Creating opportunity for public life that enhances the city’s East-West Stitch
The integration of these functionally large-scale buildings with the public realm is the key to the design of the Convention Centre and Hotel.
A primary design intent has been for the buildings to be outwards-focused and provide opportunity for activation of the surrounding streets. By considering the built form, the ground floor functions and streetscape together, the development – which includes including a new laneway and plaza – aims to enrich the public life capacity around this city block.
Boffa Miskell were the lead landscape architects for the NZICC site and upgrades proposed to the surrounding streetscape. Our urban designers worked alongside Wood Bagot to produce the Urban Design Framework and have collaborated with the architects to shape the interface of this significant building with the surrounding urban context.
The design responds to the strategic vision of the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) by providing greater potential for public life in and around the convention centre, helping to rebalance the currently traffic-dominated streets and creating a new east-west laneway and arrival plaza that will make a major contribution to the “East-West Stitch” – a key element of the CCMP.
The laneway runs between Hobson Street and Nelson Street, and provides an additional building frontage and activated public space between the proposed Convention Centre and the Hotel. This will offer greater diversity of public space in this part of the city, with the potential to become a destination.
A dynamic artwork designed by Peata Larkin runs the full length of the lane on the southern side, and has the ability to present temporary media installations that foster activity, shelter and comfort. It is about ‘place’ providing an engaging directional and textured environment creating activity and passive surveillance.
Lighting is an important feature that punctuates the simple underlying material language of the public realm with ‘moments’ that provide scale and interest. Innovative detailing and considered use of materials have helped to capture legible and interesting spaces for people to dwell.
There are many hidden complexities to this project, and the design weaves together varied building and podium elements whilst connecting disjointed pedestrian networks. There are significant level changes, overland flow, and traffic movements; along with necessary underground services, maintenance and access requirements.
The construction of the laneway and associated public realm is likely to start in late 2019. It will be a huge milestone for the project team after six long years of hard work to get to this stage. A number of challenges remain ahead but we are looking forward to the finished product.
(Renderings by Warren and Mahoney)
Landscape Architecture, Urban Design in collaboration with project partners
|Project team||Michael Hawes|
Rachel de Lambert
Warren and Mahoney
|Project date||2013 - ongoing|