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Icestation New Zealand

Lead Designers
Entry Description

DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT

Icestation is situated within the Stratis apartments in Auckland?s new Lighter Quay development in the revitalized Viaduct Harbour. Suspended above the water on three sides, Icestation appears to float above the harbour?s water where one can contemplate the tranquility of the private marina to the rear whilst soaking up the expanse of the city to the other . . . this adapted new land for living on was formally the home of the 31st Americas Cup Village, prior to that a ?log farm? where stacks of logs were stored prior to export and originally the maintenance dock for the refitting of vessels.

The dramatic white building that houses Icestation was conceived as a stack of containers but retains a sense of being ?as a cloud? . . . long and low and sculptural. Concentric patterns set into the concrete base refer to the growth rings of logs from the previous use of the site. When standing on the cantilevered balconies of the luminous white apartments one feels special . . . buoyed up as on a cruise liner . . . floating above the sparkling tide.

A public promenade around the waterfront activates the foreground around much of the apartment creating a dynamic tension between ?The Observer? becoming ?The Observed?.

Icestation is on the lowest level, strongly engaging with the water and luxury yachts beyond. Being at the southern end of the Stratis Building, Icestation has three quite diverse perspectives; to the east is the Viaduct Basin with spectacular views back over Auckland?s CBD and the Sky Tower, to the west is the tranquil private marina and to the south the activity of the lock with the recently opened Westin boutique hotel terrace beyond.

CONCEPT CHALLENGES

?Being committed urban dwellers, the clients have resided within the close fringe of the CBD in every city they have lived for the last 20 to 25 years, they were intrigued whether increased personal ?sanctuary? is linked to the increased spiritually of the spaces we inhabit.

?Nationally there has been a proliferation of minimally styled white residences highly encouraged by peer recognition of the design industry and often loosely referencing the neo modern movement ? interspersed with highly refined references to the ?humble? dwellings along our coastlines that supposedly reference our pioneer bachs of yester year . . . but where is the new directions and thinking around the individual expression within the higher density urban areas and how do these reference New Zealand within the world?

? Believing that the advancement in technologies is dramatically influencing our social working patterns . . . what might be changing in our private living patterns? However in stating this, the exploration is not a?technology roadshow? but rather an interrogation of how the traditional constructs of our habitats might be allowed to morph with the influence of new technological advancements.

?With the observation that the constructed realizations of ?Hyper Surface? or ?Free-flow? and Parametric design concepts often seem to be dull shadows of the originating idea and the graphic representations of these which are rich, fluid, dynamic and both psychologically and physiologically challenging. It seems that these outcomes are restricted by the limitations of industry construction techniques. So the question is considered . . . can we find a new way to generate spatial divisions where the construction technique is inexplicably connected to the design concept and vice versa.

DESIGN OUTCOME

?To create a tranquil cocoon that allows personal refuge from the conflict of ?chaos vs. order? whilst addressing the public ?voyeurism? of modern metropolis habitation

? To question the traditional internal provisions of the habitats within which we reside and the influence of new technology within our future urban sanctuaries

? To research/explore whether it is possible to realize ?Hyper Surface? or ?Free-flowing Parametric? design concepts where the construction technique is embedded within the concept . . .
that is ?no frames and ribs just liquid forms?

ASTHETIC OUTCOME

? Luminous urban cocoon or chrysalis . . .
?a hard outer case of the quiescent insect pupa for it?s metamorphis into a butterfly? oxford dictionary

? Subtle and continuous ?flow? of space and equally subtle understanding of uses within each space

?Harmony, spirituality and the simplicity of zen (but not the literal translation of zen nor the soulless-ness of minimalism)
?To take reasonable steps in an attempt to ensure that our physical footprint on the earth ecology is a gentle one

Other Awards and Prizes

Collegue