Saturday, September 10, 2011

Waterfront Big Day Out

Photo essay of the big day before a big night. This is the Waka Prow carving that greets you on Te Whero Island, heading toward Wynyard Quarter on Auckland's waterfront. I took my bike there yesterday - just after lunch - Friday 9th September. Day of the Rugby World Cup opening party. You couldn't have wished for better weather...

Had to dismount going over the bridge. Already getting congested...

This view of the kids playing in the water at the bottom of the steps was a delight. Safe splashing and jumping. parents sitting behind. Picnic lunches. Fantastic.

This waterfront promenade - from the central wharves, past the ferry terminal, beside Quay Street, through the Viaduct area, Te Whero, over the bridge, and down into Jellicoe Park is a wonderful waterfront asset for Auckland. For all of Auckland.

I quite liked the look and interest of the tankfarm from the gantry. Began to see some potential. One or two cities around the world have transformed these areas into places of art. (See for example: Ballast Point Park - Walama - Sydney, which was the site of fuel storage tanks. One or two were retained.... There are others...)

The grand silo. An opportunity awaiting ideas and innovation. A gatepost to the North Western end of Jellicoe Park. Where I think some great views are available toward the Harbour Bridge. But these are mostly blocked (by the huge boat moored at the wharf there, and also by the lift shaft at that end of the public gantry.)

These casually placed blocks are great seats. Boy and Seagull. I like this photo. Click it to see it big. Give it space to breath on your screen.

The six pack silos. Now that's going to make a great viewing platform. What else is in store...

This is the end of the Wynyard Quarter where there is still some serious marine work going on. Part of the working wharf experience. But it's hard to see. From the gantry I managed to squeeze this one off. The idea of being able to get up close and dirty is a good one. People want to be able to see what's going on. From a safe distance of course...

This is the view I was talking about. But it's hard to find. It's special around sunset. Framed by the bridge. I know it's the coat-hanger to us locals, but to visitors it often means much more. Give it some space. This is a viewline or view corridor that deserves protection. Think about that Auckland Council. The Kestrel doesn't get in the way - but the large ship behind it certainly does.

Back down the promenade toward Viaduct and Queens Wharf. The Marine Event Centre on the left always seems to draw people - just as the NetShed and North Wharf does. Great people places and spaces to sit and just watch the world go by...

I love it when streets get pedestrianised. For a while people stick to the footpaths. Then gradually spill onto the street. One of the big screens is in the background - spreads right across Quay Street (Note the bedraggled "A" logos...? I think we need to revert to "City of Sails" - memorable, stood the test of time, nothing else has come close, no other city has adopted it - that I know of.). Getting ready for game time and anything else that might hit those big screens...

Everybody was coming out. This was not just a day for international visitors to Auckland. This was a day when Aucklanders visited Auckland. They finally have a place to come to. The waterfront is finally, beginning to meet that latent demand. Love it. Embrace it. Don't pretend it doesn't exist when you next think of commercialising Queens Wharf for cruise ships...

That brings me inside Shed 10. I've been longing to see what's inside. Well kept secret. It was already full by the time I got there about 3:30pm. Had my first Heineken. 300 ml in a plastic cup set me back $7.50. Expensive. I thought a tad too expensive actually. Is that how powers that be plan to claw back a return on this investment?

The informality of the place feels good. A bit like the old booze barn feel of New Zealand pubs in the bad old days. Very good social space design though. Not a place for kids. Didn't like the MasterCard sponsored area much. In the best place too...

The games are a bit of fun. Novelty will remain as new visitors pour through. I like the doors opening out onto the central area framed by the Cloud and Shed 10, but it's sad to have such limited access to the sea, the edge of the wharf, and sea views. Shed 10 is introverted in its adaptation and makes the same mistake in design as the Devonport Wharf building. Too inward looking. Dosen't need to be that way.

The area between Shed 10 and The Cloud is popular for sitting, chilling and meeting and greeting. (The Cloud's that white shape to the right by the way... I didn't Tipex it out... honest... a picture coming up...)

There were heaps of kiwis down here. They'd had to queue for a long time to get in. Spacious. Room to move. Room to think. Click to enjoy.

By the way - you can click any of these photos to see a bigger view. These little images don't really do justice to my pics. Like this one. Lots of great detail. Go on. Have a closer look. That's the Cloud in the background...

After I'd had another Heineken, it was time to get a bit closer and see who else was on Queens Wharf...

There were some very elegant visitors. Yes sir. Ready for a party these two dudes.

This one may have been experiencing the frustration of mobile phone system overload. It wasn't just the trains that ground to a halt on the Waterfront... everyone out to play...

