A key step in the master plan for Auckland International Airport, Ignite’s domestic terminal redesign successfully balanced the need for a better user experience with a cost efficient, medium-term solution.





Auckland, New Zealand


Aviation . Commercial . Retail . Hospitality


The existing domestic terminal was set to be integrated with the larger international terminal within 10 years, so Ignite’s brief was to deliver an interim solution that would improve the commuting experience for airport users, without overcapitalising.


Ignite acted as lead consultant for this project, which included an extensive range of improvements to the site.

At the front forecourt a redesign of the pick-up / drop-off facilities, including streamlining of bus and taxi lanes, alleviated traffic congestion. New canopies also created a more pleasant experience for commuters transitioning between vehicles and the airport.

Inside the terminal, the redesign improved passenger flows and relieved bottlenecks in critical areas such as baggage reclaim and aviation security. A major upgrade to the regional departures lounge created more space for travellers and improved access to retail facilities and baggage retrieval carousels.

Airside, the upgrade provided a significant extension to the passenger lounge, an improved outlook and better retail facilities and toilet blocks.


Prior to completing this project, Ignite had successfully delivered a major upgrade to the airside retail facilities within the international terminal, as well as Emirates Lounges in both Auckland and Perth.

This proven ability to work within a highly sensitive, high security environment, along with an established working relationship with the client’s in-house teams, gave Auckland International Airport additional confidence in the solution Ignite proposed.


With numerous stakeholders – including the client, AVSEC and two competing airlines – and a highly sensitive working environment, strong and collaborative working relationships were vital to the success of the project. As lead consultant, Ignite’s project architect was seconded to the site on a full-time basis for the duration of the construction.

Working around a live airport, the design solution had to anticipate and solve any operational issues well in advance of construction. In many cases parts of the existing building were retained while new areas were constructed, with the original spaces decommissioned later. In the case of the upper-level airside lounge, the need to retain access to the ground floor directly beneath created a design opportunity that saw the new space designed as a levitating form.

Designing for a site comprised of 14 buildings, developed over a number of years, meant ensuring the design solution created a neat interface between old and new facilities. In addition, Auckland International Airport’s design guidelines needed to be carefully adhered to, to ensure the resulting space met the overall brand standard.

The high security nature of the environment meant a close working relationship with the Airport’s AVSEC team was particularly critical. All airside visitors had to be security cleared, and all materials and building components had to be delivered through the security gate.


With an intended lifespan of less than a decade, cost efficiencies were a critical component of the brief.

To ensure the proposed design solution would not overcapitalise on the space, materials were re-used wherever possible and a limited palette was adopted.

Testament to the team’s success, the project came in $4 million under budget.