66 Magazine Issue 4 Summer 2018 - Page 68

A VIBRANT HARBOURSIDE COMMUNITY PHOTOS SAM HARNETT, KATRINA COOKE, ALEX WALLACE AND COURTESY OF THE ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY Comprising 1.8 hectares of tranquil waterfront land at the tip of Hobsonville Point, the rapidly developing Catalina Bay precinct is already proving to be one of the most vibrant harbourside communities in Auckland. And the secret is only just getting out. It’s hard to conjure up in one’s mind a more comprehensive, yet seamless marriage of old and new in recent urban rejuvenation work around the Auckland region. What developer Willis Bond & Co. and precinct master-planner Cheshire Architects have already achieved at Catalina Bay is remarkable. What is set to come next promises to be absolutely stunning. If you’re an aeronautical buff or interested in the esteemed history of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, then Catalina Bay will be a familiar landmark. If not, then exploring and uncovering 66 66 MagAzine SUMMER 2018 the rich urban narrative of this pretty spot, tucked away in a north-facing inlet around 13km from the central city (or a short, tranquil ferry ride away via Beach Haven across the water), will prove both entertaining and enlightening. The clever thing about stage one of the development is the sympathetic and dynamic refurbishment of existing historic RNZAF buildings within the precinct into a mixture of commercial, office, retail and hospitality- focused enterprises. The clue is in the name, with Catalina Bay having been base of operations for the majestic Catalina and Sunderland flying boats of the 1930s and 40s, as well as home for other military personnel. Now, giant workshop buildings have found new leases of life as the homes to corporate entities, as is the case with the impressive steel latticework and concrete Catalina Workshop, which still boasts myriad heritage features such as its immense industrial doors incorporated into the sympathetic refurbishment work. Across a public piazza sits the immense curved sweep of the Sunderland Hanger which, 80 years after it was built, will host a mix of