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Urban Confrontation Activating Interstitial Territory

Monica Bainbridge


Abstract Interstitial territory exists within cities; it is often seen as left over space or secondary to surrounding structural form. These spaces empower negative elements such as criminal activity, disregard for aesthetic neglect and dampened mental impressions. These interstitial territories harbour the potential to work together with the nature of an interlacing network of design elements. Cruise Lane, Fort Street Car Park and Fort Lane each hold their own qualities yet exist in a banal way deeming them unseen and somewhat forgotten. At present each site is overshadowed by architecture, window displays, restaurants and high-rises making space for opportunistic weeds, vandals and homeless alike, lack of visual inspiration and uplifting qualities. This project sets out to; confront visitors to these three neglected spaces; to surprise and delight them; to unlock potential and experiential space for Auckland CBD.

Contents 1.0 1.1

Research Question Definitions

2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3

Research Proposal Project Aims and Outcomes Rationale Background Research

3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3

The Site Physical Context Cultural Context Potentials and Issues

4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

Methodology Methodology Overview Case Studies Mapping Site Analysis

5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5

Design Development and Experimentation Exploration The Plan Design Outcome Reflection Summary



1.0 Research Question How can the principles of Surrealism and the notion of the unexpected create a large impact on three small scale and ‘forgotten’ spaces within Auckland’s CBD?

1.1 Definitions Surrealism: Surrealism was an artistic and literary movement, dedicated to expressing the imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and convention. Surrealism inherited an anti-rationalist sensibility from Dada, and was shaped by emerging theories on our perception of reality. Impact: noun influence; effect or the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology. forgotten: verb From forget: to omit or neglect unintentionally; to omit mentioning, leave unnoticed, to fail to think of; take no note of. unexpected: adjective not expected; unforeseen; surprising confrontation: noun an open conflict of opposing ideas, forces; a bringing together of ideas, themes interstitial: an interstitial space or interstice is an empty space or gap between spaces full of structure or matter territory: noun any tract of land; region or district

2.0 Research Proposal 2.1 Project aims and outcomes As cities grow and become more condensed a higher strain is placed on the urban public territory for physical relief from metropolitan strain. Large pockets of land are becoming scarcer and as a result Landscape Architects are beginning to need to take more responsibility for smaller, less obvious interstitial sites. The aim of this design project was to investigate new and different senses of creativity through the use of design experimentation, firstly by connecting to the potentials of the sites and the interconnections of pedestrians. The notion of designing installations which would interrupt an average person’s day was an initial footing. In addition to experiential goals these spaces are intended to work by addressing the health benefits of natural interaction and the heightened security which is usually a large problem within secluded spaces such as alley ways, lanes and other hidden ‘corners’ of the city. I approached the undervalued and disregarded difficult spaces which cities tend to ignore. These spaces are unified by no single physical or formal characteristic, they are charged with rich behavioral confrontational potentiality. They offer room for spontaneous, creative appropriation and informal uses that would otherwise have trouble finding a place in usual public spaces. These spaces offer heightened security awareness if designed with these aspects in mind. Literature and theory was used as a tool enabling me to understand

Cruise Lane looking towards Shortland St

My interest in these types of spaces stems from the increasing global awareness of seeing the beauty in small space and the absolute need to recognise it as an element which is on par with large public domains. Instead of the approach to design to create function I feel there is an equally important place to design to maintain the function which already existed, fitting into the harmony of the urban realm. Councils fail to think of these spaces to have any great possibility.

2.2 Rationale Within cities there is unrealised potential in spaces which go unseen because of their banal, unobtrusive nature. Interstitial space is created as the urban realm fluctuates with development; structural form is created and just as easily destroyed. Through this inorganic process areas are formed based on function and need. A building is removed revealing a cavity in the skyline and a carpark inhabits the space, likewise a gap or a service lane is formed to create practical use. Vacancy is usually associated with spaces which do not serve a purpose or function but here I am approaching with the notion that spaces have function but are vacant of and have potential for a greater purpose through installation design. This design in question is not supposed to blend with the character of the area but instead form an area of interest or intercept an everyday routine. This is done by impacting people through their subconscious and connecting to simple ideas of removing the individual, even for a moment, from the normal. Corbain (2003) explains the importance of this approach arguing that “many of the places of our day-to-day lives become invisible through familiarity”. Instead of creating cultural impact with the construction of a public place people go to, intervene in the places people are continuously using. I chose a series of three sites to work with; these were found by discovery by walking through Auckland CBD without an exact vision of what I was looking for. Cruise Lane, Fort Street car park and Fort Lane found me pondering the ‘what if’ ideas as they all showed elements of unknown either mostly hidden from sight or hidden through banal invisibility. Contrast, surprise, activation and the subconscious are the key elements from which research stemmed.

