The Griffith Gardens is a temporary community space and teaching hub located on the corner of Albert Street and Wellesley Street. The Griffith Building that formerly occupied the site was demolished by Auckland Council due to structural issues in 2016 and was then passed to Auckland Transport to manage. It is the future location of the Aotea City Rail link station (scheduled for development in 2019).
Rather than leaving the site vacant, Activate Auckland saw this site as an opportunity to create a ‘give back’ to the city centre during a time of major transformation and a vehicle to communicate that story.
The purpose of Griffiths Gardens was to create a flexible, temporary public space that provided opportunities for passive recreation, community activities and homes for the inner city ambassador hub and for projects run by For the Love of Bees – A City Bee Collaboration. The space is designed to be highly versatile to suit the needs of various communities and is iterative by nature – a true tactical urban intervention.
To date the Griffiths Gardens has hosted workshops, community events, carving classes, soup kitchens, choirs, community fridges and more, and has facilitated new creative endeavours and collaborations. It is also the future site of Pa Rongorongo - an information hub that will be home to a digital 3D portal that shares the city transformation story with visitors as well as hosting various community activities such as walking tours, workshops, a community-run seed bank and more.
Project Lead: Liz Allen, Activate Auckland Project Funder: City Centre Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, For the Love of Bees Claire Davis, City Centre Design Unit Auckland Transport Walking and Cycling Love Food Hate Waste
Walk The Walk: A History of Fashion In The City
The New Zealand Fashion Museum in partnership with Auckland Council, Heart of the City, and Smith + Caughey's created Walk the Walk: a History of Fashion in the City a programme of events that share a fascinating story of fashionable Auckland.
Walk the Walk revealed the traces that remain of our inner city fashion history through an exhibition of beautiful garments, two live fashion parades and a guided walking tour of the city.
The guided tour takes participants through the streets and alleyways to discover a hidden history of fashion in the city, sharing stories that enrich the experience of being in the city by exposing its layers, increasing appreciation and preserving this aspect of our rich cultural and social heritage.
The walking tour has been a resounding success with the public and Activate Auckland has continued to fund these throughout 2017 to meet demand.
Project Leads: Dirk Peterson, Rose Jackson, Activate Auckland Project Funder: City Centre Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: NZ Fashion Museum Doris DuPont Heart of The City Smith + Caughey's Auckland Council
For the Love of Bees - A City Bee Collaboration
For The Love Of Bees is a living social sculpture that imagines Auckland as the safest city in the world for bees. Our project offers opportunities for businesses, students, individuals, schools, community gardens, brand partners and beekeepers to collaborate and produce a vision that will live on through the city of Auckland for years to come. By working in collaboration with Auckland Council Parks and Activate Auckland we are creating an ecosystem that supports thriving beehive colonies by introducing hives and focusing on the quality and quantity of flowers throughout our city.
Project Leads: Dirk Peterson, Liz Allen Project Funder: City Center Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: SouthSci Ceracell Phantom Billstickers Sustainable Schools AUT Angus Muir Design
Lower Queen Street Plaza
There is ongoing significant construction activity underway in Lower Queen Plaza that forms part of the public City Rail Link transformation project and private Commercial Bay development, which has created a challenging environment for city workers, residents, visitors and businesses in the area.
Throughout this period, Lower Queen Street has remained a critical arrival point and connector between the waterfront and the heart of the city, and once construction is complete it will become a new people-friendly public place.
The CRL project and Auckland Council’s Activate Auckland team worked together within the constraints of the construction environment to make the most of the interim public space between these construction zones.
The aim was to create a positive public experience of the space in the context of significant development projects either as a space to enjoy or through with to connect to the businesses surrounding the space (i.e. Queen St, Queens Wharf and Quay Street). There were also opportunities to support local businesses to attract and generate business and offset impact of construction projects (prioritising those in directly affected by construction and the immediate vicinity but also supporting those in the wider area e.g. Albert Street).
The first iteration of the space was created to support and enable activations that attracted public, businesses and local communities. This temporary public space was created using astro turf, seating elements including deck chairs and picnic tables and businesses were offered the use of market stalls where they could sell their goods in the public realm.
Adding a Lower Queen Plaza Lawn, as a place to meet and gather.
Adding colourful directional surface markings to better demark public space from roadway and enhance the sense of connection between city and sea.
Hosting Auckland’s visitor I-site within the space to better service visitors to the area and to provide a point of information for locals.
