Robert Pak, finalist
Photo by Simon Wilson
Robert (Heachoon) Pak, from the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning, a finalist for his project, ‘Post Civic’.
The old Auckland Railway Station was a Modernist monument to civic pride and architectural ambition. At the end of the twentieth century it met its Post-modernist fate – sold off and re-purposed as accommodation in another indifferent development in a neighbourhood of architectural mediocrity. Instead of pinning hopes for revival on some grand project, this proposal envisages multiple, smaller-scale interventions and additions, which will provide “micro public spaces” sited alongside declamations which reconnect this part of the city to the harbour.
This project is an enthusiastic engagement with a damaged section of Auckland’s urban fabric. Starting with the realisation that decades of development have substantially degraded the local public realm, the author proposes some urban repair work. It’s a bold move to flood the railway track leading into the old Railway Station and so re-connect the area with the harbour. The introduction of water and the restoration of circulation routes is provocative, but consistent with Auckland’s ambition to be a most livable city.