Design details for new City Rail Link station
The design narrative behind City Rail Link’s new station, (provisionally named) Karanga-ā-hape, has been explained in a new CRL Ltd video. The Mercury Lane station in central Auckland will be the deepest of all the stations, lying 32m below ground. It will link to Beresford Square where there’ll be another entrance.
The Maori creation story has influenced the CRL station entrances, each telling the story of Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother. Their close embrace was separated by their son, Tane Mahuta, who in pushing them apart to bring light (Te Whaiao) into the world and, the state of creation into being (Te Ao Marama).
"The entrance provides a dramatic sense of relief via a series of large climbing patterns that are revealed as commuters pass through the space towards the entrance. The overall experience is one of rising from, and descent into the earth,” CRL Ltd says. Light and sound will be used to enhance the experience.
CRL cultural adviser, Rau Hoskins of Ngāti Hau and Ngāpuhi explains the naming of Karanga-ā-hape. "Hape journeyed on the kaitiaki, the stingray, ahead of the Tainui waka so Karanga-ā-hape is said to celebrate the welcome of his own relatives who had denied him passage. But he was there to welcome them," Hoskins says.
Chris Jack, CRL consultant architect from Jasmax, tells of how the design of the new station relates to Te Ao Māori, particularly with the planned use of natural timbers.
The threshold of the station will link to "arching forms of ancient kauri forests” Jack says.
“I think our whole team at Jasmax feels incredibly proud to have worked in this partnership, established by City Rail Link, with mana whenua and the project’s key stakeholders to present designs that authentically represent Tāmaki Makaurau.
“With all of the works – below and above ground – that need to happen to create a world-class public transport infrastructure system, the importance of kaitiaki has been held at the centre of all development discussions.
“Working with mana whenua and the City Rail Link team, our architecture, landscape architecture and urban design team has learned so much of the rich history of the CRL sites around Tāmaki Makaurau. The team has worked hard to weave these narratives into the public plaza / realm and station designs, which we are starting to see come to life.
Jack says the advantage of working within a multi-disciplinary practice is that it allows a holistic and collaborative approach to design, “with an understanding of the requirements of each element and a deep understanding of the overall vision.”