Centres that represent Invercargill & Southland as a cultural symbol & brand

Let’s build an iconic & functional facility.

  1. Increase Invercargill and Southland’s capacity to function as a localised economy
  2. Influence the commericial building plans so they have boutique & affordable spaces in them
  3. Encourage the development of a shopping centre that represents Invercargill & Southland as a cultural symbol & brand.

Imagine Invercargill city as a luring place with strong cultural and natural references; showing our identity through symbols & motif displays, including an entryway with the feel of a Maori meeting house from Tay street, and clear polycarbonate roofing that lets light in and allows natural heating from the sun. The interior walls, ceilings & features and exterior building faces can show contemporary art, Maori design elements / motifs, including flax references.

We can offer naturally lit interior arcade areas, amenity seating, water elements / ponds, vertical gardens, and waterfalls. Retail, office and apartment precincts, several small food halls, hire-able spaces, green roof gardens, and support for sustainable energy – exhibiting solar panels & a couple of novelty wind turbines. Invercargill city can show our value for fresh ideas & engineering, with an Innovation Centre for visitors alongside iSite.

By exhibiting locally grown wood, weaved flax panels (crafted from Aluminium), and the culmination of other references to where our City & the greater Southland district want to go, we will be building a unique & dynamic attraction for our local people, visitors & those who wish to join our community.


To proceed from here, Invercargill City is best to begin re-examining the work done – a site plan, news articles, proposals submitted, information from interested parties, and public commentaries. We are currently in a situation for Invercargill’s city centre, where we have demolished all the eggs before the chickens have hatched. The approach of removing everything before replacing anything makes the project highly dependent on assumptions of continuity.

Offering a staggered approach, bit by bit, modular format, means that there would always be useable spaces, something workable. Even if work stops, our people can continue generating income too; with inner city momentum. If the buildings are commissioned and completed in stages, then the project can be built progressively when economic challenges arise to avoid disaster. What has been done to date still presents an opportunity for a healthy clean up, but is most certainly an approach to avoid using in future.

As we consider our way forward, we should look at staying away from architecture that has high roofs, or high floors (long columns). If buildings and structures are going to impinge on open sun space for others, then they had better be worth it!

An architectural spectacularly high roof has traditionally been a statement in spacial greed and lack of consideration for others. In the coming era, the concept of “town centres” is to change. Why have a highly concentrated single centre?! Is this all about ‘prestige of location, location, location? Inverargill is currently looking to build an empty location with few confirmed occupants.

What we should do is build a vocation, vacation, view, education, and recreation! Invercargill’s town centre needs to be ‘the place to be’ for everybody, not a replica 1990s shopping mall complex. Our urban environment and surrounding areas can be significantly improved, with more open and green spaces, less rushed transport systems, and methods of personal perambulation [walking around/surveying land/touring].