Aotea Opens But Not Finished


The revamped Aotea Square has its open day from noon Saturday but not all of it is finished in time.

The $80 million redevelopment project included the Aotea Square landscape upgrade, the Civic car park roof replacement and upgrade, as well as improvements to the façade of Aotea Centre.

Those wishing to enjoy the grassed terraces in the square will have a bit longer to wait. With the recent heavy rains, the newly laid grass is quite soft and fragile. These areas have been fenced off to protect the grass until it is firmly established.

Construction activity in and around the square will resume after the opening. This includes

  • Paving between the Civic administration building and Aotea Centre
  • Remedial works and paving outside Q-Theatre
  • Installing another new lift within the Metro Centre, that provides access into the Civic car park.
  • Work is also progressing rapidly on an integrated café, bar and box office at the Aotea Centre. The Edge will be announcing the opening date soon.

The recamped square has as its features trees, new paving, seating, grassed terraces and ambient lighting.

The new roof of the Civic car park was done using carbon fibre to reinforce existing concrete beams, a technique widely used in the mining industry and is a relatively new methodology in New Zealand.

Above ground, the front entrance of the Aotea Centre got a facelift with new entrance stairs and a new glass and aluminium canopy inset with small lights giving the effect of a starry sky.

Saturday’s open day is from noon to 8pm.  Activities including face painters, food stalls and performances by the cast of 42nd Street, NBR NZ Opera, Circus Kumarani, Artisan Guns, and the Jews Brothers. There is a temporary viewing tower to provide a bird’s eye view of the square.

Many of the popular public artworks originally located in the square have returned. Waharoa by Selwyn Muru, Sir Dove-Myer Robinson by Toby Twiss and Lord Auckland are in their familiar locations.  The lower half of Untitled by Paratene Matchitt is incorporated into the Aotea Centre café and box office seating area.

Red Dancer by Barry Lett will be on view to the public after the additional paving is completed next year. Meanwhile Terry Stringer’s Mountain Fountain, originally located on the square, has been installed outside the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell.





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