The Cloud Is Well..Um..Yes..Well


It looks like some sort of giant inflatable marquee is waiting to get pumped up on Queens Wharf.
Or a parachute that has landed in the harbour and been dragged on to the wharf.

To be honest, I don’t think we have yet found an accurate description to describe Party Central as it emerges on Auckland’s Waterfront for Rugby World Cup 2011.

Officially, the temporary, re-locatable, tensioned membrane structure built using a combination of glass, steel and PVC is called The Cloud but now we can see the white fabric-coated structure, it has yet to find its apt nickname.

The costs?

  • The Cloud: $9.8 million
  •  Shed 10 upgrade: $3.6 million
  •  Under wharf repairs: $4.6 million
  •  Surface upgrades, lights, services, furniture, landscaping: $9.8 million.

Central Government is meeting the costs of The Cloud. Waterfront Auckland is paying for wharf repairs, landscaping, surface preparedness and services provision.


The large 178.5 metre steel frame was installed on the western edge of the wharf to support the white fabric forming the roof and wall panels of The Cloud.

It is made of structural steel, timber, opaque fabric PVC, glass and clear ETFE. Sixteen jumbo rolls of roof fabric (8,500 square metres weighting about 10 tonnes) produced by Ferrari in France was sea freighted to Fabric Structure Systems in Whangarei and fabricated into the roof panels. The ETFE roof & wall panels were fabricated by Architen Landrell in Wales.

The Government says The Cloud will be used as:

    • An official RWC 2011 Fanzone which will screen all 48 matches live on multiple big screens.
    • The homecoming of Tourism New Zealand’s Giant Rugby Ball – with free admission.
    • A series of events in The Cloud showcasing the best of New Zealand business and industry ingenuity and innovation.
    • A series of live concerts by “popular bands and musicians”. Bands confirmed include Opshop, The Feelers, The Black Seeds, Katchafire, Don McGlashan, Greg Johnson, Bella Kalolo, Moana and the Tribe, Tami Neilson and I Am Giant.

They have portrayed it as looking like this:

How the Govt publicity shows it

What will be inside and around it?

  • ANZ is creating The ANZ World, a 16m high, purpose built structure located in the heart of Queens Wharf, which will be open to the public every day during the Tournament.
  • Heineken will be activating its unique Heineken Experience in the avenue side of Shed 10 during RWC 2011. The experience includes a bar and entertainment offering fresh from the Champions League Finals Festival in Hyde Park, London.
  • A Brancott Estate wine bar will be located inside The Cloud on Queens Wharf for the duration of RWC 2011, showcasing its award-winning range of wines to visitors from home and abroad who will have the opportunity to attend wine tastings with expert winemakers from Brancott Estate.
  • DHL, the official logistics partner of RWC 2011, will have an interactive exhibition zone at Queens Wharf. Visitors will be able to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at Rugby World Cup


The heritage Shed 10 has got a new roof and its exterior cladding was renovated to make it watertight. The old historic cargo shed also got new doors, a paint job and links to essential services.
This is how it looks this morning:

The old Shed 11 nearby on the edge of the wharf was dismantled for the Cloud and stored.

The old shed was dismantled for the Cloud

This is how the sheds had looked:

Shed 10

The sheds had seen better days




  1. Commuter says:

    The Maggot.

  2. George D says:

    I’ll have to admit, I’m impressed with the Cloud. Shed 10 I’ll admit skepticism about, but it’s better than I expected already.

  3. Cam says:

    That shed is god awful. The cloud is growing on me.

  4. Simon says:

    The Tapeworm.

  5. Gary says:

    The Noddle

  6. Paul in Sydney says:

    Whats that thing in the movie Dune called?

    Just add teeth

  7. Antz says:

    I had my doubts, but I think it actually looks quite okay.

    Looks like a Loch Ness Taniwha…

  8. Luke says:

    The shed does look crap, they should have made some more cosmetic changes to remove the newer additions, and add some historic features.
    They havent tried to restore its original appearance at all which is hopeless, not surprising considering how rushed and messy this whole thing has been.

    Will be eclipsed by Wynard Quarter anyway, no interference from Johnny, McCully and assorted meddlers.

