“Everyday tens of thousands of Aucklanders will use these stations. They will drive urban renewal including new housing, commercial activity, and cultural expression. They will also be beautiful public spaces that make Aucklanders proud to use public transport.”
Transport Minister Michael Wood and Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff
Auckland’s City Rail Link (CRL) is the largest transport infrastructure project ever undertaken in New Zealand. Upon completion it will double the capacity of the city’s rail network and be a powerful expression of the cultural narratives gifted by Mana Whenua (local tribal authority).CRL is also the country’s first completely underground railway line. The project comprises a 3.45km twin-tunnel underground rail link up to 42 metres below Auckland’s city centre, the transformation of the Britomart Transport Centre into a two-way through-station, the construction of two new underground stations, and a new interchange station.
With Auckland’s population expected to double by 2050 to 2.3 million, the new rail link will help shape the city’s future by creating the opportunity for the city to build a modern rapid transit system to support projected economic and population growth. Auckland’s entire rail network is expected to carry between 20 and 25 million passengers per annum and the City Rail Link will dramatically reduce journey times within the city centre.
With the final designs recently completed, Grimshaw has worked as part of Link Alliance to design three stations - currently proposed to be named Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Karanga a Hape (Karangahape), Te Wai Horotiu (Aotea) – to reflect the Māori creation story while being emblematic of their distinct identities through their respective atua (deity) in their whakapapa (genealogy).
Design elements at the stations use a pattern language which aligns with the gifted Te Reo names, allowing the art, culture and other elements to converge. In some areas, the art manifests to reflect the cultural identity of the geographical location, with CRL soon to be New Zealand’s largest public art project. The final designs of the stations also showcase the urban design around the buildings, extending the passenger’s experience into the surrounding streets.Using a culturally integrated design framework, the station designs reflect Auckland’s status as the world’s largest Polynesian city and are a unique expression of a cultural narrative for the people and the city, one that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in the world. They are quintessentially Aotearoa, Māori name for New Zealand.
The station names and designs are a unique expression of a cultural narrative for the people and the city, one that hasn’t been seen anywhere else in the world. They are quintessentially Aotearoa.
Auckland's City Rail Link has received international recognition by being the first ever project in New Zealand to receive the WAFX 'Cultural Identity' Prize at the 2019 World Architecture Festival.
Auckland, New Zealand
Rail and Mass Transit →
Link Alliance City Rail Link Ltd