Te Whau Pathway is a 13 km cycle/walkway infrastructure proposed for the city of Auckland. Through iconic architectural form, public art and enhanced ecologies, the long and varied history of the region is celebrated through Te Whau Pathway.
The pathway is an elegant piece of modernity, linking the city to the western suburbs. A world first, it will connect the east and west coast across Auckland’s narrow volcanic isthmus, joining the Waitematā and Manukau harbours across multiple ecologies and cultural footprints. The pathway traces an important historical route along the Te Whau River, once used by Māori as an overland portage route to haul waka between the two water bodies and tribal territories – for migration, food gathering, trading and warfare. More recently, post-colonial occupation of the river focused on the production and shipment of bricks, food, Kauri tree gum and other primary products. Now, it is a backdrop to low density housing and industrial precincts. The pathway is in the city’s western suburbs, where streets are circuitous, hilly and often congested, resulting in long journeys that are unsafe for cycling and are dominated by private vehicles.
The pathway will connect communities with their places of work, recreation and schools, shortening journey times, promoting active travel and providing access to nature. By creating a dialogue with this diverse freshwater and expansive tidal ecology, the project team has taken a utilitarian transport project and transformed it into an embedded, sculptural element that connects communities with their cultural and natural heritage.
This deceptively simple form provides a highly creative, beautifully crafted and innovative solution for connectivity between Auckland City and its western suburbs. The walkway impressed with its simplicity and practicality, its ability to accommodate future sea level change, its ease of construction and accessibility and its opportunity for education. The form of the walkway meanders gently through the urban landscapes and edges referencing and celebrating the ecologies of mangrove and stream whilst avoiding the temptation to overstate its form and scale. Overall this vision is inspiring and provides an exceptional opportunity for the enhancement of community and connection that hopefully will come to fruition in the future.
Client: Auckland Council and Auckland Transport
Jasmax - Mike Thomas, Nick Scarles, Brad Congdon, Claudia Boyo, Monica Wong
MonkMckenzie, Stantec, Brett Graham (Iwi Artist), Keri Whaitiri (Kaiarataki)