Named after a former pā and ancient stream running under the reclaimed land, Kumutoto was originally masterplanned by Studio Pacific before design development of the open space was undertaken in association with Isthmus Group.
The design approach identified and drew on the site’s key characteristics: the wharf ‘promenade’, the Kumutoto stream, the city grid, and the harbour. The Wharf Plaza has been extended to expand the city grid through a new fixed wharf and floating pontoon. At Kumutoto Plaza, the stream is revealed and celebrated by pulling the edge of the water back into the city, declaiming the former carpark and creating a stream mouth.
Historically the wharf surface was covered in timber setts that had been subsequently buried under layers of asphalt, and these have been carefully recycled and re-laid. A sequence of light-pole structures, trees and seats create a procession between the city and the harbour, offering a variety of opportunities for occupation and movement. Other surface materials used throughout the precinct were selected for their texture and robustness. Pohutukawa are set in a scattered grid of square planters.
A stunning new sculptural bridge is suspended low across the water. The south end is supported and framed by a pair of concrete columns recalling a tower crane. This crane structure acts like a beacon, drawing passers-by along the path of the ancient stream into the precinct, where they can wander through, pause and enjoy Kumutoto’s striking spaces at the very edge of the city.
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) Merit Award for Landscape Design in the Asia Pacific Region, 2010
NZIA Wellington Architecture Award for Urban Design, 2008
NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape Gold Award, 2008
NZILA Resene Pride of Place Landscape George Malcolm Supreme Award, 2008
Wellington/Wairarapa Contractors Federation Award, 2008
Wellington Civic Trust Award for Public Space, 2008
IES Award of Excellence for Lighting Design, 2008
New Zealand Contractors Federation Hirepool Construction Award, 2008