‘Islands’ (Moutere) is a family of floating social and ecological activation devices.Conceived as a topographical intervention reminiscent of Hauraki Gulf landscapes– ‘Islands’ represents a new type of public space for Auckland. A moveable, floating, social and ecological infrastructure that supports swimming, events, performance, occupation and delight.

Auckland’s landscape consists of a dramatic and sculptural field of geological volcanoes and a flooded harbour system of rhythmical headlands and bays. However, the city centre’s waterfront has been highly modified, and access to thewater’s edge compromised over time.

As a water-based social and ecologically strategic activation device that blurs boundaries between ‘land’ (whenua) and ‘sea’ (moana), ‘Islands’ establishes tactile, sculptural and architectural forms juxtaposed against the highly modified and constructed urban water’s edge.

‘Islands’ invites new types of occupation and engagement with the cities blue waterfront and open spaces. The islands are able to be positioned in a variety of water’s edge locations to provide or support constantly changing curated and programmed experiences.

Island’s are ecologically provocative and promote environmental issues that affect the Waitemata, such as water quality. Sub-surface marine forests establish new ecological habitats that support harbour biodiversity and can be a catalyst for a range of ecological enhancements to Auckland’s urban waterfront.

‘Islands’ is culturally resonant. ‘Motutere’ is the maori word for island. ‘Motu’ means to sever and ‘tere’ means to drift. ‘Islands’ will provide a venue for educational, community and cultural based events.

The island is experimental and will involve the testing and trialling of new construction methodologies and embrace New Zealand’s traditions of seafaring, boat building, innovation and exploration.

Note_ The Island’s proposal was developed as part of a master planning and visioning exercise for Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour in 2017. It has been shortlisted for a 2018 (WAF) World Architecture Festival (WAF) Award in the ‘Visionary Projects’ category and a 2018 World Architecture News (WAN) Award.

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