Alfriston College, Porchester Road, Manurewa

Patrick Corfe Landscape Architects were part of the early masterplanning team that initiated the broad layout and followed through on several stages of development. This enabled the sustained objective to make the college grounds a learning park. Integrated into the layout were a number of themes, some obvious and others to be discovered, which had been woven into the fabric of the college campus.
The buildings were interrupted by a grid established in the landscape. Its trees and paving, shrubs and flaxes provide structured contrast to the architecture. The main spine was broken with a ‘virtual forest’ arrival space and the building pattern broken buy the ‘virtual stream’ linking down to the playing fields and wetlands. Large rounded boulders also served to introduce random rocks, in clusters thought and particularly edging the stream and college Marae. The Marae forecourt and several hard spaces were balanced with softer, green areas including a small Titoki enclosed teaching court.

Introduced into the paving were symbols and patterns, the golden rectangle and aspects of measurements, proportion and distance to provide mathematical stimulus. With upper level walkways and second storey open corridors much of the open space is overlooked and alongside good incidental surveillance provides for spectators, games and events activity. Transparency objectives focus on clear stem trees and low planting with definite areas of dense revegetation and stream side plantings. Stormwater is harvested and directed to the wetlands area with ponds and riparian plantings.

The landscape has a special quality that invites exploration and provides a comfortable and robust environment for learning.

Auckland High Court, Memorial Park

PCLA won a competition to design a memorial park for the Ministry of Justice.  The location was the main historic south tower, façade and portico of the Auckland High Court.  The objective was to undertake a memorial park and to celebrate judicial values and underpin the enduring values of justice.  The stonework is symbolic of the weight of this responsibility and its enduring but often evolving character.  The inscriptions provide scope for reflection and reinforce the memorial mood of the stonework.

With respect to the heritage aesthetic the design is laid out to address the old High Court façade.  Responds to the historic quality of those aesthetics and articulates a simple, bold, understated edge that separates the grass lawn from the clay tile paving.  The low basalt stone wall reflects the built outline, retains a central flagpole and maintains open views across the lawn from the road.  Upstands add to the low wall with natural stone chosen to complement the façade pedestal of the High Court.

Hawkes Bay Residence

Patrick was responsible for the wider landscape planning through to detailed design of the grounds around a classically Tuscan style villa set amongst mature trees with a spectacular outlook over Hawkes Bay. Expansive uninterrupted views are accompanied by the need for a sheltered and structured landscape. The design places an emphasis on enclosed courtyards, a walled scented garden, hedging and lavish plantings – mostly behind the homestead. The themed plantings, which were initiated well before building construction, are set amongst retained mature trees which contribute to the property’s’ well established feel. Dry stone walls front the property and edge the pool terrace and the courtyard fireplace. Substantial walls, pergolas and clear relationships between elements provide a good sense of permanence. These well defined spaces extend out from the house and lead off to tracks out across the property. The addition of a large waterfall and lake provides a welcome surprise and an elegant feature when viewed from several vantage points.

Kings College

Kings Chapel College Close project opened in 2012 in association with Kay and Keys Architects Ltd.
PCLA provided a landscape that linked in with The Memorial Chapels’ location and orientation as a fundamental landmark of the college and its strong Anglican origins. The design builds upon the identity and heritage quality of the campus by retaining the chapel as the centrepiece of the campus and providing additional scope for ‘spiritual education’ associated with the chapel. The intimate, verdant courtyard contrasts with the other more open college quadrangles and provides a distinct retreat from the ebb and flow of everyday activity that is appropriate to its relationship with the Chapel.

King’s School Centennial Project

PCLA were employed as landscape architects for the Centennial Project at King’s School, Remuera with Warren and Mahoney (WAM) the lead consultant architect.  The proposals included the three sides of the new complex, including:

–  Portland Road access and street frontage
–  North lawn and building terrace forecourt
–  Kerridge block link towards The Towers

These three pedestrian spaces dealt with hard surfacing, level change, circulation and planting to extend well established themes with the new development.  The pattern of planters and steps repeated the materiality and rhythm of the architecture and reinforced the campus/collegiate identity of the school.


Mangapouri Cemetery, New Plymouth

Patrick Corfe Landscape Architects Ltd has been working with New Plymouth District Council since 2007 to plan and design a new district cemetery. The planning process has included reviewing alternative sites, assessing reverse sensitivity and traffic management issues. Mangapouri Cemetery is named after a small stream central to the land. The site borders Waiwakaiho River and hydrology is a key factor in defining burial limits. New Plymouth District Council is keen to optimise burial capacity and the new cemetery lifespan as well as offer a comprehensive range of commemorative options.

