Hello, I’m back. Another year, another scheme for Site 10 on the Wellington Waterfront, with the latest version of the Athfield Architects proposal for North Kumutoto. Will this be the last? Will this scheme finally get through the mill of submitters and complainers, or will it too get tangled up like a Hector’s Dolphin caught in a drift net, and drown in a web of simulated outrage and public indifference as so many schemes have before it? Or will this float? It’s up to you.

The official WWL website is, as always, pretty light on info on this project, and so I’ve managed to secure some industrial espionage snapshots of the display inside Shed 6. They’re obviously hoping to get a lot of people flowing on down to the waterfront to put in a submission – but even at the hallowed halls of Shed 6, there is still an underwhelming lack of real information about the scheme. I suppose that it doesn’t matter – the exhib is to pull in the punters / public, rather than the architectural cognescenti and jitterati of Wellington. Who cares what we think? (Well, actually, I do).

Rather than me mouthing off about whether I thought the scheme was good or bad, warranted or not, I’m just going to post up a couple of the panels that are on display so that you might get an idea of what is on show, and what is proposed to be built. You can even link straight through to the WCC website for input here.

It is, as noted before on these pages, a reduced size version of the scheme that Athfield Architects designed before. It continues with the theme of the giant overhanging gantry structure.

The building’s Design Features are, according to the panel, its relationship with the surrounding public space, where the building gantry flows out over the public space below.

The building use is, as noted, office space in floors 3 & 4, which implies that there is pretty much all public use on levels 1 & 2. I suspect that the top floor, hidden behind the parapet, is either going to be mostly plant equipment, or a posh flat or two.

Except that the schematic axonometric diagramatic thingy is spectacularly unhelpful in regard to this. Mind you, it does have a Creative Business Hub – what’s that? Sounds fun!

(I’m guessing that the reddish-hued areas are vaguely public? Or is that just the circulation stair up to the offices? And just what IS in the area on the roof? A decent set of plans wouldn’t go amiss Athfields! (send them to contact @ eyeofthefish . org if you want). Ha! They never talk to me, even though I know they read this column… Architects are strange (but then again, as Helene Ritchie said once, it feels strange talking to a fish).

What is interesting, is that this is the first time that I’ve seen WWL publicly state that site 8 is off the list for building on. It will be “open space” which should keep Pauline Swan happy, if anything can, although of course that means that site 9 (on the roadside) is still up for grabs as a development site.

Don’t believe me? Read here for yourselves:

Yes, they want your ideas, your feelings, your feedback. We (the people of the city of Wellington) should swamp them with it!

I’ll leave you with this picture, which I quite like the look of, peeking through the slot towards Te Papa (will it really line up? or is that just artistic license?), as well as the official promo shot:

And here is the zoomed in version, where you can actually see the building: