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A vision for Matiatia: the design search is on

2 March 2006

A vision for Matiatia: the design search is on

A design brief inviting initial concepts for land at Matiatia, Waiheke Island, was today approved by Auckland City's Urban Strategy and Governance Committee.

It marks the first stage in the design search to turn the 4.25ha premier site into a development that meets the future needs of the island and reflects its special character.

Anyone can register to submit a concept and Auckland City hopes to harness the creativity and visions of as many people as possible from New Zealand and overseas.

"We want to encourage the flow of good ideas," said Deputy Mayor and committee chairperson, Councillor Dr Bruce Hucker. "While the design brief contains detailed background information, we have been careful not to make it too prescriptive. We're looking for an inspiring and innovative example of integrated and sustainable development."

The brief - "A Vision for Matiatia" - was prepared by a working party of Professor John Hunt, Auckland University professor of architecture (chairperson), councillors Christine Caughey, Faye Storer and Vern Walsh, Waiheke Community Board chairperson Ray Ericson, property specialist Peter Alexander who is also a member of the council's Property Enterprise Board, Waiheke community representatives Martin Green and Barry Rae, and iwi representatives Pirihira Kaio and Pita Rikys.

The working party studied the results of extensive community consultation and toured the development site before writing the brief over a period of several weeks.

Entries in the first stage will be placed on public display for comment and assessed by a panel on behalf of Auckland City. Five finalists will each receive a prize of NZ$5,000.

Stage two of the process will involve a refined design brief based on stage one comments from the community and the assessment panel. The five finalists will then be invited to develop their original concept into a more detailed design based on the refined brief, each receiving a further NZ$10,000 on submission of their second design.

A single finalist will then be invited to work with Auckland City's Property Enterprise Board to implement the proposal.

The initial brief recognises that transport solutions will be fundamental to any successful vision for Matiatia and lists a number of principles that designers should take into account.

They include:
* open spaces and buildings sympathetic to the island's distinctive character and history
* public parking areas which have minimal impact on visual amenity and cater for a minimum of 340 spaces
* a mixed use development providing activities for islanders and visitors at different times of day and night, plus additional parking
* a minimum of 8000m2 gross floor area (the development site is 42,500m2, much of which will be retained as wetlands and open space)
* a transport network catering for future population and visitor growth
* a major open air events space of 4,000m2
* respect for historical Maori sites
* recreational use of wetland and coastal foreshore limited to tables, seating and boardwalks, etc.

Each entry must consist of two unmounted copies of a single A1 sheet and a copy of the entry form that is included with the brief. Copies of the brief will be available on-line at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/matiatia ; the Waiheke Service Centre or the Civic Administration Building from 13 March 2006.

The time frame for 2006 is:

* stage one search launch: March
* stage one closes: end May
* public display: end May
* assessment and awards: June
* drafting of stage two brief: June
* stage two search launch: July
* stage two search closes: end August
* judging and final concept endorsed by council: September.

At the end of the design search, council will approve the final design concept and future development of the site will be managed by the council's Property Enterprise Board, which will select a developer and oversee long-term lease arrangements. The land will remain in council ownership.


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