Some very relaxed. By the way. When you are on Queens Wharf you realise what a cultural melting pot Auckland really is. When something happens on Queens Wharf, downtown, that attracts Auckland's different groups. They come to town. Take for example, when the Chinese Warships came to Auckland.

Everyone came for a look. Bit like what happened when Wynyard Quarter opened first.

They came to party.

They came to meet up with mates.

They came to watch the rugby on Queens Wharf. (Click for a nice face paint job.)

They went to a lot of trouble.

These two were looking for trouble. Or looked like trouble looking for trouble.

Someone said to me, "I didn't know there were so many Tongans living in Auckland...." Man oh man. We don't see our Tongan population in Auckland Central much because we don't prioritise their needs. We talk about vibrant pacific culture in the words in our visions, but we don't match those words with actions on the streets. Queens Wharf and Party Central should give us a few ideas. (Auckland's Tongan population is about 40,000 people, Samoan 100,000)

These guys are heartland Auckland.

These guys? Well. Out for a good night I'd say. Come to the right place. Bugger the phones...

These guys come to the right place too.

This is inside the Kea. Devonport Ferry. I think I might have been on the last trip before they had to stop the ferries because there were too many people crammed into the terminal. People couldn't get off the ferries, which meant people couldn't get on. A few lessons about crowd control needed here.

This is the pic I promised of the Cloud. I think it worked OK for its purpose - to house those fantastic big screens which you can see here through the plastic walls. This edge of Queens Wharf was one of the few places where you could actually see the waterfront. Hemmed in though like chickens behind a prisoner of war camp like wire fence. Nothing like that around Princes Wharf. Well not yet. I guess everyone's being safety conscious. Maybe it's for when the cruise ships come. Then Queens Wharf might be a bit hemmed in.

The ferry rounds the corner at the end of Queens Wharf and we head for home. It was a great day out. Sun setting. Time to go home and watch the fireworks from Devonport. Quite a few on the ferry had come from South Auckland (I talked to two women from Waiuku, came all the way up in the train, caught the ferry, to see the fireworks. They'd figured they'd not see them from Quay Street because it was too crowded!)

Auckland's waterfront has never been better. Great public attractions and places and spaces. It's brought Auckland into town. This is what cities are for, and what cities are about.

1 comment:

Te Puhi Whakahoro said...

Nice pix, love the blog and updates well done.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Waterfront Big Day Out

Photo essay of the big day before a big night. This is the Waka Prow carving that greets you on Te Whero Island, heading toward Wynyard Quarter on Auckland's waterfront. I took my bike there yesterday - just after lunch - Friday 9th September. Day of the Rugby World Cup opening party. You couldn't have wished for better weather...

Had to dismount going over the bridge. Already getting congested...

This view of the kids playing in the water at the bottom of the steps was a delight. Safe splashing and jumping. parents sitting behind. Picnic lunches. Fantastic.

This waterfront promenade - from the central wharves, past the ferry terminal, beside Quay Street, through the Viaduct area, Te Whero, over the bridge, and down into Jellicoe Park is a wonderful waterfront asset for Auckland. For all of Auckland.

I quite liked the look and interest of the tankfarm from the gantry. Began to see some potential. One or two cities around the world have transformed these areas into places of art. (See for example: Ballast Point Park - Walama - Sydney, which was the site of fuel storage tanks. One or two were retained.... There are others...)

The grand silo. An opportunity awaiting ideas and innovation. A gatepost to the North Western end of Jellicoe Park. Where I think some great views are available toward the Harbour Bridge. But these are mostly blocked (by the huge boat moored at the wharf there, and also by the lift shaft at that end of the public gantry.)

These casually placed blocks are great seats. Boy and Seagull. I like this photo. Click it to see it big. Give it space to breath on your screen.

The six pack silos. Now that's going to make a great viewing platform. What else is in store...

This is the end of the Wynyard Quarter where there is still some serious marine work going on. Part of the working wharf experience. But it's hard to see. From the gantry I managed to squeeze this one off. The idea of being able to get up close and dirty is a good one. People want to be able to see what's going on. From a safe distance of course...

This is the view I was talking about. But it's hard to find. It's special around sunset. Framed by the bridge. I know it's the coat-hanger to us locals, but to visitors it often means much more. Give it some space. This is a viewline or view corridor that deserves protection. Think about that Auckland Council. The Kestrel doesn't get in the way - but the large ship behind it certainly does.

Back down the promenade toward Viaduct and Queens Wharf. The Marine Event Centre on the left always seems to draw people - just as the NetShed and North Wharf does. Great people places and spaces to sit and just watch the world go by...