An attractive characteristic of this cemetery is its access to views of some of Taranaki’s more prominent landmarks – views of Mt Taranaki and its ranges, the Mangamahoe Hilltop and the Waiwhakaiho River. An objective for the new district cemetery is to retain these views as a strong link out into the local landscape. With this in mind, the view shafts to these features were also a critical factor in determining the cemetery layout. Dense plantings and widespread amenity trees will be laid out in such a way that ‘windows’ are created that framed and directed views from the cemetery and provided a balance between these expansive views and a sense of discovery and intimacy.

The selected site was primarily in plantation forestry and alongside its watercourses the site has a challenging topography with both flooding and lahar hazard areas. The local rural landscape is dominated by the outlook towards Mt Taranaki (2415m ASL) to the south west and Mangamahoe Hill (220m ASL) to the north. The cemetery site adjoins the working exotic plantation and Lake Mangamahoe Park and borders SH3.

The Mangapouri Cemetery is a short distance from Taranaki Crematorium Chapel and also upstream from the New Plymouth Town water supply intake. The design intends to include more conventional burial areas and natural burial with several options for ash commemoration. There will be a focus on sustainability and ecological values offering both manicured parkland and wilderness riparian habitat. Visitors will be able to celebrate the regions geography and be uplifted by its strong landscape features. They will also be able to immerse themselves in a varied natural topography which has its own strong sense of identity.

Massey University, Albany

The new Student Amenities Centre landscape at the Massey campus in Albany provides a social hub for the university students and teachers alike. Opened officially in March 2012.

As a central pivot point it marks the core of the student facilities and a transition from existing buildings towards ongoing expansion projects. The building provides health and counselling support and ground floor refreshment and retail activity. These open out onto a wide concourse through a covered colonnade lead out into a generous canopy area and plaza space.

In establishing a more contemporary identity, the architecture and open space takes a significant departure from its Spanish mission character. A rhythm of columns retains a colonnaded building perimeter and echoes the style of covered links elsewhere on campus. The centre cladding makes reference to the dominant terracotta roof materials and the tree species follow established patterns.

As the social and cultural heart of the campus the space provides an opportunity to embody the close relationship with Tangata Whenua. A series of seven stainless steel Pou sculptures are well spaced around the plaza. They represent the stages on the journey of learning, from inception to infinity- Te Kunenga Ki Purehuroa. The first pou has the word Kakano to represent the seeding of a thought, and the seventh and tallest has the words Tiki Tiki o Rangi, or the highest place in the heavens to represent ultimate achievement, in this case academic excellence.

Parkhill Farm

Parkhill Farm occupies a 71 hectare site on the low coastal hills at Haumoana where it overlooks surrounding vineyards to the Hawkes Bay coast. This landscape is one of transition; lying between the intensive agriculture of the Heretaunga Plains and the scenic pastoral ranges of the TukiTuki Special Character Zone. The farm utilizes this mixed landscape pattern by integrating both qualities with an overriding sense of permeability.

Inspired by the surrounding productive landscape and coastal outlook, the proposals for Parkhill Farm evolved with the vision to maintain a practical, viable farm into which house lots have been immersed. The mixed use proposal was to be undertaken in a sensitive manner that responded to existing land use patterns and maintained the visual integrity of the wider landscape. The objective within the site was to retain the sites authentic rural appeal and avoid a picturesque park.

Patrick Corfe Landscape Architects were awarded a ‘Gold Award’ in the Rural/Park/ Residential design category as well as an ‘Award of Excellence for Sustainability’ for Parkhill Farm in the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architecture Pride of Place Awards.

The Sanctuary, Waikumete Cemetery

PCLA prepared concepts and detail design to assist Council in restoring the disturbed stillborn children’s area in Waikumete cemetery included creating a welcoming space for families to visit.  A place to remember and a fitting tribute to the children who lie there.  Visitors are encouraged to follow a short path with a stream mosaic leading to an intimate sitting space.  Separated from the road by a curved retaining wall which is faced with a shrine like intricate mosaic façade.  This curving artwork is a place of discovery and intrigue where a myriad of artefacts can be explored.  Children delight in the texture and interest, marvel at the combination of whimsical motifs in the mosaic.  It provides focus for visitors with a gentle off-white colour mosaic with its own delicate narrative.

The mosaic incorporates some salvage memorabilia and fragments with an imaginative combination of abstract and figurative artefacts.  The curving mosaic unfolds to visitors along the path and is invisible from the road.  Low plantings and shade trees soften the experience and still enable distant views through the cemetery.  The mosaic artist, Joy Bell, has made a wonderful feature that has a playful mood but also a well-orchestrated feel that is comforting and tactile.  The layout responds to an awkward, narrow space, change in level and offers a fitting family sanctuary.