Kokoru: The Cove Haven

2022, D5

Kokoru: The Cove as Haven and Performing Ground

A place where landscape narrates stories

A space where theatre is found within nature

The conventional theatre focuses on the performance designed for human actions. When considering the approach for an outdoor amphitheatre, questions arose as to how a space can be designed to highlight the performances that are already taking place at ‘The Cove’ sited below Maungauika/North Head of Tāmaki Makaurau.

The main concept of the project is to create a circular boardwalk that provides a concentrated, safe interior space within the landscape, calling attention to the site as a specific ‘performing ground’ with fluctuations in tide, seasons and weather that allow organisms to perform in this natural ecology, This provides various observation points in nature through spaces where we pause, play and listen to the landscape and its stories.

As a beach haven, Kokoru includes a multipurpose pavilion, boardwalk coasting along the scoria rocks, seats nestling into the bush, hammocks above treetops, an open platform, fishing dock, and rearrangeable pontoon boardwalks that respond to the changing tide and give access to arrival from the sea.

An elevated construction of rusty Cor-ten mesh and weathering timber allows nature to perform by growing and interweaving through the structure over time.

Through these intricate spaces, Kokoru facilitates a series of experiences that focus on both macro- and micro-scale performances, raising awareness of landscape as Mauri-Ora, described by Māori architecture theorist Dr Amanda Yates as “the immanence of living as a relational field”.