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Wellington is the winner with waterfront designs

Wellington is the winner with waterfront designs.

Australian and Dutch architects have come through with winning design concepts in the Waitangi Park building design competition.

They are John Wardle Architects (Melbourne), for Sites 1, 2 and 3, adjacent to the Overseas Passenger Terminal, and UN Studio (Amsterdam) for the site in the lea of Te Papa .

“The judges were impressed with the bold visions advanced in all of the design submissions each of which offered a very different response to the challenges and opportunities of the Wellington waterfront sites,” said Professor John Hunt, who chaired the judging panel.

“The panel considered that each submission also provided a yardstick against which Wellington Waterfront Ltd can further test and develop the project briefs”.

Professor Hunt said that the separation of the two sites enabled the judges to look at a different architectural approach for each of them.

“The Wardle design offers significant advantages for the public in providing shelter, invitation and human scale, with a strong relationship to the water,” he said. “The panel considered that the design concept would enhance public enjoyment and experience of the park, as well as providing a link between Waitangi Park with its current buildings and the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

“The UN Studio concept offers a sculptural external form, a dramatic threshold between Te Papa and Waitangi Park and an exceptional contemporary interior.

“Both approaches develop innovative spatial concepts,” said Professor Hunt.

Ian Pike, CEO of Wellington Waterfront Ltd, said the design competition was the beginning of a process of development and provided concepts that would require further consultation and feasibility analysis.

Next week the Wellington City Council’s Waterfront Development Sub-committee will consider whether or not the selected designs conform to the design criteria that the Council has laid down for the areas.

Mr Pike said that the Wardle design concept would be advanced as a first priority. Work would include design refinement, consultation and exploration of commercial backing, prior to initiating a resource consent process.

“All of these will be worked on next year with the objective of entering a construction phase in 2007/08,” he said.

“Realisation of the UN Studio concept will need to be determined by its relationship to Te Papa and its integration into the immediate neighbourhood. Obviously cost will also be a consideration."

“Wellington has been exceptionally lucky to have had such a high level of interest from leading architects within New Zealand and internationally and the concepts selected were popular with the 3000 members of the public who visited the exhibition of the entries,” he said.


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