Another major milestone for the Ferry Basin Redevelopment project has been met with the final canopy installed on the west side of Queens Wharf above the gangway accessing the new ferry pontoons.
The canopy weighed 105 tonnes and was installed 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.
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 Māori double-hulled sea canoe), Ra Matua (mainsail) and Ra kei (mizzen).
These 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 Auckland Transport's Downtown Programme and includes design and artwork for different features throughout the Ferry Basin Redevelopment project.
“It’s another piece in the rapidly emerging puzzle as elements of the Downtown Programme are completed and returned to the community,” says Programme Director Eric van Essen.
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 another step towards modern, consolidated ferry infrastructure for Auckland. It will have improved accessibility and greater operational flexibility, which will help accommodate increased passenger numbers.
The new Ferry Basin infrastructure is expected to be open and operational for ferry passengers mid-2021.