North Wharf

Two new structures flank a re-purposed existing cargo shed on Auckland’s North Wharf. Part of the Wynyard Quarter urban regeneration, North Wharf Buildings accommodate a series of hospitality operators.

North Wharf sits at the heart of the Wynyard Quarter precinct, connected to the central city by a pedestrian drawbridge and surrounded by the structures and infrastructure of the maritime industrial uses accommodated on this peninsula since it’s reclamation in the early twentieth century. On the south side of the site sits the Auckland Fish Market, servicing Auckland’s fishing fleet and selling both seafood and market produce to the general public.

The competition brief required a single level structure fronting the newly defined North Wharf promenade and addressing the pedestrian-based reworking of Jellicoe Street. The combination of the buildings and these two public spaces form a westward extension of the central city wharves and the first opportunity for Aucklander’s to engage with open space on the water’s edge.

While the site has a north-facing waterfront position, it is often inhospitable. The open areas are exposed to the wind and rain frequently present in Auckland’s changeable climate. The competition winning strategy provides shelter and a legible place on Auckland's Waterfront.

The distinctive red doors of the shed are re-introduced as blade walls placed intermittently through the new structures to the east and west, while operable steel-framed glazing between these walls can be retracted to blur the definition between interior and exterior space.

The design seeks to maximise the use of the natural resources available. As a single level building surrounded on all sides by open space, natural light and ventilation can be used throughout. Operable glazing on all sides enables effective cross ventilation and access to natural light. The depth of the plan is addressed by the provision of the south facing lantern, a profile that also allows the integration of roof mounted solar arrays, and other plant.

Project Details: The covered roof area is approximately 2600m2. Construction was completed in 2011 and opened to the general public of Auckland in August of that year. Fearon Hay’s project team was led by Stephen de Vrij with Robin Gieselhardt. Tim Hay and Jeff Fearon are the design architects. Photography is by Patrick Reynolds.

Recognition: Voted in the Top 10 Most Transformative Projects in NZ in the past decade (Architecture NZ, 2017) 2012 Winner – Built Category, New Zealand Urban Design Awards – [Wynyard Quarter], Auckland 2012 Winner – Completed Category, World Architecture News Urban Regeneration Awards North Wharf, Jellicoe Street and Silo Park