The Lower Hatea River Crossing design proposal consisted of an opening bridge across the river approach to Whangarei. Denton Corker Marshall designed it as a physical and visual gateway to the city, reflecting the strong local tradition.
We therefore proposed that cultural references be an integral part of the built form, influencing the massing, structure and skin in equal measure. The design incorporates a ‘through-structure’ spanning between the riverbank and the opening section. The truss is rolled inwards over the road at the highest point to provide enclosure and form a rigid arch at the mid-span. Perforated panels are formed around the truss to create a smooth skin and allow graphics to be permanently displayed on the surface.
Our initial concept adopted a traditional Maori motif based on the curvilinear form of Manaia, in the expectation of consulting with stakeholders during the design process to arrive at the most appropriate expression. This stakeholder-driven solution maximises community ownership in the design.