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COURTENAY NORTHCOTT Landscape Architecture Portfolio


Infrastructural Design New York: University Trip Ecological + Cultural Design Christchurch Resilience Design MLA Thesis

Infrastructural Design

in-designation route

Transmission Gully

Physical Environmental Impacts and visual impacts Horokiri Stream valley widens and the landscape character changes with improved pasture on the west, tall production pine forest on the east, and an absence of regenerating shrublands. While still present the pylons are less dominant because of the more open landscape character. The Base Option will cut a swathe across the face of the western slopes through the pine forest. The road will be visually dominant as a result of vegetation clearance, cut faces and batter slopes. While mitigation will ameliorate this in part, the road will still be a very dominant element in the Battle Hill farm forest park. Because of its area affected directly by physical environmental impacts and visual impacts

Landscape + Visual Assessment

elevation the Base Option will however provide travellers with expansive views over the park. The large exotic pine plantations will in time be clear felled which will leave large areas scarred and exposed until new plantings are established. Once the pines have been felled, the Base Option is likely to have a greater visual presence and this will also affect driver experience as a gateway in and out of Wellington.

Extensive cuts and fills along entire section which increase the risk of a landslide damaging the road in an earthquake or storm.

The desire for an inland alternative route for State Highway 1 (SH1) to bypass the coastal areas north of Wellington has been sought for more than 50 years and its main aim is to provide an essential alternative route out of Wellington. Transmission Gully is the new highway proposal which is one of eight sections of the Wellington Northern Corridor Road of National Significance Erosion, sediment controls and stormwater have been studied to better understand the streams and coastal environments. The design of visual corridors and vegetation corridors have been used to mitigate the visual impact of the highway to the surrounding area. These create visual interest for the users of the highway. Controls and designs have been developed to manage, mitigate and avoid adverse affects of the highway during construction and after.

Areas affected by visual impact and sedimentation

Route Traverses Battle Hill Regional Park with a sidling cut across the forested slopes, involving significant removal of exotic forest and regenerating native bush. It also involves extensive cut and fill and bridging of three large tributaries. 3 Route bridges three main tributaries and crosses a number of smaller ones via steep culverts. these constructions will have adverse effects on Horokiwi Stream. 1


the cuts on the uphill section of the alignment and fill embankments on the downhill sections will adversely affect landscape character and integrity.

Houses in area

Forest affected is mainly pine, but small areas of young regenerating native forest in plan: in-designation route Planting gullies will beplanting, affected reparian native forest reparian planting, Elevatednative alignment on lower slopes along eastern edge will increase visibility of transmedium forest mission Gully, directly affecting Park users and residents in the area reparian planting,

Boundary of Battle Hill Farm Park existing exotic forestry

native shrubbery

Large river terraces present at the base of the slopes between the alignment and Horokiwi Stream which will allow for sediment management Pauatahanui Inlet is the receiving environment. The scale of earthworks will require excellent sediment management and the protection of the inlet from associated effects.

In-Designation Route

Preferred Route alignment

Air emissions will affect remote sections of the route

Physical Environmental impacts and Visual The valley floor option avoids most of the landscape and visual issues association with the Base Option through siting on the valley floor on a river terrace. Additionally, the rolling hills to the west will provide a substantial visual buffer to the road and there are only limited areas of cut and fill with no vegetation clearance.

Context + Planting Plans

significant reduction in cuts and exposures on this section of alignment and movement of alignment from steep, erosion prone slopes to flat river base area affected directly by physical environmental impacts and visual impacts

Alteration to the designation has not been discussed with iwi on th eprinciple of utilising the flat paddocks of Battle Hill 1

at the southern end the route is close to one property and closer to other propoerties in Paekakariki Hill Road by some 200 metres 2

reduced risks of effects on recieving environment and construction is more manageable

the1 alignment crosses Horokiwi Stream twice, however on river flats where effects can be 3 easily managed. Completely avoids numerous crossings of eastern tributaries of high value 2

no native vegetation will be affected. All works are on improved pasture, but will require some clearance in regenerating forests Areas affected by visual impact and sedimentation

this alignment can be readily intergrated into the valley floor, avoids major scarring of 3 visually prominent eastern slopes. This option is enclosed and visually separated from the rest of Battle Hill Regional Park by a low ridgeline, except at the southern end this route will need to be mitigated into the adjoining land of the park

Houses in area

combination of visual, noise, and proximity effects. while this option traverses the regional park it is screened by much of its length by a low ridgeline so it is less visible to the public using the park. this alignment also gives the opportunity to increase reparian planting, native visibilityforest of the park and enhance the gateway to Wellington.

Boundary of Battle Hill Farm Park

reparian planting, native

existing exotic forestry

reparian planting, native will be easier to acccess the eastern slopes fro forestry purposes shrubbery

localised cuts and fills only which significantly reduce the risk of a landslide damaging the road during an earthquake or storm

Preferred Route

they live. Restoration planting is way to reverse these effects and maintain a healthy ecosystem for the future. Restoring areas with native plants: • improves biodiversity - the variety of all life • provides places for native birds and insects to fl ourish and move between • helps protect soil and prevent erosion Riparian and aRestoration SEctions • provides carbon sinkGrowth to remove greenhouse gases from our atmosphere • improves the look and natural character of our landscape • provides areas for recreation and enjoyment.

Ti kouka or Cabbage tree (Cordyline australis)

The small forest remnant of 35 hectares, located to the north of the park entrance, is dominated by tawa and titoki, stage one with kohekohe on the upper slopes (GWRC, 2010). In swampy lower areas kahikatea, pukatea and swamp maire are present. Located in this remnant forest is Rhabdothamnus solandri – an orange fl owered shrub pollinated only by honey eaters (bellbird and tui) that are present in the park.

