Redundant motorway infrastructure turned into a sculptural and playful cycle path

TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend1
Te Ara I Whiti – Lightpath transforms a redundant piece of motorway infrastructure into a sculptural and playful cycle path threaded through Auckland’s inner city motorway junction.
TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend2

Design Intent

The intent of the project was to create a hybrid space which support its intended function as a cycle path but also enables occupation and explorative pedestrian access. The path enables a journey and episodic experience which engages with both the infrastructural landscape of the motorway and contextual views of the wider landscape.

TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend9
TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend7

Urban Scale
At the urban scale the pathway is conceived as a single unifying and connecting form by day and a dynamic living sculpture by night. The graphic and bold treatment of the surface and lighting enables it to be read as singular intervention which sits comfortably within the mega scale of the surrounding motorway infrastructure.

TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend4

The cambered deck traces the sites former topography and is treated as a continuous and connecting urban surface extending 700m in length. Folded steel benches emerge from this ground plane to provide moments of occupation. The hot pink colour scheme provides an abstract reference to the sites natural history, a nod to the adjacent night life district of Karanghape Road along with tactical whimsy.

TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend6

The repeating architectural structure of the safety screens provides the opportunity for the rhythmic distribution of 300 vertical LED lights which pulse and breath to provide a constantly changing lighting display. The repetition of the lights reinforces the sense of movement for cyclists and pedestrians. The flexible technical infrastructure enables the opportunity for a curated, constantly evolving lighting program.

TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend8

TE ARA I WHITI–LIGHT PATH-auckland-newzealend10

Te Ara I Whiti is a maori name which translates to ‘path of light’. Light path is an experience and a place.

Te Ara I Whiti – Lightpath
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Designers: LandLAB & Monk McKenzie
Consultants: GHD (Engineer), Katz Maihi (Artist), Iion (Lighting)
Client: Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, NZTA
Image Credits: LandLAB & Monk McKenzie

About Damian Holmes 3274 Articles
Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at

1 Comment

  1. It appears to be a beautiful conception but ,also, a high maintenance project. Keeping the pathway clean will require constant litter removal and repainting. Would like to see pictures of the “Folded steel benches (that) emerge from this ground plane”.

Comments are closed.