Waka Shelter, Porirua
Built on reclaimed land in the Porirua harbour, the shelter connects to the waka’s cultural roots through its proximity to the Ngati Toa marae and clear views of Whitireia/Mt Couper, one of Porirua’s most important cultural and physical landmarks.
The adjacent landscape is being rapidly transformed by Porirua City Council from a former mudflat littered with shopping trolleys to a tidal park with an active edge of water related facilities connected by a long boardwalk. This building will form a part of that development but must also sit comfortably on its own until the completion of that work.
The overall design concept reflects the “meeting of land and sea”. The land is represented through the building’s soft green cladding laid at an angle. The sea is represented by the wave form of the roof (formed of materials echoing the nature of the sea: reflective corrugated aluminium and translucent fiberglass sheeting), washing over the land. Both are tied together through a finely detailed structure, reminiscent of the rope bindings on the waka itself, overlaid with timber, shaped to reflect the waka’s basic form.
Colours are soft and natural with much of the shelter left in its raw state to show its materiality and weather gracefully over time.
Bronze Design Award - Public & Institutional Spaces, Designers Institute of New Zealand’s Best Design Awards (2008)