Park de­signs blos­som

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

BIG plans are afoot for an ur­ban pocket park.

A de­sign com­pe­ti­tion, open to Unitec land­scape ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents, has been launched to re­de­velop a lawn area on the street­front at 354-362 New North Rd into a shared park.

The space is cur­rently an un­used patch along the sub­urb’s com­mer­cial strip.

It is hoped the win­ning de­sign will trans­form it into a park where work­ers and lo­cals can sit and en­joy a break.

‘‘This is very ex­cit­ing for Kings­land as there is very lit­tle green space in this area,’’ Kings­land Busi­ness So­ci­ety man­ager Chris­tine Fo­ley says.

‘‘We are keen to see a de­sign that makes ref­er­ence to Kings­land’s her­itage, while at the same time mak­ing it an at­trac­tive place for peo­ple to re­lax and en­joy the sur­round­ings.’’

There’s a $1000 cash prize up for grabs for the win­ning de­sign team.

The com­pe­ti­tion was spear­headed by the Kings­land Busi­ness So­ci­ety and the prop­erty’s owner Alsco. The com­pany is con­tribut­ing $10,000 to­wards the project.

It is hoped the park will start to take shape by Oc­to­ber.

Unitec lec­turer and Ur­ban­logic direc­tor Ian J Vin­cent says it will be re­ward­ing for the win­ning stu­dents to see their de­sign im­ple­mented in such a short time­frame.

‘‘It’s not always about the big shiny stuff in the city – it’s about small amaz­ing spa­ces that ac­tu­ally change the at­ti­tude of a com­mu­nity,’’ he says.

‘‘Some­body else might see this and go that’s re­ally cool we might do some­thing out here and the area changes and then we ac­tu­ally start re­gen­er­a­tion.’’

The de­signs will need to take into ac­count who will use the space as well as fac­tors such as sun, wind and noise, Vin­cent says.

Alsco re­gional gen­eral man­ager Mark Roberts says at the mo­ment staff are forced to take to a nearby bus stop on a sunny day for some­where to sit dur­ing their breaks.

‘‘We want a us­able space for passers-by and staff to use. It’s quite a wide street frontage on th­ese two spots and we need to take ad­van­tage of it.’’

Stu­dents have been told their de­signs must work within a $20,000 bud­get. The or­gan­is­ers are hop­ing to raise the fur­ther $10,000 needed from other sources.

This is the sec­ond ur­ban de­sign col­lab­o­ra­tion between the busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion and Unitec.

A win­ning de­sign from Unitec grad­u­ates Ru­dolf Iseli, Matt Lay and Meg Back for the re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion of the area out­side Trin­ity Church is now go­ing through as­sess­ment re­quire­ments, with work ear­marked to start in 2015.

The com­pe­ti­tion closes on Au­gust 29 with judg­ing starts the fol­low­ing week.

Judges will in­clude de­sign pro­fes­sion­als and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Auck­land Coun­cil and Auck­land Trans­port.

Pho­tos: JESS LEE

De­sign com­pe­ti­tion: Unitec land­scape ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents Jonathan Cristal and Natasha Iyer work on their de­sign for a pocket park on a com­mer­cial strip of New North Rd.

Blank can­vas: Unitec land­scape ar­chi­tec­ture stu­dents are work­ing on de­signs to re­de­velop a lawn area on the street­front at 354-362 New North Rd into a shared park.

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