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Urban renaissance: Auckland is growing up

Photo credit Custom Lane/Facebook

Modelling the success of grown up cities such as Melbourne and San Francisco, Auckland now boasts a new destination laneway, manifesting the city’s continued urban rejuvenation as the population grows.

Custom Lane has been created to project everything we love about urban living: creativity, choice, vibrancy and a sense of belonging to an increasingly sophisticated and maturing cosmopolis.

The new laneway follows the major multi-million-dollar revamp of Grand Mercure Auckland.  The hotel’s  appeal is supplemented by its accessibility to the drumming city life literally beneath guests’ feet.

Inspired by the urban renaissance of city laneways, Custom Lane displays a strong connection to the history of the city, evoking a sense of discovery and adventure within the design elements of evocative street art.

Grand Mercure Auckland has commissioned internationally renowned artist Owen Dippie who has designed a piece of artwork on Custom Lane’s 25 metre wall. Dippie’s accustomed to painting large-scale pieces, his arguably most-viewed outdoor piece is his three-storey high portrait of Tania Cotter on Auckland’s southern motorway.

Dippie’s artwork for Custom Lane is based on his tiki to represent his distinctive style and also as a tribute to this country.

“Over the years this tiki has taken many shapes and forms and has in-turn become something unmistakably Aotearoa. After being approached by the Grand Mercure, hearing their thoughts and seeing the space I knew this would be the perfect fit.” Dippie says.

The artwork is flanked by a live wall, reflective of the enduring need to incorporate greenery into our immediate surroundings as our concrete jungles spread their boundaries to cater for the light-speed pace of modern living and inevitable metropolitan expansion.

A dynamic and changing alfresco social dining philosophy reigns supreme, where Doornut doughnuts and premium coffee offerings of the morning rush are converted to the latest cocktail craze and nibbles, seamlessly shifting city dwellers into their evening social engagements after work.

Grand Mercure Auckland’s General Manager Zac Lumsden says, “perfectly nestled within the public thoroughfares, Custom Lane reflects the new strategy with which AccorHotels is approaching the booming tourism and accommodation sectors in New Zealand.”

“Auckland hosted more than a million people just over the Summer period, demonstrating unprecedented interest in our city and cementing it as a national and international tourist destination. We expect this interest and visitor numbers to keep growing.”

“Our local population has also evolved along with the city and has become savvier by the day, no longer looking for just good food and drink, but new and thrilling experiences packaged all into one. People don’t just want to walk into the same bar every day, order the same drink and sit at the same table.”

“Custom Lane’s alfresco nature reflects people’s changing needs throughout the day. What you need in the morning to get you started for the day is totally different from what you crave in the evening when you’ve just knocked off work. That is the lens through which we looked, when developing Custom Lane. ”

“Our wider strategy is to service this dynamic market by looking beyond bricks and mortar, and to create experiences that people remember along their journey. This means being versatile and adaptable to our different consumer segment demands, delivering the fundamental products and then going above and beyond to create memories that will have people wanting to revisit those positive feelings by coming back.”