Te Hiku Waihorotiu

2020, AD1

This project seeks to restore Te Waihorotiu to its rightful place at the centre of public life in Tāmaki Makaurau. Through nurturing the physical presence of the waterway, the project enables Waihorotiu to once again nurture the spiritual presence of its people. In its architectural manifestation, Te Hiku o Te Waihorotiu seizes a piece of colonial non-land and chisels it into a staging ground for civic action.

Inspired by the biplanar nature of the pōwhiri, Te Hiku o Te Waihorotiu rediscovers lost connections between the water and the celestial, the people and their collective whakapapa. The resultant architecture juxtaposes monumental timber elements with delicate metal frames, together emphasising the vertical tether between stream and sky. The project occupies and erodes the threshold between the urban downtown and the Waitemata, and creates a new space to serve primarily as a hosting area for mana whenua Ngāti Whātua Orākei. Waihorotiu’s physical presence on site is celebrated as it emerges from colonial captivity and thrashes into the Waitemata.