Thursday, June 9, 2011

University Planners Connect Auckland Waterfront



The Masters in Planning Practice class of 2011 prepare to present their Auckland Waterfront Design Projects in the 7th Floor studio. This is the Planning 701 Urban Design course. Prof Kai Gu is the lecturer.

There were 9 team projects this year, ranging from 2 to 3 students apiece. They covered topics including Princes Wharf, Queens Wharf, Quay Street, Copthorne Hotel corner of the Viaduct, and the Waitemata Plaza area of the Viaduct. Each project identified a particular focus area, mapped the history and planning environment, set out constraints, illustrated opportunities, and provided designs.

I was taken by many of the ideas, and am considering how to get a productive relationship going between Auckland Council and the Urban Design and Urban Planning research of Auckland University. This particular project was primarily about the public access between Britomart and Vector Arena. They proposed an elevated pedestrian walkway along the alignment of access lanes. It got me thinking....

So I took a few photos along that walkway. Here we are leaving Britomart Railway station building... looking towards the Ernst and Young branded building...

The generous walkway takes you past the interesting features built into the roof of the Britomart Station...

And there are several of these volcanic features, pedestrian friendly environment...

This takes us to the entry of the public walkway throuhg and under the Ernst and Young building...

This is a real opportunity inside the Ernst and young building. A generous and safe public space, well integrated with the public walkway we've just come along...

When we reach the end of the Ernst and Young building, you look across a street to see where to go next...

And there you are stranded. You've had a good experience so far, and now you are faced with signs pointing to a relatively unattractive back alley, a service lane designed for trucks and service vehicles, not the same sort of pedestrian experience. So that was the opportunity (and need) identified by the Design Project team.

Their suggestion of an elevated pedestrian walkway through this alignment got me thinking. That's the purpose of these projects. That's why I think Auckland should be benefitting from this sort of research and thinking. It made me remember this wonderful elevated walkway in Singapore...

Here it is again. Generous. Safe. Full of light. and what an extraordinary Helix design. Auckland's weather as we know can be unpredictable. Walking back to the station or to Vector in the rain not much fun in concert gear.

So here's that back alley walkway to Vector as it is now...

How about we try an elevated walkway though there. One that leaves room for vehicles. Runs behind what is now a parking building. Takes up some air space above the back alley...

Here's another view. (BTW, this is my output using SketchUp. A good tool for playing with ideas. Not my strength. Not a designer. But it is a good way to experiment and illustrate ideas.)

Here's another view. I agree that this walkway is a bit on the steep side! But you get the picture.

And here's a pic of the inside which I kind of enjoyed.... And the thing about Skletchup is you can produce animations very easily of your design. That's fun....

video

No comments:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

University Planners Connect Auckland Waterfront



The Masters in Planning Practice class of 2011 prepare to present their Auckland Waterfront Design Projects in the 7th Floor studio. This is the Planning 701 Urban Design course. Prof Kai Gu is the lecturer.

There were 9 team projects this year, ranging from 2 to 3 students apiece. They covered topics including Princes Wharf, Queens Wharf, Quay Street, Copthorne Hotel corner of the Viaduct, and the Waitemata Plaza area of the Viaduct. Each project identified a particular focus area, mapped the history and planning environment, set out constraints, illustrated opportunities, and provided designs.

I was taken by many of the ideas, and am considering how to get a productive relationship going between Auckland Council and the Urban Design and Urban Planning research of Auckland University. This particular project was primarily about the public access between Britomart and Vector Arena. They proposed an elevated pedestrian walkway along the alignment of access lanes. It got me thinking....

So I took a few photos along that walkway. Here we are leaving Britomart Railway station building... looking towards the Ernst and Young branded building...

The generous walkway takes you past the interesting features built into the roof of the Britomart Station...

And there are several of these volcanic features, pedestrian friendly environment...

This takes us to the entry of the public walkway throuhg and under the Ernst and Young building...

This is a real opportunity inside the Ernst and young building. A generous and safe public space, well integrated with the public walkway we've just come along...

When we reach the end of the Ernst and Young building, you look across a street to see where to go next...

And there you are stranded. You've had a good experience so far, and now you are faced with signs pointing to a relatively unattractive back alley, a service lane designed for trucks and service vehicles, not the same sort of pedestrian experience. So that was the opportunity (and need) identified by the Design Project team.

Their suggestion of an elevated pedestrian walkway through this alignment got me thinking. That's the purpose of these projects. That's why I think Auckland should be benefitting from this sort of research and thinking. It made me remember this wonderful elevated walkway in Singapore...

Here it is again. Generous. Safe. Full of light. and what an extraordinary Helix design. Auckland's weather as we know can be unpredictable. Walking back to the station or to Vector in the rain not much fun in concert gear.

So here's that back alley walkway to Vector as it is now...

How about we try an elevated walkway though there. One that leaves room for vehicles. Runs behind what is now a parking building. Takes up some air space above the back alley...

Here's another view. (BTW, this is my output using SketchUp. A good tool for playing with ideas. Not my strength. Not a designer. But it is a good way to experiment and illustrate ideas.)

Here's another view. I agree that this walkway is a bit on the steep side! But you get the picture.

And here's a pic of the inside which I kind of enjoyed.... And the thing about Skletchup is you can produce animations very easily of your design. That's fun....

video

No comments: