All buildings no matter how recent or old have a history behind them. The Warkworth Countdown Supermarket is a recent addition to the townscape. Completed in late 2012, the building was designed by architectural firm ASC Architects in 2011 for the Countdown chain. The firm notes on their website that one of the challenges in the design of the new building was centred around the need for the design to reflect the intimate small scale character of Warkworth township, and at the same time fit a large scale construction into the townscape. The solution was for a small scale retail building placed in front of the larger supermarket structure, that assisted in obscuring the service entrances. The building is recessed on two street frontages.
Construction of the new building was announced by Progressive Enterprises in 2010 in a media release to the public. Working drawings were made a available while consultation with the residents of Warkworth was sought.
"The store was designed to be empathetic with the Warkworth town centre. It will provide under croft parking, include additional specialty retail shops, and enhance pedestrian traffic by "connecting" the supermarket and town centre"
Media Release Progressive Enterprises Ltd
Retrieved 21 August 2013
Construction began in October of 2011. Progressive Enterprises contracted the construction project out to Aspec Construction, a company with operations in both Auckland and Wellington.
Image credit Progressive Enterprises Ltd
The new Warkworth Countdown Store was officially opened on 17 October 2012, by Auckland Councillor Penny Webster.
In May of 2013 the building was included in the NZ Finest Developments as an awards submission finalist in the RCG Retail Property category where it gained a merit.
The awards submission describes the 4000 square metre Countdown Warkworth supermarket and ancillary retail development as "a challenging and contentious project . . . fraught with significant planning, legal, trade competition and site specific hurdles".
The result was a high quality urban design outcome.
Constructed in concrete, zinc and glass, the Warkworth Countdown is a premium bulk retail development and a "game changing" proposition in sensitive central business district environments, the submission says.
The building challenges the traditional way in which supermarket and bulk retail developments are built, through use of a retail sleeve and modulation to allow it to fit in its environment.
"Land Mark buildings up for awards"
Rodney Times 30 May 2013
Retrieved 21 August 2013