Slab, corridorSlab, gallery-accessSlab, point-access
Viaduct Harbour
Moller Architects (Gordon & Craig) | Auckland, New Zealand | 2000-2004
Image of Viaduct ...
West facade, seen across Viaduct Harbour

ProjectViaduct Harbour
ArchitectMoller Architects (Gordon & Craig)
CountryNew Zealand
AddressViaduct Harbor, New Zealand waterfront
Building TypeSlab, gallery access
Slab, point-access
Number of Dwellingsc. 85
Date Built2000-2004
Dwelling Types1,2,& 3 BR flats
No. Floors5
Section Typeflats
Exterior Finish
concrete, steel, wood, glass,
Construction Typeconcrete frame & steel frame
Ancillary Servicesbasement parking, retail

Following the winning of the America’s Cup by New Zealand in 1995, plans were developed to transform Auckland’s central waterfront as part of the celebrations planned for the 2000 America’s Cup races. The area along the waterfront west of the old Ferry Terminal Building was planned to be developed as a vibrant public zone within easy walking distance from the city center with broad public promenades, hotels, a new maritime museum, commercial office buildings, retail shops and restaurants, berthing for all kinds of vessels, as well as several hundred dwellings and car parks clustered around the Viaduct basin. A Meandering zone of perimeter blocks and free standing buildings of varied heights was built between the edge of the city between Fanshawe Street and the harbor front . The Moller design for one of these perimeter blocks consists of two ell-shaped 5-story slabs built between 2000 & 2004 that define one of these blocks. Both buildings employ a similar pallet of materials and details. The larger building, The Point, defines the edge of the promenade along the water that is a dominant feature of Viaduct Harbor.

The Point was completed in 2000, is sited along the west side of the block that faces the water and the north end of the ell opens to a small public plaza at the north end of the block. Viaduct Point, the smaller building is sited obliquely to the The Point along two interior streets. Both buildings function as gallery-access types that open to wide balconies along the water and the street while smaller rooms open to the landscaped area on the interior of the block. The balconies are expressed as an exposed steel and frame that is attached to the concrete frame structure forming a wide, layered zone of outdoor space for each apartment. The dwellings all open to continuous balconies with full height glass doors, glass balustrades, and folding wood screens, that provide solar control on the north and west facades. The Point is actually 3 separate buildings that are separated by a narrow entrance slots so that each functions as a separate building. In spite of these gaps, the result is a unified, highly repetitive, concatenated glass and steel structure overlooking the water and moorage area. Basement parking forms a plinth several feet high so that ground floor apartments have a measure of privacy and security.

Each of the three building segments in The Point are serviced with a stair and elevator stack and a glazed gallery on two sides of the interior garden. There are several dwelling sizes but all are variations of a type of through apartment with alternating wide and narrow bays. This strategy provides a larger width for the living and dining areas and a master bedroom that have full height glass doors opening to a wide balcony overlooking the harbor. The larger apartments are located at the ends of the gallery and are thus deeper and have an additional bedroom and study with windows on the garden. Folding wood screens give solar protection along the north and west facades.

While the plans of the later building vary somewhat because of the site away from the water, and the fact that Viaduct Point was built later and the entrance details entry, windows and shutters, shutters, and balcony details are are different, the two buildings are very similar. The two long façades along the water, the reflective, layered quality of the steel and glass balconies and shutters, and the generous dwelling layout mark The Point as a quintessential example of luxury housing in a spectacular maritime setting on the Auckland waterfront.

Architecture New Zealand, Jan, 2001, pp32-40

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©2002 Roger Sherwood. All Rights Reserved