This section seeks to set the context in terms of Auckland’s policy framework, relevant landscape architecture and arts theory and case studies.

2.3 Background Research Vacancy and the Landscape: Cultural Context and Design Response Carla I. Corbin (2003) Spaces I have looked at in the landscape are seen at as being ‘blank’ and ‘forgotten’, two words that Corbin (2003) fits under the umbrella of the vacant landscape. She explains that “vacant places, whether or not occupied by empty buildings or by vegetation thought worthless, are part of the common, ordinary landscape. Many of the places of our day-to-day lives become invisible through familiarity”. Corbin then later explains that “Vacancy is complex, existing both as a cultural idea and in myriad physical versions, from urban to rural”. Design lies within the power of the ‘invisibility’, using space that usually isn’t considered a site of great potential and turns the unseen into the potential and thus the concept. People often stumble upon the problem of the “vacant, cleared, or open site, where the design effort must overcome the ‘nothing-there’ syndrome, the apparent lack of starting points typically relied on as logical and visual shapers of design”. The issue of growing cities and the privilege of open space to create public cultural happenings are becoming more evident around the world. Corbin raises the issue at hand outlining that “more focussed attention is needed to increase our range of responses to vacancy and to mitigate social impacts such as erosion of community identity and loss of safety”. Corbin suggests a series of approaches which include the following; explorations of small scale interventions that have potential for larger scale impact; an understanding that fragments of land within a geographical area can together become increments of a whole through a unifying aim of transformation; short-term or time-limited interventions which are temporary or have the intent of being transitional which could help in determining what land occupation, form or state is appropriate for the longer term. “What landscape architects can contribute are social ideas that combine art and function in spatial realizations” (Corbin, 2003).

LandSCAPES: A Typology of Approaches to Landscape Architecture Katherine Crewe and Ann Forsyth (2003) Landscape architects often have trouble fitting landscapes into a suitable typology; unlike architecture landscape architecture fills a void of many roles and approaches which can be adapted accordingly. Crewe and Forsyth (2003) have cleverly condensed the profession into the cheesy acronym LandSCAPES. This 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

acronym is as follows: S design as Synthesis C Cultivated expression A landscape Analysis P Plural design E Ecological design S Spiritual landscapes

Crewe and Forsyth explain that this typology “provides a framework for analyzing practice as a value laden process that is representing the range of ways that landscape architects go about their work, and the core values that they express”. Theories are helpful to explain and understand events and your own work and how it relates to the larger society and the natural world. The typologies outlined are not about types of landscapes but more “the goals that landscape architects have, the knowledge they draw on, and the methods used in design”. It is with my approach of a series of interventions that the typology which falls under ‘cultivated expression’ that most interests my research. Collaboration and cultural synthesis interwoven with intuitive and personal design reflecting the designer creates a landscape typology which essentially creates the typology of ‘cultivated expression’. Designs are often “deliberately provocative, with some using dissonance to provoke reactions”. Within the ‘spiritual landscape’ typology however the notion that “the connection between humans and the natural world is emphasised in ways that go beyond the common professional concerns to re-establish spiritual and emotional connections between humans and nature” interests me. Design does not need to encompass all that is nature to create a connection but the notion of nature and representations of natural features can be equally beneficial and effective. Crewe and Forsyth emphasis that “there is an urgent need today for those practicing design as synthesis, given their capacity to resolve contradictions in urban and rural environments and to create positive holistic solutions”.

