As part of Jasmax’s involvement in the City Rail Link (CRL) development, our Urban Projects team were commissioned to develop the design of Britomart’s Queen Street Plaza, Station Plaza, parts of Tyler and Galway Streets, and the design of Albert Street between Quay Street and Wyndham Street. The work has been developed in partnership with mana whenua representatives and key stakeholders from Auckland Council and Auckland Transport.
The Britomart site is a gateway to millions of passengers and tens of thousands of visitors every year. It sits on reclaimed land in the bay beyond the historic shoreline where the Waihorotiu stream meets the Waitemata harbour. The site has been a place of gathering, trading and traditionally foraging for sea food. The city’s brief was to create a cultural and civic heart, an arrival space that integrates with, and enhances, the public transport hub.
A cultural masterplan was developed that identified places of significance from both a geographical and cultural perspective. The inspiration for the design was drawn from the many and varying discussions with mana whenua at weekly hui. The whakapapa and mahi toi associated with the location became a key driver of the visual expression of the space. Manaakitanga (hospitality) is integrated through the creation of Auckland’s atea in the centre of the space. A whāriki design demarcates the extent of the atea that conceptually floats over the merging of the Waitemata with the Waihorotiu stream as a symbol of unity. The visual language seeks to bring together contemporary design vernacular with traditional aspects of Maori design. The stream and wave patterns, for example, are created through abstract use of paving coursing design with the whāriki pattern co-designed by mana whenua weavers.
The design partnership established by CRLL has created an example of how clients and designers can work together with mana whenua and key stakeholders to create integrated design solutions that are unique to Auckland and New Zealand. Auckland City is currently embarking on an ambitious programme of works ahead of APEC and the America’s Cup, with many of the processes and relationships established by CRL being carried forward. Over time, we are confident that collectively we can continue to improve our processes and working relationships and realise the city’s ambition of moving from ‘Auckland to Tāmaki Makau Rau’.