In June 2017 Emirates Team New Zealand defeated Oracle Team USA, seizing the opportunity to host the 36th America’s Cup on the Waitematā Harbour in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Auckland last hosted this international sporting event in 2003. Continued urban regeneration along Auckland’s waterfront meant that the previous event infrastructure had since been redeveloped for other uses. The cumulative effect of over 20 breakthrough innovations delivered exceptional value for money and resulted in an on time and under budget delivery, with zero harm to people and the environment. Many of these innovations have resulted in a legacy extending well beyond the new waterfront infrastructure.
“The alliance framework has pushed us together and delivered speed and quality when it was needed. The pressure of an extremely short timeframe forced by fixed deadlines with constrained budgets, has galvanised the team to be innovative and decisive, to ensure the country can host this prestigious event and to leave a legacy that all Aucklanders can be proud of.” Barry Potter, Auckland Council
The lack of space to host the event was a serious test for the City. Together with central Government, Auckland Council recognised the significant potential economic, social and reputational benefits of the Cup to Auckland and New Zealand – the opportunity to adapt a waterfront brownfield site at pace, helping a flagship event and the City to thrive. Delivery of the complex, highly visible project with an immovable deadline called for a proactive and collaborative approach. The Wynyard Edge Alliance was formed in April 2018 by owner participants Auckland Council and central Government (through MBIE) and non-owner participants Downer, McConnell Dowell, Beca and Tonkin + Taylor. The Alliance was established around a common purpose of “Creating a stage for the America’s Cup and a waterfront destination that Kiwi’s and visitors love”.
The scope of the project was to create the sheltered berthing conditions required for the AC75 race boats, support craft and visiting superyachts the design included eight new breakwaters (with a combined total length of approximately 420m) off the existing Hobson, Halsey and Wynyard Wharves. The 100-year-old Wynyard Wharf was exhibiting signs of deterioration across a range of structural elements and structural and geotechnical analysis had revealed that the entire structure has limited seismic capacity. The extent of repairs covered over 200m of wharf and involved hydro demolition followed by repair. The repairs comprised replacement of exposed corroded reinforcing steel followed by reinstatement of concrete using sprayed concrete (shotcrete) and insitu forms in more visible areas. The repairs were completed over a 12-month period and are expected to extend the life of the wharf by another 15-20 years.
Hobson Wharf Extension projects off the northern end of the 80-year-old Hobson Wharf and the 20- year-old Harbour Entrance Protection Wharf. The 72m x 81m wharf extension was the largest single structure on the project but needed to be one of the first structures to be completed to support Luna Rossa’s arrival and construction of their base building. Design life had a significant impact on the design loadings and structural form. The final solution comprised 84 reinforced concrete bored piles with permanent steel casings, supporting reinforced concrete headstocks, and precast concrete planks, with in-situ topping. To meet the present needs and accommodate the future projection scenarios, the piles have been designed to enable the deck to be raised in the future by up to 1 metre above its constructed level.
Creating a stage for the America’s Cup and a waterfront destination that Kiwis and visitors love required the immediate needs of the America’s Cup to be balanced with the creation of public open space and the longer-term development plans for Auckland’s waterfront. Engagement with the event organisers, syndicate teams, including Emirates Team New Zealand and Panuku Development Auckland (Auckland Council) was critical to gain an understanding of the varying functional requirements and longer-term aspirations.
“As owners and custodians of the land being developed for AC36, Panuku Development Auckland wanted to ensure the new infrastructure would not only serve the event, but also serve Aucklanders into the future. Wynyard Edge Alliance has collaborated with mana whenua and other stakeholders to deliver new infrastructure effectively and in time for a great event to be delivered. This has been an excellent test of the alliancing model in Auckland and shows us what we can do when we all work together.” - Allan Young, Director Development, Panuku.