Healthy nature healthy people: ‘contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations Cecily Maller, Mardie Townsend, Anita Pryor, Peter Brown and Lawrence St Leger (2005) “Humans have spent thousands of years adapting to natural environments, yet have only inhabited urban ones for relatively few generations” (as cited by Maller, Townsend, Pryor, Brown, St Leger (2005) in Gendinning 1995; Roszak et al., 1995; Suzuki 1997; Gullone 2000). With populations around the world largely inhabiting a very urban and built environment there has been a lost touch with nature and the importance of nature within public spaces has become very important. Whilst modern ‘westernisation’ has doubled out life expectancy since our ways of the rural lifestyle non-communicable diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer have come to dominate (2005, as cited in McMichael, 2001). Mental health burdens constitute 10% of disease and are estimated by 2020 this will be at 15%. Never in history have humans spent so little time in physical contact with animals and plants (2005). People’s health, their social environment and their physical environment have become interdependent and I believe it is with a combination of these factors that public space, taken from new approaches, has the capacity to create a bigger impact. Designing within an everyday setting is the most practical and efficient way of creating this contact. These spaces do not necessarily need to be as obvious as an expansive park in the centre of the city (although this is not disregarded without its merits). Everyday settings can be where the average businessman would walk to get his lunch or a short cut to a parking building. Contact with nature can be interactions within a park setting, viewing natural scenes, being in natural environments. Seeing nature is important to people and is an effective means of relieving stress and improving means of relieving stress and improving well-being (as cited by Maller et al., 2005 in Kaplan, 1992a; Lewis, 1996; Leather et al., 1998). The actual act of contemplating nature can reduce excess brain activity and the nervous system activity is reduced resulting in a clearing of the mind or an unwind. A socio-economic approach to public health recognises that not only is health itself holistic or multidisciplinary, but that a holistic or multidisciplinary approach is needed to promote and manage health successfully (Maller et al., 2005). With the use of natural elements within our urban environment more thoroughly this offers a potential gold mine for population health promotion (Maller et al., 2005).

Colour: Colour is “the most powerful weapon of a designers arsenal” (Holtzschue, 2011). Different colours can stir different emotions and tap into the viewer’s subconscious in a very sudden and involuntary way. Guild (1992) explains that colour has the ability to “transform surroundings, to excite a variety of reactions, to uplift and inspire”. Balance can be drawn within a person by experiencing the opposite colour from qualities they lack for example blue can be calming for someone who is high strung and red can be stimulating if you are tired or lacking inspiration (Zelansky, 1989). Similar approaches can be used within a city for example the use of red can help stimulate brain activity whereas cooler hues like blue and green can help calm the overall atmosphere. It is within theory that the idea of using calming introductions to alleyways can help to create a moment away from a hectic day or a busy street.


de Chirico

A design tool which has been used is Surrealism, an art movement which began in the early 1920s and plays on the elements of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions. Surrealism uses obscurity which “can occasionally be deliberate, or at least it can sometimes follow from the refusal of specific concepts and requirements of rationality” (Harrison and Wood, 1992). Terrain vague and its surrounding literature also gestures at the rich yet hidden potential of formal marginality. Studies surrounding terrain vague suggest that it is “a certain method of occupying or understanding a space as being charged with behavioral potentiality, or perhaps as being absent of any strict regulation of behaviour or self” (Preston and Klingenstein, n.d.)

Terrain Vague: The notion of terrain vague encompasses formal marginality, the ground to figure of the city as designed, the space between buildings, empty lots, post-industrial landscapes, bombed out cityscapes, reclaimed abandoned houses. Ignasi de Sola Morales explains that “the relationship between the absence of use, of activity, and the sense of freedom, or expectancy, is fundamental to understanding the evocative potential of city’s terrains vagues”. The notion of terrain vague highlights the idea that there are in fact different ways of experiencing the city, for the city to liberate its inhabitant instead of draining, to create spontaneous pockets. Terrain Vague enables programmatic breakdown as does the direct of my installations and design approaches.

Auckland City Council Policy (, 2011)

Here aspects of the Auckland City Council Policy have been highlighted as areas of interest which relates to the nature of my research: City Safe Plan - - - -

Feel safe throughout the city vibrant local centres Infrastructure and networks that make this city work for people, visitors and businesses. Networks and services that we need to support a safe and cohesive Auckland.

Arts Agenda - - - -

Draw from natural and artificial land forms, built environment, belief systems and values which shape who we are to develop and enhance cultural identity. Identity through public art work Art integrated throughout. Encourage integration of art into the urban fabric of the city. Goals of the Arts Agenda are to encourage people to believe Auckland is a city where there is a lot happening in the arts, to create a map of the arts in the city and for numbers benefiting from council funding for the arts.

