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Masterplan H

Competition Entry for Civic Square in Hastings - New Zealand - 2012

Civic Square is an international ideas competition organised by Hastings District Council for the revitalisation of Hastings Civic Square. The competition seeks to explore ideas that can transform the currently under-utilised Civic Square into a new cultural hub and integrate the existing public buildings into the surrounding fabric of the city

Three Pavilions: The square is the result of a long historical process. It contains a collection of elements, buildings and structures of different periods and styles, set among beautiful established trees... The design begins with the idea of reinforcing the park-like quality of the site and avoiding the addition of another large building. Instead, the project proposes a series of small-scale interventions in the form of simple and flexible pavilions placed in strategic locations. These light and transparent objects house activities that will start to revitalise the square. The first pavilion containing a cafe is located in the centre of the square. It defines the combined entry space and acts as the focal point for the Gallery and the Library. The forecourt becomes an urban square... The second pavilion, a multipurpose building, activates the South corner and connects with the local government offices across Lyndon Road and Warren Street [...]

Three Canopies & Two Vegetated Screens: Large scale landscape devices are used to introduce a degree of formal clarity into the site. Three long canopies aligned with Karamu Street visually connect the two boundaries of the site. The canopies, while acting as a strong way-finding device, support a range of practical uses such as shading, services distribution, lighting, shelter for farmers' markets, a stage for performances... These new routes reinforce the memory of the old street and provide connections to the surrounding buildings. To complement the canopies, two vegetated screens provide a visual link between the existing buildings and proposed pavilions. Both elements, canopies and vegetated screens, generate a simple pattern of light and shadow [...]

Four Landscape Zones: The placement of the project's pavilions, canopies and screens articulates Civic Square into four landscape zones with different qualities. The part of the site adjacent to the railway remains undisturbed and maintains the feel of an established park with its historical elements. The centre of the site is activated and transformed into an urban square. With new paving, a new cafe, shelter from the elements, etc... it becomes the new focal point of Civic Square and aspires to be a place that can be used in many different ways. The sculpture park can be expanded progressively to occupy the existing library carpark. The need to remove parking from the site will become more important as the density of the neighbourhood and the pressure for maximising green open space increases

Open System: The key point of the project is to provide flexible and adaptable elements that, while reinforcing the centrality of Civic Square, remain open to new activities

In collaboration with Stephen Pitney & Associates Pty Ltd (Quantity Surveyors)

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