Sitting on the Dock of the Bay
Finally Auckland wins the harbour back again! Happy pedestrians now stroll over Te Wero island, across the lifting bridge, and along North Wharf; untroubled by motorists enjoying the maritime environment. The new Auckland waterfront is taking shape and it’s a delight.
- The water steps and the Viaduct Event Centre open the new precinct with a serene welcome.
- The street furniture is robust and linked to the port legacy of the place.
- The retained and the new sheds work well together and respond well to the fishing boats alongside.
- The silos form a significant point de vue and create an urban landmark.
Amongst the applause there are some weak points as well. The lifting bridge isn’t the one Aucklanders expected after the competition a few years ago; the vintage tram is a tourist gimmick rather than an invitation to its future re-introduction as means of public transport. And finally we hope that the new ASB headquarters, occupying the most prestigious site, will not lead to a new coastal office park. There should be a good balance between working and dwelling, which will ensure the long-term success of the Wynyard quarter. This would also create a retail environment offering more than food outlets.
We know that urban developments need time to display their potential. Over time some things will change others will remain. The basic urban structure, however, is right; it's robust enough to allow change and development over time and it already is a perfect to dream for a great future.
Auckland no longer lays at Quay Street; it has won back the quay. Thanks to all contributors and the Rugby World Cup, that made it happen right now.
"Sitting on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
I'm just sitting on the dock of the bay
- Posted Aug. 11, 2011