3.0 The Site 3.1 Physical Context


Cruise Lane, Fort St Carpark and Fort Lane are located within Auckland’s CBD running parallel alongside Queen Street. They face with a northern aspect dropping from 12.5 meters above sea level at the southern end Cruise lane to 3.5 meters above sea level at the northern end of Fort Lane. Sea views can be seen from the Fort St Carpark down Commerce Street towards the Waitemata Harbour. Within a two minute walking distance is the Britomart Train Station which links Auckland’s outer suburbs to the city centre. Similarly the ferry terminal is within five minutes walking distance and many bus connections throughout. The surrounding context of the CBD is one of the most densely built-up areas in Auckland holding a metropolitan population of over 1.4 million residents. Although each of the sites are seemingly public space the carpark is presumably privately owned or leased for there is a car parking business operating on the site.

Fort Lane

Fort Street Carpark

Cruise Lane

3.2 Cultural Context The original tide line lies roughly between Fort St and Shortland St and across Queen Street. The corner of Shortland St and Queen St is listed in Auckland City’s District Plan as a Maori heritage site – -Te Whatu – where canoes were moored, as registered by Ngati Paoa. The Wai Horotiu was the original stream that drained the Queen Street valley. It was channelled and named the Ligar Canal before it was converted beneath the pavements.

Mid 1800’s - Looking from Point Britomart towards Queens Street Wharf

Shortland St c1900

Highlighting the danger of spaces like Cruise Lane where you can go completely unnoticed.

In the mid 1800’s Hobson, the Lieutenant Governor of New Zealand, visited the Waitemata. What is now the Queen Street valley was nothing more than a fern covered swamp. Hobson saw potential in the swamp choosing it to be the site for the country’s capital. (aucklandcity.govt, 2011). Being in the centre of Auckland’s CBD the three sites are surrounded by night clubs, strip clubs, restaurants, businesses, high street fashion; the list is endless. However in the immediate surroundings there is a certain lack of colour and heightened unsecured places. As with the nature of Auckland’s development without a concrete master plan the nature of the streets create the interstitial spaces and with that the spaces which promote loitering, vandalism and heightened criminal activity. These spaces hold cultural and physical vacancy.

1902 - Looking south from Fort Street

Looking over Fort Street Carpark down Commerce Street

3.3 Potentials and Issues highlighting safety through design and creating safety lack of surveillance and onlooking windows interwoven connections of a series of sites creating a continuous impact varying from site to site separate sites becoming linked through installation constantly used for function; car parking, service lane, walking lane maintain existing function of practicality by designing with and around them surprise major impact cue startled by homeless man, loitering in alcove within Cruise Lane, dangerous benefit tourism and the ‘everyman’ alike tagging and broken bottles close proximity to Queen Street/ High end shopping

Research Questions

4.0 Methodology


4.1 Methodology Overview ‘Potential’ Analysis Modelling Spatial understanding Interlinking Echoing Stitching Pedestrian

Site Analysis Historical references Transport connection Potential of sites Physical context Cultural context

Auckland City Council Policy City Safe Plan -Safety throughout -Work for people, visitors and businesses Arts Agenda -Draw from natural landforms -Identify through public artwork

Terrain Vague Space between buildings Sense of freedom Evocative potential City Liberation

Surrealism Unexpected juxtaposition Surprise Behavioural potentiality Link subconscious Hidden potential

Vacancy and the Landscape The power of invisibility Unseen potential Small scale, interventions Coming together as increments of a whole


Mapping Surrounding public space Transport routes Topography Greening Techniques Modular Climbers Printed Painted Application of Theory Tests Colour Juxtaposition Nature Imitation Abstracted idea Green walls

Exploration through different mediums Water Colour Photoshop Pencil Marker

Theory Exploration Healthy Nature Healthy People Combining social environment, physical environment and health The ‘restorative environment’ A sense of being away Individual’s inclinations

LandSCAPES Cultivated Expression Collaboration & cultural synthesis Deliberately provocative Provoke reaction

Colour Theory Psychology of colour Connecting directly to subconscious Powerful Stir emotions Excite Reactions


