Auckland CBD Public Art Report

Date: 2004-05

Location: Auckland CBD

Client: Auckland City Council

Award: NZILA 2006 Supreme Award in Landscape Planning



We were commissioned by Auckland City Council to prepare a report to inform their plan for public art in the CBD. The report was expected to align public art with the disciplines of urban design, architecture and planning in such a way that a “high quality urban environment” and a “place that feels like the heart and expresses the soul of Auckland” could be created.


One of the outcomes sought was the creation of a network of public artwork sites within walkable distance of each other. The mappings illustrated here are a small representation from the large number that were generated in order to explore and fulfill this requirement. Their order is largely representative of the process followed. The mappings accompanied an in-depth review of the paradigms and issues characterizing public art generally and Auckland’s CBD specifically. A number of strategies informed the outcome:


·       we treated the CBD as a unique place with its own particularities

·       we embraced diverse patterns and perspectives, including recognising tangata whenua, mana whenua and ahi kaa status and expression

·       represented the landform as a three dimensional artifact and used this as an integral way of visualising and understanding the CBD

·       included walking as an ‘indicator species’, whose enablement, or lack of, signified the health of the CBD

·       challenged the priority and space allocated to vehicles

·       viewed public art as being intrinsically tied to the provision, controls, uses, qualities and values of public space

·       offered insights into how the CBD’s problems could be transformed by public space improvements

·       developed a network of artwork sites that allowed for the inclusion, experience and mix of both the strategic and spontaneous

·       recommended the opening up of city planning and design processes to Pacific Peoples’ way of relating to space, place and people  



All rights reserved © RRA Ltd 2017