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Article that goes with the pictures of the model:

http://www.publicaddress.net/islandlife
By David Slack


On the waterfront | Aug 14, 2009 09:30

Here are three lessons you learn the hard way in Auckland:

1. No matter how sunny it is right now, it will start to rain on your party ten minutes after you move everyone outside.

2. The cost of your building project will be double. Whatever they told you, double it.

3. If the ferry for Devonport is leaving in one minute, the lights will keep you stranded on the far side of Quay Street for two.

I have changed my mind about Party Central. I had misgivings: a good opportunity likely to be squandered, a lot of money wasted. I still have my doubts about the politicians getting it right, but I have no doubt now about the possibility of getting something exciting built there.

Let us gather around the table. Copeland Associates - an Auckland firm of architects - have a model for us to look at.

Ask yourself: what is the best way to enjoy the outdoors in Auckland? Under a verandah, of course. You get the views and the sunshine, but when the rain rolls in, no-one has to move. That's what this does. What we have here is a giant verandah for the city.




Look at it. It's beautiful. It's a sail. It's like nothing you've seen anywhere else. Click the little picture to get a larger version and see it in all its glory. It sits alongside the water, undulating and meandering along Queen's Wharf, providing shelter enough to stage all manner of large gatherings and events.

Tucked into it, between the two old sheds is a passenger terminal: a skybridge, elevated and secure, and painted in the red of the fence that runs along the waterfront; fully functional, but sufficiently out of the way to permit the rest of us to come and go.


And now imagine how it might look like at night with a light show playing on it. Recall what the Town Hall looked like a few months ago. Think of the public art on the Wellington waterfront and imagine poetry illuminated upon those flowing sheets above you.

Imagine strolling down Queen Street and being able to walk UNIMPEDED, AND AT WILL, across to this wharf. With a verandah.

But. But. But. What about the money? What about the deadline?

Oh, it just keeps getting better. Money? The budget we've been hearing about so far has been $80 million. The verandah itself would be in the order of 10 million. Let's say it would cost 20. You still have 60 to work with to build your passenger terminal and renovate the two old sheds, which, you may recall, was the core idea of the Party Central site. Those two buildings could be problematic. You could spend a lot of money and take a lot of time in the construction and not, in the end, get what you need: namely a good passenger arrival terminal and an adequate facility for public partying. The beauty of the Copeland proposal is that it gets the partying space and the arrivals space created separately, leaving the sheds as optional extras.

That is to say: they could be renovated, but they wouldn't have to be. As long as there is a large sheltered area and a distinct arrivals area, you have the essential facility. That leaves you with the prospect of more facilities as and when you need them, can afford them and can agree on how to create them.

If this is to be developed in time for the Rugby World Cup, in 2011, simplicity has a lot to recommend it. Conveniently this kind of structure can be built very quickly. Copeland Associates say they have built several similar structures using this kind of roof material. They are working on one right now for the rugby stadium in Whangarei. In their words:

This fast to build and cost effective tension membrane structure can be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup. The project would showcase the skills of New Zealand architects, fabric engineers and constructors, world leaders in this technology.



My initial objection was that what we sorely needed was being rushed into action at the eleventh hour, and we would pay the price for hasty thinking. Pragmatically, though, I see that if this Rugby World Cup is what it takes to get a really good facility that links the city to the harbour side, then we had better get on the bus, because it's quite possibly the only one that's going to come bouncing down the road.

And with this plan, the risk of overcapitalising the project or squandering our one chance seems to be enormously diminished. It can be built in time and at relatively low cost, and yet the essence of the structure is remarkable and striking and bound to work.

Let's add the last important piece of the jigsaw. If you're in Queen Street or Albert Street or Shortland St, what could be better at lunch time than to stroll down to the harbourside? Well: how about this: strolling down to the wharf without having to wait at the lights while all of Auckland's cars and trucks hurtle by. This plan proposes a pedestrian precinct. The Quay street crossing would be closed to traffic, which would be diverted around. Build all this and they will surely come. Every day, in their thousands.

So what will be the fate of Queens' Wharf and its $80 million makeover? According to this story, an ideas and design competition for the development of Queens Wharf is currently being organised by Auckland City Council, Auckland Regional Council and central government. Copeland Associates are very eager to submit theirs. I hope it fares well. I could only admire it more if it included a travelator to Stanley Bay.
 
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A patch of lawn and trees, a funky harbour-side cafe which fits in with the design of the roof and the circular bits are gone .... sip on your flat white while you watch the ferry come and go ...





On the ceiling of the roof:



 

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Awesome. And the author of the article is right - it is like nothing else, not that shape anyway.

