Sunday, September 13, 2009

Queens Wharf

This was my entry to the Queens Wharf ‘Party Central’ competition—a two-week only design competition (one A1 page only for the submission) that sadly became just another stillborn  apology for mediocrity.

Queens Wharf 02

This Is Party Central on the Water. And It’s Got It All!

It’s a Permeable Ampitheatre – an Organic Palisade that gathers together the disparate energies of the waterfront, that relates to the scale of the Waitemata’s sparkling waters, and embraces the city, the harbour and the gulf.

It takes Queen Street out to the water – just where it was 50 years ago!

It gathers public, protected spaces around a raised amphitheatre at the water’s edge – with the Harbour and the Gulf as the stage, and waterside promenades on all sides.

It links pedestrians to the sea! Pedestrian ramps take away the twin barriers of the red fence and the road, and take pedestrians right into the heart of Party Central, and out to the harbour. The ramps interconnect up and down around the amphitheatre creating movement, circulation and excitement.

It features small, multi-functional, lettable spaces on each ramp, at each level. Cafes, bars, a food hall, meeting places, souvenirs, supporters’ headquarters and regalia; press, media, and TV crews; visitors from round the world will rent these spaces for a world trades fair of tourist centres, exhibition centres, and trade stands. Downstairs there’s space for car rental offices near cruise terminal and ferries. Keep the place busy from sunrise until late. (And use the rents instead of ratepayers’ money to finance development.)

It has a spiral-ramped Lookout Tower to experience the world’s greatest harbour – to look out to Mt Victoria, North Head, Rangitoto, Great Barrier, Coromandel and beyond – a Lookout Tower that after the Rugby World Cup will be fitted out into a world-class, water’s-edge Theatre, Gallery, Exhibition centre.

It’s a Lookout Tower that’s a Rugby World Cup Event -- with flag poles flying the flags of each playing nation: at the start of the tournament in order of their seeding, by the end of the tournament in order of their finishing. Which TV network could resist starting and finishing their daily RWC broadcast with a backdrop of competing nations’ flags, in ranking order, with the world’s most beautiful harbour beyond.

It has a Big Screen in the forefront of the Amphitheatre, viewable from every level. The screen rises up from its home at lower (ground) level on the Ampitheatre’s ‘stage machinery’ to become the focus of Party Central. After Rugby World Cup the same machinery can be used to elevate a Sound Shell to make this the outdoor Ampitheatre of choice for medium-sized open-air productions.

It has an Inflatable, Double-skinned Shell Roof used for wet weather events, tied down and filled with inflatable gas – floating above the revellers like one of New Zealand’s famed paragliders. Elliptically-shaped and with the RWC ball-sponsor’s logo (in return for a financial contribution for the floating roof), it becomes an unavoidable magnet for people and for the word’s TV cameras.

It has new jetties on the new public wharf for ferries and water taxis – needed for the new routes and services laid on for RWC and beyond.

Picture 3



Picture 5

Picture 4 Render02 Render04

On reflection, I probably should have forwent the computer generated ‘concept’ pics and gone with more explanatory pencil sketches.  Something to remember for next time.

Still, it was fun to do.

Here, for example, are some sketch floor plans to give you some idea of how it all fitted together what’s proposed, from the bottom up (ie., from terminal entrance and circulation; to the main promenade level, and a typical ‘lettable’ floor.

TerminalLocationSketchTerminal Location Sketch:











StreetLevel-TerminalEntryLevel Street Level/Terminal Entry Level/Promenade Undercroft:













PromenadeLevel Main Promenade Level:











UpperLevelLettableMezzFloor Typical ‘Lettable’ Upper Amitheatre Level:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Architectural Mini-Tutorial: Breaking the box, part 1

Look at how all three methods described above are used in the two deceptively simple plans below to suggest larger space than there is, and to link the spaces within to the landscape outside (you should be able to click on them to enlarge them).

Wright-JacobsHouse Hornby 2 Main Floor Plan

I hope this has helped you to see more clearly how architectural space is about more than just laying out wee boxes.  :-)

Monday, September 07, 2009

A Mt Eden house for a sloping site

A challenge, this one, to produce a ‘spec home’ open to light and views on a narrow, very steeply sloping site with extensive views to the west.


The heart of the house is the lounge, from which almost the entire site and house can be enjoyed.

Charlton-Section - Copy

And the first glimpse of light over the hill brings light down to the house through its ‘lantern.’