[highlight1] North Wharf Promenade and Silo Park [/highlight1]
Auckland’s waterfront is reinvigorated with elegance and care. This sensitive collaboration between Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Wraight + Associates (Wellington NZ), respects the historical and remaining maritime industries of this harbour. The design seeks to bring the ‘gritty’ experiences of the working waterfront along with it as well as carefully introducing a new future of post-industrial landscapes.
- “Gantries are retained and used as viewing platforms. Silos are also retained as viewing towers and projection screens. Micro-mapping of the site has ensured the retention of many other artefacts. These are juxtaposed with contemporary structures and promenades and softened with rain-gardens planted with indigenous species. There is a purposefully intended ‘friction of uses’ created by allowing traditional uses such as the fishing fleet and seafood markets to co-exist with the new recreational and retail and residential lands uses.” – Jury comment/AILA Victoria Awards
The quarter comprises approximately 37ha of land and has almost 3km of coastal frontage. It is primarily characterised by industrial, commercial and marine activity on land reclaimed specifically for these purposes. Many existing activities, including marine services, ship repairs, fish processing, berthage and marine-related activities. All will continue to play an important economic and social role in this area.
- Underpinning the design are two key moves: retention and enhancing of fishing and maritime industries form the focus of new public experiences; and, interpreting the site’s peculiar archaeology of patterns and materiality to inform a new public landscape.
- Jellicoe Harbour is a major tourism attraction centred on the retention of the fishing fleet, wholesale and retail fish and seafood markets, and new promenades and restaurants.
- Silo Park is a layered public space that facilitates a range of hybrid uses; passive recreation, event space, youth precinct, industry and folly. Each program is new to the site, yet built from the pattern language, infrastructure and the mythology of place.
The vision for the area is a mix of residential, retail and commercial development to enable the growth of a strong, diverse, resilient and vibrant residential and business community whilst retaining the existing successful marine and fishing industries. This is illustrated on page 93. The planning has been completed following extensive public consultation and many stakeholders participated in the formal plan change process.
Waterfront Auckland, as the major landowner, will ensure the project area is developed in an environmentally sustainable way in line with the District Plan. Taking a design-led approach it will deliver a high- quality public realm, new parks, a sustainable built form that is comfortable in scale, providing light, views and weather protection and an environment where people want to develop business, live and visit.
- “Like most working urban waterfronts Auckland’s North Wharf Promenade was an undistinguished mix of maritime sheds, parking and large areas of asphalt with few redeeming features that would make it an attractive destination for locals and tourists. However in recent year’s redevelopment of the entire Auckland waterfront has gradually brought new uses into the area – marinas, an event centre, restaurants, bars, shops and so on.” – Jury comment/AILA National Awards
- TCL/WA, in their design for the promenade (the first stage of a bigger renewal project), have successfully managed the difficult task of retaining the essential ‘grungy’ qualities of the working waterfront whilst at the same time introducing more pedestrian friendly spaces and treatments with limited contemporary interventions. Partially this is because the previous maritime and fishing activities have been retained in situ and, in a sense, celebrated but it is also to do with utilising and interpreting the archaeological patterns and details which all mesh together to give us the essential sense of place. – Jury comment/AILA National Awards
North Wharf is now a hugely popular place not just for eating and drinking but also for community events. It will set the framework for the continuing redevelopment of the waterfront and, as with much successful urban design, its beauty lies in its simplicity.
Taylor Cullity Lethlean:
Working waterfronts are constantly in flux; crusty, utilitarian, muscular and dissolving, with temporal qualities that engage all of our senses. Contemporary waterfront redevelopments are often characterised by the removal of these qualities that attract us to these places. At Auckland’s Wynyard Point redevelopment these conventions are challenged in a development that transforms a forlorn industrial and maritime precinct into a layered, mixed-use precinct.
The first catalytic project of this redevelopment are public spaces centred on Jellicoe Harbour and Silo Park. These spaces promote an alternative design approach to the typical erasure of waterfront memory. Here, friction is encouraged, smelly fish are the attraction, rust, grit and patina are embraced and derelict artefacts are reprogrammed.
Jellicoe Harbour has an engaging diversity of use, including large industrial container shipping, ferry services and a viable fishing industry which supports wholesale and retail seafood markets. This overlay of waterfront activities, previously removed from the public gaze, is now central to the public realm experience.
The design weaves public realm experiences around these ‘as found’ conditions. The harbour edge, North Wharf Promenade, is now a site of negotiation, a pedestrian and cycle promenade from which to witness and experience the waterfront industry. New seafood based retail, café, dinning and meeting places all co-exist within an around the working wharf functions. Jellicoe Street runs parallel to the harbour edge and contrasts with the exposed, hard harbour condition. This ‘boulevard’ establishes a new public realm language for Auckland, one that promotes a civic presence with an indigenous character; a grand axis with a pedestrian focus and rich, informal planting.
Silo Park is a triangular tract that links Jellicoe Harbour with marine industries to its west. It is located on a former cement depot from which a large silo – once earmarked for removal is now retained. The silo forms a multi-programmed focus of a layered public space that facilitates a range of hybrid uses; passive recreation, event space, youth precinct, water filtration and retention, industry and folly. Each program is new to the site, yet built from the pattern language, infrastructure and the mythology of place. These overlapping programs are orientated via the armature of the gantry, an evocative response to the industrial language of the site. It is designed to be part folly, play structure, lookout, arbour and event framework. It also forms the infrastructure for a proposed working dock. Bringing industry into public view and integrated into the design, reinforces an authentic, albeit glossy, waterfront experience.
Jellicoe Harbour and Silo Park demonstrate a receptiveness to investigate, embrace and interpret a narrative of place in the creation of a contemporary and authentic public realm experience.
[highlight1] Project Data [/highlight1]
Project name: North Wharf Promenade and Silo Park
Location: Beaumont Street and Jellicoe Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Coordinates: -36.840260, 174.755314
Type: Public Space, Waterfront
Site Area: 1.8 Hectare
Construction budget: $32,000,000 (AUD)
Completion Year: 2011
- 2015 – WAN Awards – Category: Waterfront – Shortlist
- 2014 – Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA Awards) – AILA National Awards – Category: Urban Design
- 2014 – 8th International Biennial of Landscape Architecture – Rosa Barba Landscape Prize – Winner
- 2013 – New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects (NZILA) Awards – Category: Urban Landscape Design – NZILA Award of Excellence
- 2012 – The Waterfront Center Awards – Top Honor Award – Winner
- 2012 – WAN Awards – Category: Completed Projects > Urban Regeneration – Winner
- 2012 – Resene Total Colour Awards – Category: Landscape – Winner
2012 – Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA Awards) – AILA Victoria Awards – Excellence Award – Category: Urban Design – Winner
2012 – New Zealand Urban Design Awards – Category: Built – Winner
- 2012 – World Architecture Festival Award – Category: Completed > Urban Landscape – Finalist
[highlight1] The people [/highlight1]
Client / Owner / Developer: Waterfront Auckland
- Taylor Cullity Lethlean – – 385 Drummond Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Melbourne, Australia
- Wraight + Associates – 282 Wakefield St Te Aro, Wellington 6011 New Zealand
Project Management: MPM
Engineering: Beca, Auckland
Structural Engineering (gantry): Buller George Turkington
Electrical Engineering: eCubed Building Workshop Ltd
Illustration: Stantiall Studio
Text Description: © Courtesy of Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Wraight + Associates, Waterfront Auckland, AILA Awards
Images: © Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Wraight + Associates, Simon Devitt, Silo Park