Take a look at this ambitious urban infrastructure project in Auckland, New Zealand, The Waterview Connection.
The concept was created by New Zealand-based architects Warren and Mahoney — an international architectural design practice with a strong focus on social and cultural identity, alongside Boffa Miskell and the Well Connected Alliance. The structure, opened in 2017, was crafted to reflect the city’s distinct volcanic landscape and Māori culture. It consists of twin tunnels and connecting infrastructure intended to revolutionise the travel patterns for Aucklanders.
Says Warren and Mahoney’s Tom Locke: “The Waterview Connection is so much more than a road tunnel. We had an opportunity to redefine what infrastructure can deliver with the application of thoughtful architecture. There was a big focus on getting stories from the public and preserving history. By listening to the local community and putting people first, we were able to positively contribute to the surrounding environment and bind the community together.”
As well as the motorway elements of the project, the team created green spaces, walking tracks, children’s playgrounds and a network of shared paths for cycling and walking in the surrounding area.
The motorway corridor, including the retaining walls and structures, were designed to reflect the nearby landscape and Māori culture.
Adds Locke: “Retaining walls and building facades reference the striated basalt columns from the lava flows which criss-cross the site while the ventilation stacks are inspired by the angular, faceted forms of Māori agricultural tools.
“Over a six-year process involving more than 10,000 people, we were able to combine our understanding of built structure with the values and needs of the community. The building of trust and understanding between us led to a higher quality design which reflected the local environment. As a result, we were able to create one of the New Zealand’s most humane pieces of infrastructure.”