New Building and Plaza Proposed for Kumutoto Precinct on Wellington Waterfront

8 February 2012

The design of a new building and public plaza at the Railway Station end of the waterfront has been unveiled and Wellington Waterfront Limited is now seeking feedback on the design.

The Kumutoto Precinct is already home to the award-winning Meridian Building and Kumutoto Plaza, and the proposed new building at 10 Waterloo Quay and the new Whitmore Plaza would be an extension of this popular waterfront area. The building and plaza would occupy the site that is currently the Motor-home Park opposite the NZ Post building on Waterloo Quay, and known as Site 10 in the Wellington Waterfront Framework document. 

Ian Pike, CEO of Wellington Waterfront Ltd, said today: "This will be an attractive and high quality building and public space including the unique feature of a large ground floor indoor plaza for public use, providing an all-weather environment overlooking the harbour, as well as public toilets and the facility to buy food and coffee; it would also provide a seamless flow to the new landscaped Whitmore Plaza outside."

The Whitmore Plaza would be a continuation of the Kumutoto public space providing a landscaped area for people to relax and enjoy the waterfront; it would also complete the waterfront pedestrian promenade to the Railway Station, both on the Quay and waterfront sides of the building.

The building above the ground floor will provide five levels of premium commercial office space in line with the use outlined for this site in the Wellington Waterfront Framework, and contained within Variation 11.

The proposed building has been designed by award winning architects Studio Pacific Architecture.

Nick Barratt-Boyes, the lead architect on the project, said: "It is proposed as a sculptural, contemporary addition to this waterfront site, while being sympathetic to its historical maritime context, and taking careful consideration of critical view shafts and key views from the city and the harbour.

"The form of the building takes it cues from its maritime context and has an exo-skeletal (net-like) structure that wraps and cradles the building on three facades whilst allowing the expression of the seaward facade to be a beautiful folding crystalline form.  The indoor plaza on the ground floor is seamlessly stitched into the waterfront promenade and public spaces via sheltered colonnades and walkways."  

The design is for the most seismically advanced new office building in the country - featuring base-isolated foundations. It would also achieve a minimum 5 star Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

Ian Pike said: "The proposed building is a project of the Newcrest Group which is very familiar with the precinct having completed the refurbishment of the adjoining Shed 21 into the Waterloo on Quay premium apartments. The company is the most awarded developer in the New Zealand Property Council Awards." he said.

The Wellington City Council was briefed on the design yesterday (7 February), and Wellington Waterfront Limited is now seeking public feedback on the design of the building and the public space development. Members of the public can make their comments until 9 March.

Those interested in providing feedback can visit the Wellington Waterfront website, or fill in a feedback form which are available from the Wellington Waterfront Project Information Office on the ground floor of Shed 6 Queens Wharf Wellington.

Wellington Waterfront website

Wellington Waterfront has also set up an information display in its Project Information Office and open days will be held on Saturday 18 February and Saturday 3 March 2012 between 10am and 3pm where the project team will be available to answer questions on the development.

The feedback, along with a design review by Wellington Waterfront Ltd's Technical Advisory Group, and the commercial terms of the proposed deal, will be considered by a meeting of the Council in late March. 

Resource consent applications will be informed by the Environment Court's decision following a hearing on variation 11 to the District Plan. The hearing is scheduled to start on 12 March.