A new six-storey building planned for the waterfront – if the public agrees

ath kumutoto zoomed

Wellingtonians have till the end of February to tell the city council what they think about a plan for a new six-storey building in the north Kumutoto area of the waterfront.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the waterfront is fundamental to Wellington’s sense of place and it’s important that the public has a say.

“At this northern end of the waterfront we have an exciting opportunity to complete the waterfront promenade, create more attractive public spaces, and integrate this location into the life of the central city.

kumutoto bldg

“The Council wants to hear what people think about the design of the proposed building, its height, and the adjacent public areas.”

Ian Pike, Chief Executive of Wellington Waterfront Ltd, says the Willis Bond & Co designs would revitalise the area, currently used for camper van parking alongside Waterloo Quay, between Waterloo Quay Apartments and the Whitmore Street entrance to the waterfront.


“The proposed six-storey building, designed by Athfield Architects, provides a good mix of commercial, retail and public areas, with five levels of office space, as well as a ‘green roof’,” says Mr Pike.

On the ground floor there would be space for cafés, restaurants and shops, with a landscaped, sheltered public area outside, and covered pedestrian walkways around the building and through the ground floor.

On the Waterloo Quay side, a sheltered public walkway from the Whitmore Street gates to opposite the Railway Station would help to complete the waterfront promenade.

The overall height of the building, while slightly higher than that suggested by the Environment Court, is regarded by the council and its advisors as generally being in scale with its neighbours. However the top floor of the new building would be stepped back on all sides so it would only be visible from a distance.

The commercial development will pay for the improvements to public space in the area and provide a return to the Council through rates and a long-term lease.

After the consultation, councillors will consider the proposed designs in early April.

More about the building from Maximus

Willis Bond pushing the limits, again



  1. Nora, 21. January 2014, 13:52

    The plan hides the overall height of the building. Having admitted it is higher than suggested by the Environment Court, perhaps WWLtd dont want the Judge and Commissioners to see this new design.

  2. Guy, 21. January 2014, 16:21

    Nora – rubbish. Nothing to do with WWL trying to hide the design or height from the “Judge and Commissioners.” There is a floor on the top of the building, where it pretty much can’t be seen by the public walking past it at ground level. The only people it would disadvantage are the folks in the NZPost House on that floor who will see it. A set-back top storey on a building is not that unusual, and certainly not trying to hide it from anyone official.

  3. CC, 22. January 2014, 6:53

    Guy, as you say, the set back top storey is not unusual and pretty much can’t be seen by the public walking past at ground level. The building across the road from the campervan park is evidence of this!

    Nora, the Environment Court only made height suggestions, so tough luck, anyone who had expectations should forget them. No doubt the ‘to be landscaped’ Kumutoto site will receive similar recognition and a building will sprout from the site in the not so distant future – probably when Willis Bond finish a much taller building than the one that is presently ‘proposed’ for Site 10. The landscaping was also only a suggestion.

  4. Pollyanna, 22. January 2014, 8:55

    Wellington has one of the most beautiful harbours in the world and visitors from cruise ships walking down Waterloo Quay to Kumutoto should be able to see not only the fishing boats, police boats, and the Eastbourne Ferry Terminal but also Mt Victoria and the Monastery – not just a glimpse of them through a “view shaft” of a six storey office block.

  5. Peter, 22. January 2014, 16:38

    Could someone from the Council or WWL explain the nature and purpose of the ‘green roof’ and advise who will have access to it? It would also be helpful to know why there is a need for an extra storey in addition to the number recommended by the Environment Court.

  6. Hel, 22. January 2014, 18:16

    Artist’s impressions look great, this area of the waterfront is a mess and if the actual design lives up to the impressions could be a great addition.

  7. CC, 23. January 2014, 5:34

    Yes Hel – the artists impressions are just like the WWL’s dive platform. All show and highly toxic.

  8. Maximus, 24. January 2014, 12:04

    There is some more discussion on the proposal over at Eyeofthefish.org

  9. Nora, 25. January 2014, 12:55

    I agree with CC, the artist’s drawings are also like the colourful pictures of the Basin Reserve Flyover.

    And Hel: this area does not have to look a mess. There were some great ideas when there was consultation on the brief two years. I quote from one of the Environment Court’s points “There is a clear understanding that this area provides the main open space for the central city and is primarily a place for people.”

    I agree with Pollyanna: Wellingtonians, visitors and cruise ship passengers arriving from the north do not want to be confronted by a 6 storey building blocking harbour views across to Mt Victoria.

  10. Nora, 26. January 2014, 10:37

    Maximus, you have asked a good question on eyeofthefish – where is the car park entrance, exit etc? Probably somewhere in the plans as a further attraction, but like the original plan for the Meridian underground park will never eventuate as the cost will be prohibitive.


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