Plastics business Sistema is renowned for its bold and innovative approach and that attitude has continued through to its new state-of-the-art facilities near Auckland International Airport.

On a 9.6ha site, the 52,000sq m building is one of the largest and most advanced manufacturing facilities in New Zealand, producing clever food storage solutions. The new facility has also enabled Sistema to consolidate all its operations from six buildings around Auckland under one roof, as well as serving as international headquarters for the company.

Designed by Woodhams Meikle Zhan Architects and built by Haydn & Rollett, the building is definitely big but it is also beautiful according to the judges of the prestigious Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards.

The Sistema manufacturing facility received the Rider Levett Bucknall Supreme Award, after being awarded the ‘Best in Category’ for the Yardi – Industrial Property Award.

Featuring a strong operational focus, the building’s design was lauded by chief judge Andrew Evans due to the attention given to all aspects of work flow, future flexibility, divisibility and expansion. H said. “I am also delighted to see the Supreme Award go to an industrial development that is pushing the boundaries in design and functionality, delivering the most significant industrial building in New Zealand.”

Mr Evans added, “The project is world-class and demonstrated a high level of consultation and collaboration between the design teams, builder and occupier.” 

Steel Roofing’s managing director Brent Botha says his team was not only involved in installing the flowing roof but also included in the design process, helping construction company Haydn & Rollett to streamline the roof concept  before the final design stage. 

He says this meant the client benefited from savings in time and money with a building programme that ran smoothly.

Steel Roofing used Maxispan in ColorCote  ZinaCore® X ‘Pacific White’ for the roof, while large parts of the building were clad in Multirib  ZinaCore® X Double Sided (also in ‘Pacific White’), both sourced from Roofing Industries. 

Paul Ross, of Roofing Industries, says the Maxispan high rib roofing provides better spanning with a low pitch and wide cover, which further reduced installation time. “And ColorCote  ZinaCore® X has outstanding colour and gloss retention and is ideal for industrial sites where there is a high risk of deterioration from corrosive elements in the environment,” Ross says.

“The combination of the two products resulted in a roofing and cladding system that combines strength and longevity with good looks.”

A curved façade reminiscent of the ‘Sistema blue clip’ greets visitors to the new building, which has 47,000sq m of manufacturing, storage and distribution space as well as 5000sq m of offices and ancillary rooms.

The two-level office building façade has aluminium joinery suites with tinted reflective glass and aluminium composite panel cladding.

The ground floor, with dark tinted glazing and black aluminium joinery, is visually recessive. In contrast, the first floor offices with reflective glazing and white aluminium composite panel cladding, appear to float as they are cantilevered over the ground floor. With curved/faceted corners, the first floor building form flows from end to the other.

The main entry to the office block is centrally located and signified by a wide, curved opening.

The main body of the building also has contrasting colours and materials,  being clad in pre-cast concrete panels with the Multirib cladding above. This arrangement is interrupted by full height pre-cast concrete portals painted in ‘Sistema Blue’ that are clearly numbered and break up the bulk of the building. Vertical groove lines at 1m intervals in the concrete wall panels establish a connection with the profile of the metal cladding above.

The structural grid design of the building was based on the size of the machinery it had to accommodate for the production line and gantry cranes.

A mixture of traditionally reinforced, fibre reinforced, combislab and post-tensioned concrete floors with epoxy coatings were used to meet the varying demands of the facility.

A double-pitched roof structure was used to achieve maximum building volume while staying within height restrictions.

Tapered steel portal frames with high gloss enamel paint were used to provide clear spans of 80m between columns. The portal structure in the production area allows for the use of gantry cranes that can be removed in future to allow this area to be used for storage and racking.

As well as catering for the practicalities of such a facility, the aim was also to create a sense of arrival for visitors. At reception, visitors can see the production floor through full height windows, and can be taken on a walking tour around the facility following a coloured walkway route. The layout of the route and the building means visitors are slowly introduced to the inner workings of the building: production lines, plant rooms, tool rooms and research and development stations.

The interior is all white with high gloss surfaces to create a sense of space, calm and cleanliness.


Woodhams Meikle Zhan Architects 

Since its launch in 2001, Woodhams Meikle Zhan Architects (WMZA) has grown to become one of the large architectural practices in New Zealand.  The firm specialises in the master planning and design of retail, commercial, industrial and large scale residential projects both in New Zealand and internationally.

With a diverse client base including property developers, corporate organisations, retailers and hospitality outlets, WMZA can also supply a complete turnkey operation: from initial bulk and location schematics to the final interior design package. The practice has its own interiors division, with experience across retail, hospitality and workplaces.

Woodhams Meikle Zhan Architects

Auckland  and Christchurch

Ak Telephone: 09 377 5215


Building Contractor:

Haydn & Rollett 


Telephone: 09 444 7379 


Roofing Manufacturer:

Roofing Industries Ltd. 

Telephone: 09 414 4585



0.55g Maxispan ZinaCore® X 

in ColorCote ‘Pacific White’.


0.40g Multirib ZinaCore® X

Double Sided in ‘Pacific White’.

Roofing and cladding installer:

Steel Roofing Ltd.

Telephone: 09 415 8060