Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Park on the Place

It's just been announced that the council is seeking public feedback on the design of a new pocket park on the corner of Courtenay Pl and Taranaki St. I've been talking about this for a while, and the combination of wine bar, public square and good burgers looks like a winner.

Proposed park for the corner of Courtenay Place and Taranaki StAs you can see from the image, it's not so much a "park" as a square, with a few raised areas of grass amid hard surfaces, but I think this is probably appropriate for the location. The design looks very conservative, though there's supposed to be "a major piece of site-specific art" that might make it more interesting. In any case, it's great to see public space being reclaimed from cars, and it will be interesting to see how the toilet-to-bar conversion complements the space.


At 7:43 am, June 09, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads-up on this one. One thing that's been a constant problem with the area is the extremely narrow footpath between Courtenay Pl and the toilets. I always find myself walking along it, because it offers a more direct route to/from the Taranaki St crossing... and without fail, I run into people coming the other way. Unfortunately, the footpath isn't really wide enough for even two people due to the short posts (traffic baricades), and someone ends up on the street or up on the wall.

I made a submission to this effect, because it wasn't clear from the brief plan overview whether that portion would be widened or not.

At 8:33 am, June 09, 2006, Blogger Hadyn said...

Quick points that I may or may not end up submitting:
Remove trees - They are always more trouble than they are worth.
Add sun/rain cover - especially where you have to wait to cross the road.

Though I have to say, finally somewhere to eat my burgers! [By the way in the pic it still says "Design Zoo", how old are these plans?)

At 12:01 pm, June 09, 2006, Blogger Tom said...

Andrew: I agree about the footpath, and I'm always doing the same myself!

On closer inspection, the rendering doesn't match the plan, so I'll ask the council for some clarification, including whether they'll widen the footpath north of the toilets.

At 5:14 pm, June 13, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As always , I love this blog Tom. I applaud anyone with a passion for their city and the time, effort and inclination to advocate on its behalf...

anyway the reason for the post...

I'm actually designing the park in question and thought I should clarify a few points.

As you mentioned, the plan and perspective don’t quite match up. As one might expect there are significant time constraints for this project with many parts going on in tandem. It has not been possible to create presentation images of the most up-to-date plan.

As such the plan is the more developed version of the park while the sketch was done very early on and should be considered more of a 'flavour'…

Again your quite right a ‘plaza’ space was deemed most appropriate for this space, to let the two building edges [the wine bar and shops opposite] to animate the area, while providing space to filter through and possible small event space [think arts festival, buskers, Kenny, trolls, apes etc].

I understand and agree wholeheartedly about the narrowness of the path along the roadside. This will be made wider and the bollards removed!

Also with the slipway being removed there will be a much clearer and attractive connection between the crossing point and the St James Theatre so no doubt more people will take this route as well.

The wine bar should be fantastic and I too look forward to sitting in the sun, glass in hand and with what Ian assures me will be some exquisite morsels to assist matters...Perhaps Tom, they will even be able to rustle up a Martini to suit your particular palette...

More information will hopefully be available soon, please keep the comments coming.


At 4:35 pm, December 03, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shame this didn't come to fruition, but at least we have a few extra car parks ...... bummer.

At 4:51 pm, December 03, 2007, Blogger Tom said...

The bar may be on the back-burner for now, but I'm told that the park will still be going ahead, with work commencing early in the new year. The council are looking for someone to run some sort of stall there, with the hope that in the long term another operator can be found to run a bar there. Preferably a Tiki bar, tapas bar or 24-hour diner, of course!


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