One of three winning projects chosen by judges for the FCSI APD Project Excellence initiative, Francis Loughran FCSI's Commercial Bay project was praised for its open and innovative approach

Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Consultant: Francis Loughran FCSI

Company: Future Food

Score: 97/100


About FCSI APD Project Excellence

In 2021, FCSI Asia Pacific Division announced the launch of its inaugural Project Excellence initiative, which saw expert, independent judges rating outstanding projects recently completed by Professional members from the region. Three worthy winners were picked. One of which you can read about below, while links to the other two can be found at the bottom of this story. A print supplement dedicated to the initiative can also be found, here.



Made up of grade-A offices, a luxury hotel, retail stores and food and hospitality destinations, Commercial Bay is the newest mixed-use development in New Zealand’s capital city. Built at a cost of NZ$450m it brings together a state- of-the-art commercial space, public transport, international quality retail, public spaces and world-class hospitality environments, as well as striking urban design.

Francis Loughran FCSI and the team at Future Food were engaged for the entire process of the project – from initial master planning to post opening and sales review.

The brief included food and design master planning for food precincts, including review of architectural plans and making recommendations relating to form and functionality, compile and provide a business case for all F&B offerings through liaison with all stakeholders in the project team and consider usages and menus for all aspects of the foodservice operation.

International restaurant brands

An open and innovative approach to a project of this size brought in several new initiatives, among them the establishment of an incubation hub for first-time food operators and concepts. The Commercial Bay food hall, meanwhile is the first in Auckland to offer more than 30 different cuisine choices and the Future Food team was successful in securing international restaurant brands to take a space in the development.

The team had to plan for foodservice during construction and established a rotating food truck park and pop-ups for people working on site. Securing new-to-market food operators in a small country is a challenge, but one that Loughran and his team rose to. And the unique challenges provided by a global pandemic meant the project faced a vastly reduced labor pool with few international arrivals.

As an operation Commercial Bay has a rigorous sustainability program – the team implemented a full compostable packaging strategy for all food and beverage operators while working with Auckland City Council on its food waste management program.

Since opening Commercial Bay has been named the 2021 Auckland Architecture Awards Winner. Among the judges Jim Smith praised the team’s efforts: “They faced a unique challenge in meeting high expectancies from stakeholders, including working with and delivering a joint sustainability strategy. High-quality fit out in customer areas.

Further details:

The FCSI APD Project Excellence supplement, containing information on the judging criteria, judges and submitted projects, can be viewed here.

Winner’s story: Royal Brunei Catering

Winner’s story: Melbourne Park Redevelopment

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