The Avon river, the flux and constant of Christchurch, directs the design lines for the site. The new Botanical Gardens are not only an experience of the natural world but a sanctuary for the earthquake ravaged city. The site works on improving the water quality of the Avon river, and also re-uses materials from the demolition of the quake.
This new inner city space will be used in future as a new main street that has tram links, green spaces and pedestrian flow. A sense of shifting and sliding creates an environment that is full of movement, change and will always be seen differently.
The idea was to embrace and amplify the variations between the zones through understanding the spatial and materialistic elements of both ’garden’ and ‘city’. With context dictating uniqueness, a new dynamic emerges when these two elements are hybridised.
Dillion Towers 4TH YEAR Negotiated Study
What opportunities exist for the maximisation of public space through an investigation into the manipulation of human movement?
People use space. This presents an opportunity for the process of using space to be altered or manipulated. The movement of people, or users, over a landscape field is often a missed opportunity for enlivening or supplementing the experience of a site.
This opportunity can be utilized through the application of subtle landscape prompts. The use of perspective, screening and manipulation of circulation systems, allows the designer to alter the behaviour of the user site, with the intent of maximising the experience for those people and the potential of the site. The intent of this design is to consider the user as the number one stakeholder within a landscape.
Considering Oratia as a gateway between the west coast and the city was the cue for various interventions, including regeneration of the Oratia Stream and referencing the early European settlement and traditional fruit growing history.
Landscape processes offer rich potential for design, giving us the opportunity to key into and engage with dynamic forces in unexpected ways. For Oratia, a site on the Auckland urban/rural fringe, vegetation is an important component that makes up the quality and character of the landscape. Student’s discoveries regarding plants and plant process were intersected with the ‘reserve program’ to produce a design that responds to these qualities and characteristics.
I have a special affection for the plant I chose with this project and often try to include it in my designs. When our son was born we used ‘moka’ (a delicate twine made from Harakeke) to the off his pito (umbilical cord), another small and important way this incredible and beautiful plant was used by our Tipuna (ancestors).