Layout of apartments in the Clyde Quay Wharf building on Wellington waterfront

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To maximise the long, low profile of the new Clyde Quay Wharf development in Wellington, there are eight separate apartment lobbies. These allow several apartments to run the full width of the building with views to both the east and west. Architect Ian Dickson of Athfield Architects talks about the unconventional apartment layout.

Waterfront regeneration in Wellington has taken a huge leap forward with the completion of the Clyde Quay Wharf development. And it’s not just that the development provides the missing link on Wellington’s waterfront promenade – it’s also about the creation of a vibrant, mixed-use urban precinct and a landmark building on a heritage site. Clyde Quay Wharf, developed by Willis Bond & Co and designed by Athfield Architects, replaces the former Overseas Passenger Terminal, which had been a Wellington Harbour landmark for many decades. Mark McGuinness, Willis Bond & Co managing director, says the company’s underlying objective for all its inner-city, mixed-use developments is to build “vibrant and sustainable communities that will stand the test of time.” “The prominence of this site and its proximity to the water made the design and quality of paramount importance, he says. “We also had to consider the public nature of the wharf area together with the premium residential environment – these two elements needed to co-exist in an appropriate and positive manner.” Architect Ian Dickson says the former terminal had become something of a white elephant, no longer suited to the large cruiseliners that come into the port over the summer. “The building did not have a heritage rating and it had slowly deteriorated over the years,” Dickson says. “It was used for industrial storage, with a function centre on the upper level. “But because it had been such a significant part of the waterfront, the resource consent required the new building to acknowledge and respond to the heritage wharf and the original building. This meant the height and scale of the new structure needed to echo the distinctive long, low proportions of the former passenger terminal.”

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