expression of Tumutumuwhenua, recognised as one of the primal parents of the Ngāti Whātua peoples – has a carved bowl filled with fresh water that rises and falls in sync with the tides of the Waitematā. A massive log of 4,000-year-old swamp kauri, split lengthwise to reveal its naturally carved centre, represents Kāwharu, the ‘Kaipara Giant’, who is associated with the Great North Road ridgeline – Te Rae o Kāwharu, or the ‘brow of Kāwharu’ – where the experience centre is located.