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The Auckland Waterfront

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      The Mayor, CEO and Planning Director visit the design display

In 1991, it became clear that the New Zealand yachting community were preparing to make a serious challenge for the America's Cup - the supreme sailing trophy and the oldest sporting event in the word. Their 1987 attempt in Freemantle with KZ7 had almost succeded, followed by a 1988 mismatch between a huge New Zealand yacht and a US catamaran. The outcome was settled in court, with America the victor. By 1992 New Zealand were preparing for a concerted  attack on the Cup. It was clear that eventually they would succeed, and that as the natural home for the competition, the Auckland Waterfront was ill prepared to host the Cup. The Community Design Studio, recognising this need, and building upon an earlier study of the Harbour's Viaduct Basin (for the Auckland Civic Trust) decided to engage in a broad study of the Auckland Waterfront, the potential for development and an analysis of the relationship of the water's edge to the city.

Twenty-two senior students embarked upon a research and planning process to investigate the feasibility of hosting the Americas Cup in Auckland. Over 10 weeks they systematically and critically investigated issues of:

  • Waterfront Access
  • Public transportation
  • Recreational verus Industrial usage
  • Pre-colonial occupation issues
  • Land Use 
  • Development Economics
  • Overseas examples
The final urban design proposal was published in the form of a Pattern Lanuage and included:
  • A multi-leve;l transportation interchange (Llater known as "The Britonmart") in the Inner City's old and abandoned railway station. 
  • A maori cultural centre on one of the inner-city wharves
  • Two inner-city, high density residential villages (one at either end of the waterfront to stimulate pedestrianoccupation/movement/access
  • A green-belt parkway linking outlying suburbs to the core
  • A sustainability programme to support all development
The design was endorsed by the Mayor of Auckland, The City's Chief Executive, the City Manager, the Director of Works, the Chair of the Planning Committee, the Chief City Planner and the entire City Waterfront Development team (who ultimately paid for the publication of the 340 page report).As a resault, the design principles of the proposal were accepted by the City Council and adopted into their plans for the waterfront redevelopment
The waterfront was developed overv the next two years for the successful defense of the Cup. The design recommendations developed by the Community Design Studio continue to guide and shape the ongoing development of the Auckland Waterfront.

The design and its report were chosen, By the Architects, Designers and Planners of Social Responsibility (ADPSR) as exemplifying the very best aspects of Socially Responsible Design at an international competition and exhibition at New York’s Pratt Institute in March 1993.

The Auckland Waterfront Study is in three PDFs. The first, outlines the Background to the study and is available now. The second, details the Design Brief and Proposals which eventually helped to change the Auckland waterfront dramatically and is also available now. The third and final PDF contains a critical evaluation of the actual changes made to the Auckland waterfront by the Auckland City Council and the Harbour Board and is in preparation.

To download the Part 1 PDF click here.

To download the Part 2 PDF click here .

To download the Part 3 PDF click here (still in process).


Read 1876 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:57

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