Mackelvie Street Precinct, Ponsonby. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Some structures in Auckland

The Monday Extract: John Walsh and photographer Patrick Reynolds join forces to present a handsome new book about some structures in Auckland.

Mackelvie Street Precinct, Ponsonby Road and Mackelvie Street

The treatment of the shops’ white cement-sheet façades may be inspired by the pressed-tin ceilings of their Victorian and Edwardian neighbours, but on a blue-sky day the effect is more exotic. It’s a long way from Mackelvie Street to Morocco, but the pattern of the perforations carries just a suggestion of the souk. (photo above)

Vinegar Lane, Auckland. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Vinegar Lane, between Pollen Street and Crummer Road

Vinegar Lane is an urban subdivision comprising around 30 six-metre-wide freehold lots on which four-storey, built-to-the-boundary terrace houses are progressively being constructed to designs by different architects. The project is a fortuitous outcome of the 2008 GFC, which killed off a planned commercial development that disregarded the local building scale.

The Northern Club. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Northern Club, 19 Princes Street

Among the British institutions transplanted to Victorian New Zealand was the gentleman’s club. The Northern Club was established in 1869. Since 1927, Virginia creeper has grown on the two street façades of the original building.

The Light Path. Photo: Patrick Reynolds

Nelson Street Cycleway, from Upper Queen Street to Victoria Street West

The Nelson Street Cycleway — or Lightpath: Te Ara i Whiti — is one of numerous projects around the world inspired by the 2009 High Line project in New York, in which an elevated section of a redundant Manhattan railway line was turned into a linear park. In Auckland’s case, an obsolete motorway offramp was repurposed as a cycleway and pedestrian path by architects Hamish Monk and Dean Mackenzie, and landscaper Henry Crothers. With its bright pink surface and highly visible night lighting, the Lightpath is both amenity and advertisement.

Auckland Architecture: A walking guide by John Walsh and Patrick Reynolds (Massey University Press, $19.99) is available at Unity Books.

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