Kowtow Opens Their First Auckland Store - Exploring an Atmosphere of Simplicity and Warmth

Photography by Simon Wilson

The Newmarket store designed by Rufus Knight is an extension of Kowtow’s customer focus and branding touchpoints, developed in their inaugural Wellington flagship, which continues to explore an atmosphere of simplicity and warmth.

Situated in a building first built in 1928, the space was originally part of the Newmarket metalworks precinct. In respect of the history, original ceiling trusses are left exposed through a dropped Japanese inspired ceiling. Articulating a strong sense of minimalism, the sparseness of the interior is offset by flowing organic curves and rich material tactility. Aged brass is left unsealed so it continues to patina over time, and oiled oak borrows from a timeless elemental palette. Through the use of scale and proportion, it forms a refined and contemporary atmosphere.


Interior wood paneling and accents are made from traceable New Zealand grown oak, and finished by hand with a non-toxic and environmentally friendly Osmo hardwax oil. The ottomans are designed by Simon James - locally made and upholstered with renewable and biodegradable, organic linen.

“It’s a pleasure to have a presence in Auckland and create a beautiful space that remains true to our values. Like Wellington, we have emphasised natural, locally sourced and sustainable materials, yet consciously created a space unique to Auckland to articulate its own meaningful experience” says Gosia Piatek, Founder & Creative Director. 

The linen curtains that have been sustainably grown, harvested and processed using the environmentally friendly dew-retting method.

An abraded plaster façade treatment is perforated by two deep-set large windows allowing passers-by to have an open and interactive view into the space while maximising natural light in the interior. Monolithic freestanding oak joinery divides the space with a rhythmic quality that reference the exterior forms. The oak pillars sitting short of the detailed oak battened ceiling allow it to sail across the width and depth of the space. The fluid point of sale, with large brass mantel, anchors the space and invites conversation while brass racking and display elements are pared back to adjacent wall surfaces.