Creating events and activations that attract and retain customers in the area.
Facilitating opportunities for local businesses to use the space to do business or promote their business
Updating wayfinding signage to highlight facilities and amenity within the vicinity and create connection between customer and business.
Project Leads: Activate Auckland Project Funder: City Centre Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: City Rail Link Precinct Properties
MAKE SPACE: THE VISIBILITY PROJECT
MAKE SPACE: The Visibility Project
A Playful Construction Engagement Tool
The Moa Periscope was originally conceived by the High Street District community during a stakeholder engagement meeting as a way to engage children in the Freyberg Place redevelopment. The 2.5m periscope, fashioned in the shape of a Moa, is constructed from steel and has mirrors that give a movable horizontal and vertical view of construction works below.
The periscope was initially installed above the Freyberg Place construction zone in Auckland city, so children of all ages could keep an eye on the area’s redevelopment.
Ludo Campbell-Reid, General Manager of the Auckland Design Office says the Moa is in-keeping with the spirit of the Freyberg Place redesign, which will create a more vibrant, child-friendly public space.
“Children should be the heroes of urban transformation. These fun initiatives invite our young Aucklanders to engage with the changing place that they live in and encourage participation in future city building. It’s all for them after all.”
An engaging tool to engage children in construction and development
The development of an asset that can be used around the city centre during the unprecedented amount of construction in Auckland city
Project Leads: Activate Auckland Project Funder: City Centre Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: High Street District Stakeholder Group Patterson Architecture Collective Otahuhu Engineering
Lower Queen Street Walkway
Lower Queen Street is the gateway to Auckland’s CBD - a place where visitors start or end their journeys; commuters enter and exit the city and the route many people take to access the waterfront. It is also home to residents from the Endeans and Dilworth Building and some food and beverage businesses. There are also several thousand people working in the commercial offices at 1 and 21 Queen Street which front directly on to Lower Queen Street. It has high foot traffic with up to 25,000 people moving through the space during rush hours.
This site also sits between 2 of the largest development sites in the CBD - Commercial Bay (West) and the CRL/CPO (East). These development sites have significant impacts on the people’s experience of Lower Queen street and the visibility of the local businesses. This is due to the regularly changing layout of the space, noise, dust and heavy traffic movements.
On 1st May 2017, LQS will be handed over to Downers (CRL) and Fletcher (CB). The ‘lawn’ will be removed and the project hoarding lines will be moved creating 2 ‘lanes’ running the entire length of LQS between Customs and Quay Streets; one for construction vehicles and one for pedestrians. These lanes are primarily focused on getting vehicles and pedestrians through the site safely.
In August these hoarding lines will move again - swapping the pedestrian lane to the west side of the street and the vehicles onto the east.
The purpose of this project was to design a hoarding treatment for the pedestrian lane that:
Can be used in stage 1 (Mid May - Aug) then removed and reapplied to the hoarding line of stage 2 (Aug - 2019). Creates a space that is inviting, safe, fast and easy to navigate and well lit
A show piece for the lower queen street that reflects the innovative nature of the surrounding developments
Challenge traditional hoarding treatment approaches
Provide wayfinding and direction for those unfamiliar with the area
Angus Muir Design created a light-centric design piece that temporarily attached to the hoardings that also worked during the day.
Project Leads: Activate Auckland Project Funder: City Centre Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: Angus Muir Design Precinct Properties CRL/CPO Commercial Bay
Aotea Quarter Public Art Guide
Following the completion of the Aotea Quarter Framework (2016), Activate Auckland commissioned Jillian De Beer to write a destination strategy and action plan that addressed Outcome 1 of the framework: A Civic and Cultural Heart. This identifies Aotea Quarter as the enduring home for the arts, culture, entertainment and civic life.
As part of the strategy, it was identified that the venues in the area needed to unify and work together to create a cohesive cultural offering.
Activate Auckland partnered with Deborah White on Artweek 2017. As part of this programme Activate Auckland commissioned Artweek to develop a public art guide for the Aotea Quarter, created by Marlaina Key, that included permanent art/ sculpture/ installations in the public realm and also any pieces in venues that were accessible to the public.
Strengthened the connection between the venues in Aotea Quarter
Provides a wayfinding tool for the area to improve the legibility of the city
Celebrates and champions public art in the Quarter
Promotes a distinct place identity
Project Leads: Activate Auckland Project Funder: City Centre Targeted Rate Project Collaborators: Artweek Auckland