I love it when streets get pedestrianised. For a while people stick to the footpaths. Then gradually spill onto the street. One of the big screens is in the background - spreads right across Quay Street (Note the bedraggled "A" logos...? I think we need to revert to "City of Sails" - memorable, stood the test of time, nothing else has come close, no other city has adopted it - that I know of.). Getting ready for game time and anything else that might hit those big screens...

Everybody was coming out. This was not just a day for international visitors to Auckland. This was a day when Aucklanders visited Auckland. They finally have a place to come to. The waterfront is finally, beginning to meet that latent demand. Love it. Embrace it. Don't pretend it doesn't exist when you next think of commercialising Queens Wharf for cruise ships...

That brings me inside Shed 10. I've been longing to see what's inside. Well kept secret. It was already full by the time I got there about 3:30pm. Had my first Heineken. 300 ml in a plastic cup set me back $7.50. Expensive. I thought a tad too expensive actually. Is that how powers that be plan to claw back a return on this investment?

The informality of the place feels good. A bit like the old booze barn feel of New Zealand pubs in the bad old days. Very good social space design though. Not a place for kids. Didn't like the MasterCard sponsored area much. In the best place too...

The games are a bit of fun. Novelty will remain as new visitors pour through. I like the doors opening out onto the central area framed by the Cloud and Shed 10, but it's sad to have such limited access to the sea, the edge of the wharf, and sea views. Shed 10 is introverted in its adaptation and makes the same mistake in design as the Devonport Wharf building. Too inward looking. Dosen't need to be that way.

The area between Shed 10 and The Cloud is popular for sitting, chilling and meeting and greeting. (The Cloud's that white shape to the right by the way... I didn't Tipex it out... honest... a picture coming up...)

There were heaps of kiwis down here. They'd had to queue for a long time to get in. Spacious. Room to move. Room to think. Click to enjoy.

By the way - you can click any of these photos to see a bigger view. These little images don't really do justice to my pics. Like this one. Lots of great detail. Go on. Have a closer look. That's the Cloud in the background...

After I'd had another Heineken, it was time to get a bit closer and see who else was on Queens Wharf...

There were some very elegant visitors. Yes sir. Ready for a party these two dudes.

This one may have been experiencing the frustration of mobile phone system overload. It wasn't just the trains that ground to a halt on the Waterfront... everyone out to play...

Some very relaxed. By the way. When you are on Queens Wharf you realise what a cultural melting pot Auckland really is. When something happens on Queens Wharf, downtown, that attracts Auckland's different groups. They come to town. Take for example, when the Chinese Warships came to Auckland.

Everyone came for a look. Bit like what happened when Wynyard Quarter opened first.

They came to party.

They came to meet up with mates.

They came to watch the rugby on Queens Wharf. (Click for a nice face paint job.)

They went to a lot of trouble.

These two were looking for trouble. Or looked like trouble looking for trouble.

Someone said to me, "I didn't know there were so many Tongans living in Auckland...." Man oh man. We don't see our Tongan population in Auckland Central much because we don't prioritise their needs. We talk about vibrant pacific culture in the words in our visions, but we don't match those words with actions on the streets. Queens Wharf and Party Central should give us a few ideas. (Auckland's Tongan population is about 40,000 people, Samoan 100,000)

These guys are heartland Auckland.

These guys? Well. Out for a good night I'd say. Come to the right place. Bugger the phones...

These guys come to the right place too.

This is inside the Kea. Devonport Ferry. I think I might have been on the last trip before they had to stop the ferries because there were too many people crammed into the terminal. People couldn't get off the ferries, which meant people couldn't get on. A few lessons about crowd control needed here.

This is the pic I promised of the Cloud. I think it worked OK for its purpose - to house those fantastic big screens which you can see here through the plastic walls. This edge of Queens Wharf was one of the few places where you could actually see the waterfront. Hemmed in though like chickens behind a prisoner of war camp like wire fence. Nothing like that around Princes Wharf. Well not yet. I guess everyone's being safety conscious. Maybe it's for when the cruise ships come. Then Queens Wharf might be a bit hemmed in.

The ferry rounds the corner at the end of Queens Wharf and we head for home. It was a great day out. Sun setting. Time to go home and watch the fireworks from Devonport. Quite a few on the ferry had come from South Auckland (I talked to two women from Waiuku, came all the way up in the train, caught the ferry, to see the fireworks. They'd figured they'd not see them from Quay Street because it was too crowded!)

Auckland's waterfront has never been better. Great public attractions and places and spaces. It's brought Auckland into town. This is what cities are for, and what cities are about.

1 comment:

Te Puhi Whakahoro said...

Nice pix, love the blog and updates well done.