Tank Park

Wynyard Quarter was once a bay known as Waiatarau ‘The Reflecting Waters’. The land was incrementally reclaimed from the Waitematā Harbour over the last century, and has served industrial purposes for most of that time housing bulk storage of tallow, cooking oils, petrochemicals and caustic soda colloquially known as ‘Tank Farm’.

This project imagines a transformation from ‘Tank Farm’ to ‘Tank Park’ the newest addition to Wynyard Quarter’s design-led transformation. Tank Park creatively adapts and reveals the sites unique post-industrial character into an authentic, engaging and immersive landscape experience and landmark at the confluence of the ‘waterfront’ and ‘park’ axes and geographical heart of the Quarter.

LandLAB collaborated with BECA (Civil Engineering), Switch Lighting Mana whenua and the Panuku Design and Place teams to drive the design concept and vision for this space.

Tank Park will play a role in the array of tank structures along the North/ South Daldy Street axis, stitching the history of Tank Farm into the fabric of the new Wynyard Quarter development. Mark the intersection of the Waterfront and Park axes. define the geographical centre of the campus and the ‘hinge’ between the gird orientations of the southern (1935) and northern (1945) reclamations.

The retained and constructed Tank forms provide a new spatial function as hubs of activation and special activity that compliment Silo Park and Daldy Street Linear Park. Retention of the Bulk Liquid tanks compliments the retention of former concrete plant silos within Silo Park.

Tank Park provides a new space and experience that compliments the Karanga Plaza, Jellicoe Plaza, Playground and Silo Park sequence. It is subservient to Silo Park’s focus as an events venue and offers a contrasting quieter, immersive and intimate experience supported/enabled by the presence of these existing structures.

Tank Park is a flexible and adaptable space that enables a range of operational modes and strategic placemaking initiatives that compliments and contrasts with Silo Park. A new range of public realm experiences that evolves over time through a choreographed program of intervention, occupation and event.

Tank Park is a transitional and experimental space that compliments and celebrates Silo Park and the precincts marine industry, working waterfront and landscape character that contains and reveals its rich layers of natural, cultural and social history.

The thematic layers of the project show how the combination of the individual design concepts and components contribute to a cohesive overall design, drawing on elements of history, landscape, cultural values, and place making/activation.

Key design features:

A considered palette of soft scaping and trees provide shade relief and counterpoint to the surrounding industrialized elements and wild ecology establishing a socially vital and ecologically rich new coastal forest within the city centre.

Playful elements using salvaged industrial components from the site deepens the authentic experience. Play Line is an episodic interconnected series of interactive experiences.

Carefully chosen tanks retain authentic character, while defining new spaces, filtered views, and opportunities for discovery. An immersive intimate experience as an authentic working waterfront/industrial landscape.

Simple but contextual ground plane that references the landscape and tank built forms. A single connecting surface.

Te Nukuao (The Shelter) represents the deep connections that tangata whenua hold as kaitiaki of the land and waters of Auckland. The concept design was designed in collaboration by LandLAB and mana whenua artist, Tessa Harris (Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki) as part of the newly created urban space. The pavilion is located within Silo Park Extension on the northern edge of Silo Park. The pavilion seeks to fulfil the role of a ‘cultural marker’ identified in the AC36 project scope.

Beca Architects alongside LandLAB (as consultants) delivered the detailed design and construction for Te Nukuao and received an Architectural Award under the Small Project Architecture category in 2021.

Tank Park celebrates and reveals the unique history of this land inviting the public to interact with the industrial, marine and landscape histories of this site.

This project is a significant contribution to experience the waterfront and compliments the extension of the international award-winning open spaces of Silo Park and North Wharf.

Tank Park is an innovative response to an ambitious design brief by Eke Panuku, executed within the heavily constrained framework of the AC36 event delivery.

Demonstration of design testing, rigour, technical complexity, best practice sustainability, re-use and execution that demonstrates industry-leading design and technical expertise has facilitated and enabled the transformation of a complex brown fields industrial site.

Project location: Corner Brigham and Hamer Streets, Wynyard Quarter, Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland), Aotearoa (NZ)

Design year: 2019

Year Built: 2021

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