The Cloud is a temporary structure on the western edge of Queens Wharf. It was erected to accommodate Auckland’s commitment to host an inner-city Fanzone, festival and showcase event during the Rugby World Cup 2011.
At almost 180m long, The Cloud can accommodate up to 5,000 people. Its’ ground floor area can be split into four segments, which means the building is able to cater for a range of showcase and festival events occurring at the same time. The mezzanine space at the northern end of The Cloud is ideal for VIP hosting.
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The Cloud Facts
Building dimensions: Length 178.5m
Ground floor area 3400sqm
Covered atrium area 443sqm
Mezzanine floor area 512sqm
Mezzanine balcony area 75sqm
Total building capacity: 5000 people
Mezzanine capacity: 200 people
Materials: Structure: steel with timber detailing
Roof: opaque fabric PVC
Walls: mix of glass and clear ETFE
Cost: $9.8 million
It was criticised when it was unveiled, but now it seems Aucklanders have been won over by the $9.8 million Cloud on the waterfront.
In a street poll, the majority of locals said they wanted to keep the venue and suggested its future uses could include anything from a museum, to a concert venue to a bistro.
Waterfront Auckland, the Government and Auckland Council are involved in ongoing discussions about the structure’s future.
Plans for the $9.8m temporary structure were unveiled last October but critics labelled the undulating white structure as “The Slug” and heritage lobbyists argued the historic Shed 11 shouldn’t have been demolished to make way for the structure.
But Aucklanders polled last week seemed to have changed their tune.
A number of people described the temporary structure as “awesome” and everyone agreed it should remain on Auckland’s waterfront.
The venue, which has had nearly a million visitors, has hosted a showcase of Kiwi innovation, late night DJs, live music acts including Goldenhorse and Don McGlashan, and a Cordon Bleu culinary match between New Zealand and France.
Paul Leacock said: “It’s great. There’s a lot of energy and excitement there – it’s awesome.”
Jury Ropata believed it could be further utilised for events and concerts.
“I reckon it should stay just for other tourists to come and have a look that haven’t seen it yet.”
Carolyn Chrochtan said the structure had been a good use of taxpayers’ money.
Waterfront Auckland chairman Bob Harvey says he is “very keen” to see the Queens Wharf structure remain in Auckland following its popularity during the World Cup.
He says the council-controlled organisation (CCO) is working with the mayor and the Government to determine costs involved in keeping the structure.
“It’s hugely popular and it’s quite clear there would be no problem in finding bookings for it.
“And so, on the success of it we are all committed to looking at how it might stay.”
A spokesman from the mayor’s office says an announcement about The Cloud’s future wouldn’t be made “anytime soon”.
But he says the mayor is committed to maintaining Queens Wharf as a public space and says it will be used as a cruise ship terminal for the time being.
The 180-metre venue, constructed of steel frame and fabric covering, can be divided into four to host multiple events and hold up to 6000 people.
It opened to the public on September 6 – three days before the RWC kicked off.
During the tournament it has hosted VIPs, international media and thousands of rugby fans who come to watch tournament matches.
Last week, 828,889 visitors had passed through the waterfront fan zones at Queens and Captain Cook wharves during the Rugby World Cup.