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Students redesign Wellington's Civic Square

Friday June 30, 2017

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester presented the prize to Bella Lum and Thomas Nieuwenhuis this week for their idea to develop an arts hub in Civic Square, anchored by two new museum buildings around the City to Sea Bridge and Jack Ilott Green

The plan also proposes moving the Michael Fowler Centre one hundred meters to the east. The pair say that this bold move would create a broader and more monumental entrance to the Square from lower Cuba Street.

Wellington’s Town Hall is being redeveloped to house the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand School of Music, the future of the Municipal Office Building and Civic Administration Building is under review, and the library needs modernisation.

These projects have triggered a comprehensive rethink of the role and character of Civic Square by the Council.

This competition, run by Wellington City Council and the School of Architecture, welcomed third year students to share their vision for the Square and the area around it.

Co-supervisor, Professor Joanna Merwood-Salisbury says, “by being involved in this competition, Victoria students have been given the opportunity to have their say on how Wellington’s Civic Centre evolves over the coming years.”

Runners up Emily Dalley and Kajol Singh replaced the City to Sea Bridge with an extensively landscaped park plateau to create an easier connection between the city and waterfront.

Third place winners Matt Wakelin and Zarah Sahib extended the existing lagoon into the northeast corner of the Square to allow pedestrian only access on Harris Street.