There is only one problem I can see....

The sight lines, directly ahead of you and looking east, look to be impacted as you stroll south down the wharf towards Quay St.

If you are going to be walking down the centre of the wharf - the strip at a dfferent level than the sheds - I am guessing your views of the CBD buildings is going to be obscured until you get near the end. Thats a shame. At night, this will be the main view - the tall buildings all lit up, because it will be near darkness looking northwards....
 

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... if you are using squares and rectangles stick to that and don't include circles ... a big, big design faux pas.
Louis Kahn would like a word with you.

puts99 said:
Hey guys, I work part-time at Copeland Associates whilst studying and here are some shots of a model we've made, article to follow.
Thanks for those, puts. I think the scheme looks pretty awesome. Very 'Land of the Long White Cloud'. It makes a pretty big architectural statement without actually building all that much, which is good for the budget. Hopefully you guys get a bit of recognition with it. Have the Council paid much attention to your proposal?

And I also like your alternative with greenery, Sydney. I'm not a huge fan of too much greenery in the CBD, but it does balance the whole thing out quite nicely.
 

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The more I look at the renders in the article, the more I like it.

Of course, of just as much interest in the article is the proposal that the Quay St crossing be closed to traffic and opened up as a pedestrian area over which the cover could extend and link with Lower Queen St.

Too ambitious?
 

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^^Fantastic idea about Quay st KLK, i like it a lot but although things have improved somewhat let's not forget this is still Auckland. That idea would be too different to the norm for folks here to get their heads around. One day maybe but can't see it happening soon.

I really like the sail concept, it's fantastic gives it that iconic and original look we are after with out breaking the bank. Especially like the idea of it being lit up at night. Best of all it is tailored to our unpredictable weather. I'd like to see the sheds restored as per the render on Bagnaghter's website as well. The intial render of this concept in the Herald did it no justice. This really gives me hope we could have something pretty good down there.
 

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^^ Yeah very stark and white. Something that would go up in our school in front of the canteen! The need for shelter is an interesting idea, but I dont think covering up the whole length of the wharf is a good idea. What about the "high skies and low lands" idea? The whole point of opening up the waterfront is so that you can enjoy the OPENness of the area-the views towards the sea and the buildings behind. These sails just dont do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #189
Blocking views of the sea from Queen Street might be seen as problematic.
 

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^^ are you saying that the wharf in that pic is current day Lower Queen St?
I sure am, the building on the right is the Old Customs House, that is now a couple of hundred metres from the sea, whereas in this photo is just across the street.
 

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I sure am, the building on the right is the Old Customs House, that is now a couple of hundred metres from the sea, whereas in this photo is just across the street.
Actually the building on the right is the old Auckland harbour board building. heres a photo. tragically it was knocked down at some point to make way for another Auckland shocker.




The photo is from 1905 but the bit of land between customs st and Quay st was reclaimed in 1886. there is a timeline below. so that would be quay street, not customs. it just looks long i think because the ferry building was built in 1912 on the northern side of Quay street which would make the wharf look much shorter. Also the small buildings make it look longer.

http://www.businesshistory.auckland.ac.nz/ports_of_auckland/timeline.html
 

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Discussion Starter #192 (Edited)
Auckland's shoreline was originally where Fort Street is, then in the 1850s it was reclaimed to Customs Street, then in the 1880s to Quay Street.

Interestingly, just discovered today that the rather unassuming building outlined in red below was built in the early 1860s:
 

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Auckland's shoreline was originally where Fort Street is, then in the 1850s it was reclaimed to Customs Street, then in the 1880s to Quay Street.
Actually in the photo the land has been reclaimed up to the harbour board building and then it curves in back to Customs st, so maybe thats what Kiwirob was meaning with the building on the right.

The part where Princes wharf and the downtown carpark is doesnt seem to be there.
 

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Auckland's shoreline was originally where Fort Street is, then in the 1850s it was reclaimed to Customs Street, then in the 1880s to Quay Street.

Interestingly, just discovered today that the rather unassuming building outlined in red below was built in the early 1860s:
And it is about to undergo a major makeover :)
 
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And who said that the little building in Britomart couldn't have tall neighbours :eek:hno: I just love how that little building has stood it's ground ... the little building that could ... there is hope for the little building in Britomart ;)
 

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Hey guys, I work part-time at Copeland Associates whilst studying and here are some shots of a model we've made, article to follow.

This is absolutely outstanding. I love the large open areas, perfect for civic events. Just put up some huge TV's and create a body to oversee constant events for the area (like with Fed sq, with free tai chi in the mornings etc. etc.) and it would be a total success.

Love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #200



It's a cute little thing.
 
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