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From the Daily Scot:

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Looking back on my seven years living in Auckland, there was one specific moment residents and visitors alike took notice that the City of Sails was serious about providing world class civic spaces and amenities. That moment was the opening of Wynyard Quarter.

Sure we had access to the waterfront through Prince’s Wharf and The Viaduct (developed for the 2000 America’s Cup) but this new linear waterfront space expanded our imagination, accommodating and celebrating working industry and the site’s gritty past.

Before Shipping Containers

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Wynyard Quarter’s programming and placemaking is superb: used-book libraries inside shipping containers, playgrounds, interactive water features, restaurants, giant steps cascading into the ocean tempting a toe dip, and the event node that is Silo Park. 

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Restaurants

 Concrete Steps

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In addition to constantly evolving placemaking by a dedicated team, what set this development apart from similar projects I have visited are the vernacular of the architecture/landscape materials and the preservation of existing industrial site features against new refined material palettes.  And the use of colour!

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Palet Wall

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Alan Gray, Senior Urban Designer for Panuku Development Auckland, refers to this juxtaposition as “Friction.”  Beautifully illustrating this friction and, hands down, my favourite space along the waterfront, Silo Park comprises six former concrete silos preserved to recall the site’s past while re-purposing the infrastructure to house events ranging from art installations to providing a backdrop for outdoor movies.

SILO CINEMA HERO (1)

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Fridays during the summer months meant heading to Silo Cinema for classic films like Goonies and Ghostbusters, family-friendly flicks viewed from the lawn surrounded by food trucks and a shipping container serving beer and wine.   Because it’s now a victim of its own success, grabbing a spot means showing up a few hours early with blankets in hand to stake your claim amongst fellow moviegoers.

SILO PARK

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Wynyard Quarter has many components.  Spreading south from Silo Park, filling in the adjacent blocks, is a future comprehensive mixed-use development.  Here, business headquarters, hotels, apartments and linear parks are taking shape after years of master-planning and staging.  Think Vancouver’s Olympic Village with the added commercial and lodging component.

Check out the two informative videos on the Wynyard Quarter website which highlight its transition from scruffy light-industrial area to amenity-rich mixed-use precinct.

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