Wala : Wraight Athfield Landscape + Architecture
Illustration : Stantiall Studio
Project Status: Competition
Much of the overall design form of the proposed park will be recognisable as an extension, accentuation and clarification of the valued landscape qualities of the existing landscape. Unearthing, editing and amplifying the existing are key processes informing the new design form.
The introduced orders reference and reinterpret landscapes from the broader pacific region. Agricultural/ horticultural and ecological landscapes, stone fields, retaining structures and terraces drawn from the collective history of the broader region. These are landscapes and narratives that will hold particular meaning and relevance to many park users and be vaguely familiar to all. Landscape orders, and the diversity and the spaces of overlap will define the experience of engaging with the park in different ways for different users as the park matures.
Systems of growing/production intersect with topography, water movement and the constructed pastoral and botanical parkland creating a palimpsest that eases from one order to another over different parts of the park. The hierarchy of one order over another is carefully balanced to maintain a critical design tension. Movements and activities traverse the different.
The waterway acts as the connective vein between the foothills and the flatland ecosystems, extending awareness and connection from the Manukau City Centre Stormwater Collection to the Puhinui waterway and beyond to the harbour. Developed as an ecological system of collection, filtering, retention and re-use, the waterway becomes the primary element through the park: cleansing, nourishing, circulating, activating, calming.
The existing park sits within a topographical system of gentle ridges, valleys and basins.
the proposal acknowledges this delicate topography and accentuates these features by:
- The development of the water terraces, lake and wetlands along the main valley
- Extension of valley and ridge forms to the edges of the site along Davies ave and Putney way
- Modification of the planting structure emphasizing and amplifying the topographical structure
- The arrangement of the pathways through the park such that they optimize the experiencal spatial qualities offered by the topography
- The arrangement of the park edge boulevards and valley promontories such that they gain aspect down the valleys and into the park from the periphery.
The vital patterns and textures of production on the land reminiscent of the broader region’s historical land use are recalled and reinterpreted in the park. Overlays of plots, terracing, tilling and structured waterways in the land, with crops, wind rows and groves of productive vegetation provide a landscape framework that is relevant and familiar to people of the broader region, and engaging on a social and cultural level.