Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Back to the Promenade

Re-opening the tug wharf promenade at KumutotoAfter being closed for reconstruction for most of the year, the Tug Wharf Promenade at Kumutoto reopened this morning. Apart from new lighting and seats, the main feature is a new bridge, supported by a "Cradle" at one end and a "Crane Tower" at the other. This bridge looked disappointingly nondescript in the earlier renders, but there are many more subtleties of shape visible in the final product, and by all accounts there's some innovative engineering going on underneath it all. By replacing a section of the heavy tug wharf with a slender, tapered span, the bridge enables the declaimed "stream mouth" to have better visual (and small boat) access to the harbour, and the tower itself creates a sort of archway that helps to mark a stage in one's movement along the promenade.

New bridge at KumutotoWork on some of the public space north of Kumutoto Plaza will continue for a while longer, perhaps for a few more weeks, but most of the public spaces in this stage of the Kumutoto developments are now open to the public. Significantly, it's now possible to skate or cycle along the water's edge from Whitmore St to Oriental Bay for the first time in years, since the promenade in front of Chaffers Dock closed for Waitangi Park construction and didn't reopen until May. It's a pity that the Mojo won't be open until early January now, since that would have given us a first indication of how the combination of promenade, plazas and buildings will work together as public realm. With any luck, the ground floor of the Meridian building will be fully tenanted before the end of summer, bringing another part of the waterfront to life at last.


At 9:51 am, November 29, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to hear that section is open again, I guess the next section of the extended waterfont to get completed will be in front of the new BNZ building at Harbour quays, It will eventually make a great walkway to get to the stadium from Mt Vic/O Bay etc, I guess it now is incumbant on Wellington waterfront to progress with final plans for sites 8/9/10,

At 10:06 am, December 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The signs in the ground floor indicate that a Wagamama noodle place is opening there. if the buzz is anything like the Auckland one, this will start to become a busy part of the City. It could put Mojo to shame on the people front.


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