    Still best not to leave it where it is until something else is ready to go, and I mean ready to go, not just designed, but with resource and building consent, and funded definitely appropriated.

  9. The Trickster says:

    I still prefer Rudman’s “The Slug”

  10. Nick says:

    Yep should have made a smaller Cloud in Wynyard Quarter instead. Looks like it’s already a purpose built RWC village there. Saved atleast $8 million on restoring the storage shed. It was a half baked idea to save one shed anyway. It really doesn’t have much going for it, apart from some nostalgia.

  11. BoB says:

    Cloud looks great at night. Shed looks out of place. Not sure why it was kept.

  12. Travis says:

    Looks great…..
    Haters gonna hate…

  13. Carl says:

    $9 mill for a temp structure FKN LOL.

    we are the best boat and yacht builders in the world by a long way and even though this is a neat design (the ETFE concept is a win) it should have been slightly smaller I feel. I really do hope they light it up from the inside out.

    The ANZ world thing is just a big boring PR stunt that they run at the Tennis in Melbourne, its like a F1 motorhome, transportable and muliti storied, if it is the same one, whoever gets to sit up on the roof top bar will have a really neat view of the harbour.

    All it will be is a bunch of promo people on the outside trying to get you to come in and look at al the ANZ products and probably have some gimmick like throw a rugby ball throw a hole and win a prize. The Tennis one is actually a pretty awesome concept, but its just a big waste of space.

    As for the stupid ball that has traveled the world, that is the biggest waste of tax payers money ever, that will just be landfill when the Cup is over.

    I do hope this curvy structure actually out lives its “temp” name tag, much like Effiel tower and Raindrop reflective structure in Chicago.

    use them again and again, there is no reason not too. But serially though, this Waka bs structure, what is going on with that?

  14. morecityplease says:

    “The Error Dome”

  15. rtc says:

    @Carl - let me get this right, by ‘rain drop reflective structure’ are you referring to Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Gate’? and by temporary you’re referring to the expected life of 1000 years that said ‘rain drop’ has been designed for?….and then this is being compared to the slug. Not such a good comparison IMO….

  16. Jarrod says:

    Travis was bang on. It looks great.

  17. Harry McDonald says:

    You don’t get much for 9 million nowadays.
    I won’t be going near the place now that North Wharf has opened.

  18. Carl says:

    @ Rtc - I am yes, it was for suppose to be fro an exhibition and it stayed on, is what I meant.

    I understand its lifespan, i’ve been to see it.

    sorry I should have actually said that in my post.

    I am hoping this thing stays on, something needs to be down there.

    The should use it for functions during the tennis open also in the summer. plenty of things it could be used for, unlike the stupid waste of money waka that is going to be packed away.

    It could be used as a future ferry terminal…

  19. rtc says:

    The slug looks like something that will age rapidly, that bright white roof may look good now but in a couple of years when it’s yellowing and ripped it won’t look so hot.

  20. Carl says:

    How will it rip? My understanding is ETFE is super strong.

    it also doesn’t fade. I need to go and find my assignment that I did on this complex material to be a 100% sure.

  21. Here’s a time-lapse sequence showing the removal of Shed 11 and the formation of the cloud over the past 10 months.

  22. William L says:

    From my understanding the shed was retained as it is considered an important heritage site for Auckland. Too bad the government keeps syphoning money out of the arts, schooling and heritage to pay for “tax breaks”, or perhaps something nice could have come from it.

    If anyone has seen what has been done with the equivalent heritage wharf sheds in Woolloomooloo, Sydney, or the Forks Market in Winnipeg, Canada you’ll understand why the ridiculously hideous, ‘single-use building’ known as the Cloud – or “Maggot” as I prefer to call it – is borderline offensive.

    Seriously though, what will it be used for after the 2011 RWC (aka Real Waste of Currency)?

  23. Max says:

    William, actually, I think the Cloud turned out real well - and I was one of those who objected to the “Shed bowling”, at least to bowling both.

    So now we have both, why not keep them both and see how they turn out. Not sure what the Cloud is supposed to be done with, but Shed 10 is to serve as a temporary cruise ship terminal for the time being, for those times when Princes Wharf along won’t do.


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