Kumutoto, Wellington Waterfront
Winner International Federation of Landscape Architects Award - Asia Pacific Region, 2010 Winner NZIA Local Award, 2008
Winner New Zealand Contractors Federation Hirepool Construction Awards, 2008
Winner NZILA Supreme Award, 2008
Winner NZILA Gold Award, 2008
Winner Wellington/Wairarapa Contractors Federation Award, 2008
IES Lighting Awards - Award of Excellence, 2008
Kumutoto, situated at the northern-most end of Wellington’s waterfront, is named after a former pa and ancient stream running under the reclaimed land.
Studio Pacific's design, in association with Isthmus Group, reveals and celebrates this historic stream by pulling the edge of the water back into the city, declaiming the former carpark and creating a stream mouth. Following the path of the original stream, a series of terraces spill down to the water’s edge. To strengthen the connection between city and sea, the historic wharf gates have been opened, gentle ramps introduced, and new pedestrian crossings directly to the site installed.
Historically the wharf surface was covered in timber setts, which were carefully recycled and re-laid, embedding the site’s history in its surface. Large precast kerbstones along the new laneway also make reference to the old sea wall. A sequence of light-pole structures, trees and seats create a procession between the city and the harbour; the seats themselves, made of large flat timber rafts that float on top of concrete bases, are reminiscent of Harbour Board skids. Pohutukawa, the hardy natives of coastal areas, are set in a scattered grid of square planters.
Replacing a section of ageing promenade, a new sculptural bridge is suspended low across the water; the south end is supported and framed by a tapering pair of concrete columns recalling a tower crane that acts like a beacon, drawing passers-by along the path of the ancient stream into the precinct at the very edge of the city, opening out into the bowl of the harbour.
Client: Wellington Waterfront Ltd.