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Mt Albert's impressive train station upgrade

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Published: 21 January 2016

The Auckland Design Manual is a best practice guide to help you with tips, information and inspiration about design and our built environment – our neighbourhoods, buildings and spaces. It’s also a handy reference for amazing case studies of well-designed buildings, places and spaces from New Zealand and abroad.

Each month on OurAuckland in 2016 we’ll showcase a case study.

Owairaka – Mt Albert Rail Station, Auckland

Owairaka is a public art work integrated into the overall structure and design of the Mt Albert Rail Station. It was jointly commissioned by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport to integrate arts and culture into a major upgrade of a transit environment.

Henriata Nicholas (Te Arawa) and Marc Lenton, of Moko-ia Creative House, collaborated on Owairaka for the 2013 Mt Albert Rail Station upgrade in the town centre.

The distinctive motif visually unifies the station and greatly enhances the benefits of the station’s refurbishment. The artists’ design includes a distinctive stylised poutama pattern depicting both the palisades of Māori fortifications formerly in the local area and the notion of a stairway to heaven.

It also references the maunga (mountain) of Owairaka (Mt Albert), from which the artwork takes its name, through a tapatoru (triangle) pattern.

This was applied to the station’s glass surfaces and composite cladding with digitally printed optically clear film. Beautifying the station with soft tones and shadows, the design carries throughout the structure and acts as a subtle aid for public navigation.

For more info on Owairaka click here.