Te Mata Topaki

Auckland / New Zealand

One of the installations we worked on, as part of Auckland Viaduct Harbour’s Activation Spaces.


Te Mata Topaki – to hover over the headland – is a strong sculptural lookout jutting 30 metres into the water in the geographical centre of Auckland’s Viaduct precinct.


LandLAB and Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei artist Graham Tipene collaborated on the design. The lookout connects key destinations, and connects people to the water.

It functions as both a vantage point from which to observe the basin, the city centre and the wider landscape, and as a destination to experience in its own right.

The design narrative was drawn from a collaborative process with mana whenua, with the following symbols at its heart: taurapa – a carved waka sternpost; mata – both obsidian, and a tip or headland; and topaki – to hover like a bird.

Completed in collaboration with award-winning landscape and urban architects Landlab, project managers Altacon for the clients Tramco and Viaduct Harbour Holdings Limited.


This project was a finalist in the Best Design Awards 2021 and won Silver.


Photos courtesy of Sam Hartnett and Sam Gould.