Novotel Auckland Airport – New Zealand Hotel Building

Novotel Auckland International Airport, New Zealand Hotel Building, Picture

Novotel Auckland Airport : Hotel

Accommodation in New Zealand – design by Warren and Mahoney, architects

18 Aug 2011

Novotel Hotel Auckland International Airport

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Architect: Warren and Mahoney

Photographs: Simon Devitt – Simon Devitt Photography

The brief for ACCOR Hospitality’s new twelve level, 4 star, 263-key Novotel hotel at Auckland International Airport called for a significant new landmark with an unmistakably ‘New Zealand’ identity.

Novotel Hotel Auckland Airport
photo © Simon Devitt

The design of the hotel is based on four principles.

– International Presence – A hotel for New Zealand. Acknowledging our presence as a global destination.

– Encounter – Culture, People and Landscape – Expressing the openness and diversity of New Zealand’s people and natural environment

– Building an Experience – Creating an environment that provides a first insight into the essential qualities of New Zealand and its people

– Making a Memory – A lasting, complete hospitality experience of a first and last encounter with New Zealand

Narratives of journeys both old and new, the Manukau Harbour, New Zealand, its people, culture and landscape are boldly and subtly infused in the hotel’s design. Bold angular hewn colonnade columns inspired by Aramoana – a Maori cultural taniko pattern symbolising the Tainui waka’s (sailing vessel) path through the sea taken from Hawaiki and Arorangi in Rarotonga – to living walls, offers travellers an immediate encounter with New Zealand’s diverse indigenous natural landscape.


Part of the New Zealand experience is the close encounter with nature. Surrounding the hotel is a New Zealand-inspired landscape. Regional volcanic basalt paved surfaces contrasted by lush indigenous coastal planting affirms one’s location in the world. Passing under the boughs of the Pohutakawa blossom, travellers experience a unique, distinctly New Zealand encounter and reminiscence from the landfall of the first waka near the hotel site.

Moving into the hotel, visitors are greeted from personalised greeting ‘pods’ affirming the renowned open hospitality of New Zealand’s people. The open spaces of reception, bar, dining and lounge blend, allowing engagement at various scales without formality. Volumes vary in both plan and section throughout the ground floor to create moments of intimacy in an otherwise public forum.

In a typical New Zealand condition, expansive glazing to the north-west elevation blurs the definition of external and internal space, allowing landscape to contribute to the space within, and create an immediate encounter with the indigenous natural environment.


Motifs symbolising the abundance of New Zealand’s natural habitats from indigenous plant, marine and bird life including the waves of the Manukau Harbour through to currents and waters of the Waikato River are infused within ceilings, steel and glass screens, and fabrics.


Opportunities for encounter between travellers to share experiences and memories of New Zealand inform the open and varied hospitality zones within the arrival level. The private and communal dining, the open lounge, intimate booth and touch down seating, all contribute to the complete hospitality experience.


New Zealand is renowned for its natural beauty and natural untouched environment and as such, sustainable design is a core value that is both tangible and infused in the design. From sustainably managed New Zealand indigenous timbers to low energy fittings, stewardship and integrity is evident throughout.


From building to furnishings, collaboration between renowned and emerging New Zealand furniture designers and products capture the unique character of this country. Each collaborator was selected for their open and direct understanding of the diverse culture, environment and materials of this country.

Visitors to the hotel see something of New Zealand and its people embedded in the fabric of the building itself; in its materiality and in its directness. Although the building is simple in form, it is layered in a subtle way according to the needs of the guest. Not everything is given over all at once; each function is subtly veiled one from the other without creating unnecessary complexity. The result is a sequence of spaces that serve a wide variety of needs.

Novotel Hotel Auckland International Airport
photo © Simon Devitt

Novotel Hotel Auckland International Airport images / information from FD

Address: Auckland International Airport, Ray Emery drive, 2022 AUCKLAND NEW ZEALAND

Contact: Tel (+64)9/2577200

To see all listed projects on a single map please follow this link.

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Christchurch Airport Building
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Novotel Hotel Auckland International Airport – page