February 14, 2012



Architects: RTA Studio
Completed: 2009
Location: Karangahape Road

Ironbank - Shag It or Bag It?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

What do you think of the Ironbank building ?  Let us know in the comments below.



  1. Sarah

    Such a great place to explore, worth a shag. As with all corten steel buildings i wonder about rust flowing over the grounds around it with rain – perhaps i dont understand the material…

  2. NS

    Shagged. All in all a superb building. But … critique.

    Ironbank is the building all AKL architects, planners and designers desperately want to be great. NZIA commercial award, NZIA sustainable award, NZIA urban design award. The building is over the top and it is greatly over hyped.

    Commercial – Completed in 2009 and yet to be fully tenanted.

    Sustainable – Doesn’t require AC… wow revolutionary… ? A car stacker… fancy… ?

    Urban Design – Lane/physical connection through to cross street – whatever. Entries to the throughway feels private, few enter. Next to zero activity in the sunless drafty courtyard. Minimal successful ‘reinvigoration’ of cross street as touted. The ‘scale & grain’ chunky patterned facade lacks longevity – a fashionable facade which will appear regrettable in a few yrs.

    A great piece of architecture – just don’t let the corten overwhelm you.

  3. Fleur McCabe

    I love the cladding, there is a visual softness to it, like suede, that is needed to counter the hard edged angularness. The tumbling blocks format is jarring to me, but I can still see it’s architectural beauty. I wouldn’t worry about ‘run-off’, iron comes from the earth anyway, what could be more harmonious than the cladding slowly dripping back to that from which it came.

  4. ST

    It is not a ‘sustainable’ building by any means. Corten steel has only a lifespan of 50 years, which is expected for most building materials but is a reality judging by historic overseas uses. It is also works as a double facade system, meaning the rain barrier under the Corten could exist as a facade on its own with no need for all the extra material. All that Corten must be worth a lot of embodied energy and cost, all just for decoration.

    It received its awards for green design- not fit out- and some of my friends who now rent space in the building have expressed an urgent need for air conditioning. And to not include living spaces in mixed use projects means the whole thing sits empty and locked up over night is a waste of space in a dense area. It could have been more of a success in terms of being able to lease, like Site 3, if residential was a component. It is a very nice looking building, but is also green washing at its very best.

  5. A

    Great building…..in short…like others..in detail there are questions to be asked…The K rd elevation leaves me bored…the drafty connection to cross st is not successful and I agree with others re the Green assertions…..all in all time will tell.

  6. Bain Duigan

    It’s sophisticated and the construction was fascinating to watch, but the smallish floorplate of each cube and no air-con just wont rent commercially very easily. However they would make cool apartments, many with balconies. I SAY CONVERT! (half the people in Auckland think they are apartments anyway…
    (also only 1 x loo per unit opening into the middle of the space is a bit basic/yuk for an office, further detracting from their commercial appeal)

  7. wd

    not sure which is praise (shag or bag) but love the building in particular the courtyard. As yet the only other part we have enjoyed is the cafe on the corner on k road so cant comment on interiors.

  8. Jeff W

    A proverbial curate’s egg of a building – good in parts. The board-marked concrete on Cross St is very fine. The jumble of weathering steel matchboxes look great but the structural jiggery-pokery (technical term) used to hold up this arrangement is pretty silly. The white tetris-like K Rd facade appears to have come from another game altogether. Agree with others that an apartment here would be stunning!

  9. BW

    The St Andrew’s Beach house by Nonda Katsalidis and it’s use of corten steel addresses the site’s corrosive environment and is just sublime. With that seminal example of 1991 in mind, I dont understand the form and use of materials of the Iron bank. It is successful in not adding another large rectangular cuboid to the city-scape. Perhaps there is a designer’s comment on the multiple titles occupying one site. But the forms remind me of child-like block arrangment… is that sophisticated arrangment for a building of that size? I’m sure its water-tight and the interiors are lovely but for me its the Bag.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *