Karangahape Road Plaza

The central plaza was created by the closure of Mahon Street while maintaining an emergency vehicular route through the development. Level changes contributed a series of steps to orientate audiences to the central performance area. This amphitheatre effect combined with the structure flex canopy overhead enables events, festivals and markets to take place. Transplanted mature palms and strategic plantings helped to create a Pacific atmosphere for the realignment of the street. Seating is provided in a series of well defined zones that take advantage of sun, shade, and shelter. The cafe and retail link through to Karangahape Road and the awnings and translucent canopy blur the distinction between inside and out. An open colonnade wraps around the space and mediates between the taller buildings and the pedestrian plaza. The siteworks budget was in the order of six million dollars from an overall hundred million dollar project. The softworks for the landscape amounted to half a million dollars. The design was amongst the first to advocate a holistic approach to city living with pedestrianised street and plaza. This mixed land use was key to providing activity at ground level to create a vibrant human scale open space. The design won the gold award for its category presented by the Landscape Industries Association.