Elly Kang

The Sea and the Shore

Bachelor of Design Public Space Public Climate change

The past, present and future of Auckland's shoreline

Much of downtown Auckland was once the sea. At the intersection of Fort Lane and Fort Street, I propose to mark a lost threshold: a transition from land to water that recalls the former shoreline. This threshold further manifests the possible future of our shoreline, which could one day return to Fort Street where it used to be due to the inevitability of climate change. Natural climate changes are unpredictable, but we must realize that our land is at the risk of being lost. It is vital that we are aware of and prepared for where the shoreline will stand in the future. The installation allows passers-by to walk through an imagined transition from land to water, recalling the past and warning of the future.

Fort Lane stands on Auckland’s original shoreline, where it was once a meeting point of land and sea. I propose an installation that recalls the scenes of the sea and the shore of early Auckland at the intersection of Fort Street and Fort Lane and changes over time to show how the future may unfold.

The installation is a gateway made up of rectangular blocks of timber and glass that vary in height to form a wave movement. The change in materials from wood to glass represents the transition from land to water. This is like a dissolve technique used in films where one scene gradually fades out and another fades in, giving a smooth transition from one setting to another.

It is expected that the shoreline of Auckland will change over the next decades because rising sea levels are inevitable. We are already facing risks of flooding in several coastal areas of Auckland. The glass structures that symbolize water, are placed at the end of the installation, marking the progress of sea level rise over the past Century. This temporary installation is intended to stand for 30 years. During this time, wooden elements are slowly replaced by laminated glass. We do not yet know the future of our shoreline, but through this installation people will be able to understand the severity of the issues we face.