A major milestone for the Ferry Basin Redevelopment project was met last week, with the first of three canopies installed on the west side of Queens Wharf over the gangway accessing the new ferry pontoons 5 and 6.
The canopy weighs 105 tonnes and was installed in sections, over three nights, from a floating barge using two cranes. The canopy is 65 metres long, 15 metres wide and will provide shelter for up to 250 ferry passengers. Pontoons five and six open for public use in mid-December 2020.
One of the central features ferry passengers will enjoy is the Ra Matua, Ra Kei design in the canopy ceiling panels. Created by artist Maaka Potini, Ra Matua and Ra Kei are the sails on the Waka Hourua (traditional Maori double hulled sea canoe), Ra Matua (mainsail) and Ra kei (mizzen).
They are represented by the triangular shape repeated throughout the motif. The whole design is an acknowledgement of the many migrations to Aotearoa from the Pacific.
The ceiling panels are part of a wider design collaboration between the Downtown Programme and Mana Whenua which has spanned the two and a half year duration of the Downtown Programme and includes design and artwork for different features throughout the Ferry Basin Redevelopment project.
Installation of the second and third canopies will take place in March and April 2021 once pontoons three and four, and one and two respectively are in place.
“Having the first Canopy in place beside Queen’s Wharf is a very tangible glimpse of how the Ferry Basin will look and feel on completion," Programme Director Eric van Essen says.
“It’s another piece in the rapidly emerging puzzle as elements of the Downtown Programme are completed and returned to the community.”
The Ferry Basin Redevelopment project, is an integral part of the $350 million Downtown Programme, and will see the creation of six new berths in the Ferry Basin.
It is the first step towards a modern, consolidated ferry terminal for Auckland. It will have improved accessibility and greater operational flexibility, which will help accommodate increased passenger numbers.
Works on the Ferry Basin Redevelopment are expected to be complete by the end of April 2021 and all six new berths open to the public in early May 2021.
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