About the project
Ūrunga Plaza and the adjacent promenade is a new public space wrapping around the Park Hyatt Auckland Hotel that connects Karanga Plaza to the viaduct promenade for the first time. Named by the Waitematā Local Board, Ūrunga, when directly translated to English means ‘entry’, and this name has a point of entry theme that follows the notion of the adjoining Karanga Plaza, which means ‘welcome’.
Ūrunga Plaza is a result of the waterfront plan vision to enable Aucklander’s and visitors to get closer to the water’s edge in the city centre. Now open, it’s the first time in the history of Auckland that the public can access this formerly privatised space.
Included within the public space, are four 9 metre totara pou whenua which have been erected on the east and west facade of the Park Hyatt Auckland. The Tōhunga Toi Ake (artists) who have created these pou are Vern Rosieur, Wikuki Kingi, Sunnah Thompson, and Lawrence Makoare. Together, the pou whenua tell the stories of Tamaki Makaurau.
The public space was designed by Isthmus Group, with the intention for visitors to meet under the canopies of native trees along the water’s edge. Inspired by the timber milling history of the site, a series of recycled and sustainably sourced timber stacks have been arranged in a wave like formation to create a dynamic and engaging place for visitors to enjoy views to the harbour and city.
Complemented by a series of rain gardens and native vegetation the woodstack concept provides an abstract narrative to the history of the site and explores the notion of regeneration through the reintroduction of native coastal planting and tree species.
Panuku Development Auckland