The five first stage winners of the two-week Queen’s Wharf design competition are announced this morning – my own entry wasn’t amongst them, and neither were any that I’d picked in my summary here a few weeks back – and nor were any that are likely to set the world alight. If there’s a winner here, it’s not going be the public.
Just to remind you, the competition was intended to select a design for a new cruise terminal and a “Party Central” for the Rugby World Cup an beyond.
The designs selected to go forward to Stage 2 of the competition are as follows (click on the links to view a PDF):
Design number 024 - Andrius Gedgaudas, Architect, Shanghai China.
Design number 046 - Den Aitken, Pete Griffins and Hamish Foote, Field Landscape Architecture, Auckland.
Design number 170 - David Gibbs and Aaron Sills, Construkt / SVB, Auckland.
Design number 195 - John Coop, Tasman Studio, Auckland.
Design number 216 - Simon Williams, Williams Architects Ltd, Auckland.
(These five designs were selected by, wait for it, Murray McCully and Gerry Brownlee, ARC Chairman Mike Lee and Auckland City Mayor John Banks, “assisted by” the chief executives of the Ministry of Economic Development, Auckland Regional Council and Auckland City Council, and – as professional advisers – Prof. John Hunt, Ian Athfield, Rebecca Skidmore, Jillian de Beer and Graeme McIndoe.)
In total they represent a collection of sheds and seats and shipping containers – in a prime spot at one of the world’s best harbours – that (with the exception of #216 which at least has an overbridge to get them there) are somehow supposed to attract pedestrians from Queen St through a bus plaza, across two busy streets and out to their barren windswept plazas. Sheesh.
Which all rather reminds me of a quote I stumbled across today that you can consider as you view these schemes:
“A bold architectural statement turns a public building into a landmark, but it is in the details where the architect becomes the real storyteller.”
- Curtis W. Fentress
Have any of these here got either of those qualities right?
UPDATE: More blather on this here at the Herald, who repeat the claims of the council’s press release that
“All five were chosen for their ability to strike the right balance between meeting the need for a great public space, act as a major celebration during the Cup and provide a world-class cruise ship terminal.
“Other ideas include using the historic pattern of the wharf, major open space across the width of the northern end, a harbour pool within the perimeter of the wharf and simple sculptural forms for the cruise ship terminal.”