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New civic heart for Carterton

Design of a pedestrian friendly, low speed streetscape and civic frontage to the newly integrated Library and events centre.

The client’s aspiration was to achieve a high quality streetscape connecting Holloway Street and its public facilities with the wider civic precinct. Creating a place for people to gather and celebrate the town’s history and events. The brief outlined that pedestrian priority, legibility and safety were key considerations as the elderly, school children and their careers are the main users of the street.

A combination of innovative and pragmatic solutions were required to traffic congestion issues at the Holloway Street and State Highway 2 intersection, elimination of untidy overhead power cables, renewal of water infrastructure and new street lighting. This streetscape project was designed to create a civic frontage to the newly integrated 1871 heritage Library and Events Centre. By complementing both the historic and modern elements of these two central buildings the design lays out a simple well-resolved shared space platform as a new civic heart for Carterton.

Attention to user experience and interaction has driven all key briefing and design decisions. To solve traffic congestion and to enable better pedestrian movement, the road was narrowed, a raised platform constructed and a ‘left in, left out’ arrangement adopted. Widened footpaths, regular raised pedestrian crossings and a narrowed carriageway improve pedestrian connectivity and promote the street as a place where people can move throughout easily and safely.

The Opus team led consultation with local residents, representatives from each of the street’s stakeholders, NZ Transport Agency, the local fire service, Councillors and key Council staff. Opus landscape architects led the team and took the project from initial feasibility studies through to design completion, prepared the tender documentation, managed the tender process, and administered the physical works under NZS3910 through to completion and the end of the defects period.

Working closely with Council staff and the public has ensured the streetscape provides a focus for events and a re-awakened community spirit and forms a vital part of the town’s new civic precinct.  The public response to the new streetscape has been overwhelmingly positive.