New Native Restoration Planting New Riparian Planting Existing Riparian vegetation


Riparian and Restoration Growth Sections

Karamu (Coprosma robusta)

stage two

Ngaio (Myoporum laetum)

stage three

Infrastructure Implementation and Design

Browneld’s + Soil RehabilitaƟon

...the Avon River

Christchurch Infrastructure Systems Report

LAND 421 Urban Technologies

Courtenay NorthcoƩ 301028055

The ‘Zones’ Post-earthquake

Design Objectives

1. Re-mediate the contamination within the Avon River 2. Mitigate future contamination entering the Avon River 3. Increase biodiversity within the Avon 4. Enhance Ngai Tahu values along the Avon River 5. Re-mediate and replenish the groundwater and tributaries of the Avon River/Christchurch

New York: University Trip

Pedestrian Movement

A photographic and diagrammatic study of pedestrian movement public spaces in New York City. This study investigates what controls and directs pedestrian movement and if context is directly linked to these factors. To analyse contextual elements, The Lincoln Centre, Brooklyn and Times Square were chosen for site studies.

Ecological + Cultural Design

A Flax Lifeline A solution for the Cultural, Ecological and Land-use issues in the HOROWHENUA Region

Diversity Cultural Connections Hydrology Connections Alternative Land use Social Capital Restoration

The Site + Issues

The Solution

Connections + Future Significance

Harvest + Economic Value

Christchurch City Resilience Design

The Avon River is a natural waterway system running through Christchurch City, starting from a spring and catchment in the West, running out to the Pacific Ocean in the East. The issue Christchurch City is facing now is the unstable riverbanks causing a large amount of damage during the earthquakes, increased flooding due to typological changes, and high amounts of contamination coming into the Avon from storm water pipes, broken sewerage pipes, and sediments from construction areas. This project takes on the challenge of responding to these issues, while also responding to the resilience of pedestrian movement as a key design factor.


The Systems

The areas developed are chosen as catalyst sites as they reflect the most common issues in different forms along the Avon River. These sites will suggest how the whole of the Avon edge could be developed, and a master plan will also be developed to reflect the most important design responses for Christchurch City, the Avon River, and pedestrian networks.

Stormwater Mitigation Site 2

Constructed Wetlands Site 3

The design responses for pedestrian movement include the development of mixed use areas, public spaces, markets, well connected walkways and cycleways, and corridors between key spaces that give heirarchy to the pedestrian. The development of the Avon River as a pedestrian network will increase the resilience of Christchurch City. The design of the Avon River as an ecological corridor, and the inclusion of remediation infrastructure, also increases the resilience of Christchurch City.

MLA Thesis


Point Halswell (battery)

Mataki-kai-poinga Pa Shelly Bay Air Force Base

Maru-Kai-Kuru (Kainga) Puhirangi Pa

Shelly Bay, Wellington, NZ

Cultural + Military History, Shelly Bay


Abstract How can the abstract idea of memory be represented through the discipline of landscape architecture? How could this be more specifically achieved within the man-made landscape, using materiality and time as tools within the design process? This thesis essentially addresses the relationship that may exist between landscape architecture and the exploration of selective memory within the landscape. In this case, the definition of memory can be defined by site and urban context. The exploration of theories relating to collective and individual memories, identity in the man-made landscape, materiality and trace will aim to define and anchor memory within landscape architecture. The first part of the research will examine the works of Sebastian Marot, Mark Crinson and Paul Tyrer. On one hand Crinson describes memory as a sense of structure and rhetoric. He suggests that memory cannot be physically represented as the same idea for everyone, leaving memory very subjective. On the other hand, Marot works around the concept of social frameworks of memory. He describes how it is important for landscape architects to understand cities and their spatialised design systems. These reflect the conditioning of memories, described as dense accumulations of traces within the environment (collective memories). The connection between site, social frameworks of memory and the urban realm will be tested through a variety of design interventions. Importantly, a decision needs to be made on whether to design for the collective or individual memories of the site. The second part of this thesis addresses the idea of memory within the man-made landscape. How infrastructure has impacted upon the identity of the natural landscape, which has in turn affected the collective memory of the site within the larger urban environment. The selected site for this research is the former Air Force Base at Shelly Bay, Miramar. Originally a submarine mining depot, the coastal area was reclaimed for military purposes since before World War One. The land has recently been bought by the local Iwi as part of a Treaty of Waitangi Settlement, who plan to develop the site for the public of Wellington. This site is an example of memory bound within a city, providing interstitial spaces to test designs of memory against the collective and individual memories, both man-made and natural. The design experimentation will investigate how memory can be recreated and represented on the chosen site of Shelly Bay. An investigation into temporary and permanent aspects of design, including materiality and weathering, will allow a more in-depth exploration of memory to take place upon the site. The materiality of landscape elements establishes the form and design ideas. The process of the weathering and durability over time makes the design intent visible, and displays the character and identity of the landscape. The ability to bridge the gap between a fixed idea of memory and the realization of that built idea over time could be achieved by allowing for process and change to occur within the design and the site. These concepts will be tested upon the site of Shelly Bay through three specific design interventions. These interventions will aim to test and represent different memories upon the site, both man-made and natural.

New coastline formed from reclaimed land


Historical Coastline Wharves

Figure 31. Diagram illustrating edge conditions of the site. Image by author

Final Design Images

Over time, the natural environment will overtake the timber boardwalk


Figure 122. Detail of boardwalk. Not to scale. Image by author

15000 13000

Concrete Pool Structure

Timber Decking Figure 123. Section of tidal pools @ 1:100. Image by author

Courtenay Northcott Victoria University of Wellington BAS + MLA

Landscape Architecture Portfolio  

An insight into my five years at Victoria University in Wellington and the development of a variety of projects.