Djordje Petkovic 2 A Memory of Auckland

  • School
    University of Auckland

This thesis conceptualizes the first arrival of Waka on the shores of the Waitemata Harbour into shell like roof and column structures which crash upon each other to form the crux of the building. Located on Fort Street, formerly Fore Street, this urban sanctuary embodies the history of the site and our predecessors through three primary components – The Ocean; The Clouds; The Mountain.
“The Ocean” is formed by a cavernous system of pools below ground level which reach down to the original water level. The waka-inspired roof shells direct rainwater into the tidal pools at the entrance of the site, right where the waves of Auckland’s bountiful waters once crashed against the shore. With the seasons, these tidal pools fill and overflow into the contemplation space below, returning the water to its rightful place.
“The Clouds” are a series of internal structures representing Aotearoa / The Land of the Long White Cloud. These clouds form internal floors as well as external rooftop decks which allow rainwater to filter through them, watering the internal gardens, and eventually reach the cavernous pool system in “The Ocean.” The cycle is completed – water is once again returned to its rightful place.
“The Mountain” is the highest point of the structure – a roof top deck which the user reaches once passing through the clouds. This space is located at the height of the original Point Britomart and allows users to experience views of the coastline just as those thousands of years before the experienced.
The intended project site is located between Fort Street and Shortland Street in Auckland’s Commercial Bay and carries a neglected historical significance. Prior to the expansion of Auckland’s waterfront in the early 1850’s, Fort Street, formerly Fore Street, represented the original foreshore of the southern Waitemata Harbour coastline. In 1840, paramount chief of Ngati Whatua-0-Orakei Ahipahi Te Kawau invited Governor Hobson to establish a new capital in Auckland. Trade grew exponentially as trade and migrant ships docked its ports. Soon after, point Britomart was completely excavated in order to infill the bay and provide for a growing city. This thesis attempts to conceptualize this historical narrative, through a phenomenological lens, in order to manifest the past into a present-day memorial for Tamaki Makaurau’s original topography and rich history.