First Concept Manukau Drawings

Concept Mk1 Base Drawings for 21st Century Manukau

Part of the “Looking at Developing a 21st Century Auckland” Series


At the moment I have zoned in on Manukau as the centre point of the “Looking at Developing a 21st Century Auckland” series. While Manukau is my “home” hub owing to the fact I reside in Southern Auckland, the wider development strategy is part of both Developing a 21st Century Auckland AND the fact that battles will be won or lost in the suburbs

For recaps please see the following posts:

At the moment before I switch over to Sketchup I have drawn up two concept drawings using old-fashioned pencil and tracing paper. Some days using the old-fashioned methods especially for working drawings works better than a PC as it is both portable, cheap and the eraser comes in handy too.

Once the concept drawings complete and finalised, they will be both uploaded into the computer and translated intoSketch Up for 3D mock-ups. Already one set of concepts have been translated into a full 3D mock-up – the Manukau Redevelopment MK3 which also incorporated Te Papa North into the complex (saving Hayman Park).


Manukau Redevelopment Concept Mk1


In the Manukau’s 21st Century Development post I had shown two concept pencil drawings with two base photos:

Sure pencil drawings can be “crude” compared to using SketchUp but at the end of the day if I was to present (as I am going to request) to the Urban/Rural Development Committee or even say Design Champion Ludo Campbell-Reid and his urban design team showing just a finished product will not cut it. They (whoever it is) will just sit there and nod and go “that’s nice.”

What needs to be shown to “sell” an idea or project is the methodology you used to get to the final and finished product. That means going right back to the “issue,” the “idea,” and finally the works going lead up to the final product.

Already that can be seen with the Manukau Interchange Mk3 project that I have pretty much completed for now. If I decide to do an Mk4 it will be most likely be adding a Sky Train with stations along Manukau Station Road.


Moving along

Over the last couple days I have been evaluating the current situation of “1960’s” auto-dependent Manukau City Centre (listed as a Metropolitan Centre by the Unitary Plan, or Super Metropolitan Centre by myself) and drafting up some concept drawings on current ‘infrastructure’ and where connections (urban stitching) need to occur to get best utilisation for a pro-people 21st Century Manukau.

Just a note: auto-dependency is not a choice – it is an enslavement from lack of choice. Cities should aim for auto-choice; where one is not overtly penalised by wanting and taking a choice between car, active or mass transit. Auckland does not currently provide that auto-choice as the City is an auto-dependent city. In simple terms how can you have choice if you are the dependency eliminates all and any other options.



Manukau Connection Concepts Mk1

Manukau Redevelopment Context Annotated MK1
Manukau Redevelopment Context Annotated MK1

The base drawing to this can be seen in the gallery above for comparison


At the moment both Manukau (the residential area located south of Manukau City Centre) and Manukau City Centre suffer from dis-connectivity between each-other and within themselves. Whether be bad road/footpath layouts (cul-de-sac road layouts kill connectivity) or wide 4-6 lane roads with generous centre medians and maybe on-street parking, Manukau and Manukau City Centre are basically “islands” of residential and commercial areas that do not make pedestrian access (nor public transport access) rather easy.

It is a classic 1950’s and 1960’s auto-dependent styled urban area where the only real access to these urban “islands” is the car. The good news is that the wide roads and open spaces (often from inefficient land use) can be easily retrofitted to allow stitching up the urban islands into one pro-pedestrian, pro-cycling, pro-public transport interconnected urban fabric – that still allows “efficient” access to key areas by car (as I do believe in choice across the modes).


Manukau Mall Redevelopment Context MK1

Thus the first concept drawing above is an outline of the Manukau area with the islands that need to be stitched up to get that interconnected urban fabric. Essentially when it comes down to more detailed work like the Manukau Interchange Mk3 piece that I have been working on, the above concept drawing (whether it be Mk1 or Mk5) acts as a road-map – a guide. Once the wider-concept drawings are drawn up (like above) then we move on to the closer detail concept drawings such as below:

Manukau Mall Redevelopment Context MK1
Manukau Mall Redevelopment Context MK1

Again you can see the base photo further back up the page – or open the base photo in a separate tab (recommended)


The Manukau Mall Redevelopment Context MK1 drawing is the next tier level down from the wider-context drawing that was shown further back up the post. The next tier after the Manukau Mall Redevelopment Context MK1  drawings is dividing that particular piece up and begin working on 3D-Sketch Up mock-ups like the Manukau Interchange MK3 piece (gallery below).

With the Manukau Mall Redevelopment Context MK1 drawing the first more closer-in attempts at stitching up the current fragmented urban islands is listed out. Remembering we are trying to get all these fragmented and disconnected urban islands reconnected and stitched back up for a more people friendly inter-connected urban fabric. Westfield Manukau Mall was chosen as it is the main focus point for the Manukau City Centre area at the moment. Rally and build around the main commercial retail and entertainment area and the flow on effects carry over to the rest of the area.

Other aspects drawn up on the Mk1 drawing are:

  • Share space locations
  • Primary Access or Thoroughfare locations
  • Pedestrian Malls
  • True multi-modal Boulevards
  • Underground car parking entrances (all car parks within the Manukau Mall area are moved underground with buildings or open spaces built over the top
  • Proposed building (activity) areas like the Town Centre, Office Complex and mixed use areas
  • A possible Sky Train replacing the planned Botany (heavy rail) Line
  • Open spaces whether they be green spaces or urban plaza’s

After some evaluation the Mk2 drawings will be drawn up and the first Google Sketch Up mock ups of individual areas (such as the Manukau Super Metropolitan ‘Town” Centre) will begin. Once I am happy with the final drawings and Sketch Up mock ups (usually around the Mk4’s) the individual pieces of the puzzle will be themselves stitched together into one grand scheme.

From there it will be a case of presentation and selling the grand concept with its individual parts to which it falls to Council (and/or the private sector) to decide where from there.


The Manukau Interchange Mk3 mock up

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Before I log off from this post I have noticed a large piece on urban design this morning from Rod Oram in the Sunday Star Times thanks to Councillor Cathy Casey. Once it goes online (if it does) (note: it just did: I will take a look and run commentary on it either this evening or tomorrow morning.

But what it does show is that yes someone like Ludo Campbell-Reid is pushing very hard for 21st Century Auckland (Outlining a 21st Century Auckland)in urban design however, it seems the Council still has quite a way to go.