4.2 Case Studies 1. Caixa Forum – Patrick Blanc (2007) Patrick Blanc, a French botanist, has applied the idea of a ‘vertical garden’. Caixa Forum, Madrid (2007), stands as a vast 600m² masterpiece of interlacing colours and textures perpendicular to the art gallery built by Herzog & de Meuron against the end wall of a residential building. This wall creates an “unexpected confrontation with nature”. The wall is a “space saving green oases” mimicking that of growth found on “caves, cliffs, inselbergs and karst or scree slopes – environments in which plants flourish under extreme conditions”. (Becker A, Schmal PC, 2010).



The Lost Gardens of Haligan The woodland walk becomes somewhat dreamlike with its sculpture of a giant’s head and the sleeping ‘mud maid’. These features are unexpected, especially surrounded by such natural features.

2. 3.

Martha Schwartz - Grand Canal Square, Dublin (2007) The red glowing lightsticks, mimicking the ‘bustle’ on the red carpet, have a sense of surrealism as it draws on your playful childlike subconscious, highlighting imagination a sense of fantasy and otherworldly.



Claude Cormier – Blue Forest, Detroit (2007)

5. 6.

Claude Cormier - Pink Balls, Montreal (2011)


Martha Schwartz - Barclays Bank Headquarters, London (2004) The headquarters holds five six storey tall atriums each with a different 3D installation with a combination of hanging objects. These spaces create unique environments giving the people an identity for where they spend their business days. Two installations in particular grabbed my attention that of the twelfth floor and the twenty-forth floor. On the twelfth floor oversized artificial Monstera deliciosa leaves hang from the ceiling creating a jungle-like canopy. The surreal effect of the artificial canopy creates a poetic juxtaposition between architectural form and natural form. Similarly on the twenty-fourth floor contrasts the jungle with large, colourful, hanging transparencies of deciduous trees.


A suspended forest canopy in an outdoor courtyard creates a sensation of walking underneath a forested promenade yet this is defied as the gaze turns upwards to discover the branches are sky-blue. (, 2011). The perception of light and colour challenges preconceptions of nature, while intensifying the perception of light and colour.

Claude Cormier – Blue Stick Garden, Quebec (2009)


An installation of sticks, one side painted blue and the other red, creates an element of surprise simply by turning around. Cormier seeks to stir emotions and give meaning in order to invigorate public space by blurring the boundaries between design and art, natural and artificial, and real and surreal.

7.1 7.





Parque da Jeventude – Rosa Grena Kliass (2003) In the north of São Paula, Brazil, an abandoned prison and its surrounding grounds have gone through a major transformation from deserted and torn down structure to thriving green space. Parque de Juventude (Youth’s Park) was completed in 2007. A particular feature of this park is a never completed prison building which resembles an open pergola covered in climbers. It is here that the relationship between human built structure and natures influence meets creating a juxtaposition of effortless beauty. This is somewhat disorganised approach has great potential to translate directly into smaller urban spaces giving the opportunity for a jungle atmosphere in an otherwise concrete jungle. (Moll, 2008).



Vache Noire - Agence Ter (2008) The Vache Noire roundabout situated in southern Paris, France, resembles a pocket of metasequoia woodland. The roundabout has minimal materials using only grey granite cobbles, Brazilian ferruginous shale tiles and a path made of core-ten steel. Fourteen metre high metasequois create a focal point for drivers and pedestrians alike transforming the very busy intersection into a “mysterious artifice, the new symbol of the place” (Phillippe, 2009). The roundabout which was “once known for its dangerousness” has been transformed into a “scarlet forest”. With the use of simple materials and the unexpected ‘forest’ like atmosphere this roundabout plays on the surreal of juxtaposition whilst creating a calmer ambience.



The topography map simply illustrates the nature of the landscape form surrounding the three sites. Queen Street is positioned on a natural gully whilst, the entire hillside drops in altitude towards the harbour.

Public space highlights the most notable public spaces surrounding the three sites, in green are the green spaces and purple represents the hard form public space.

Transport Connections Topography

Transport connections displays routes taken by the Maxx bus link, the ferry and the train. Each of these transport routes connects to the outer suburbs of Auckland.

Notable Public Space Green Space

Public Space

4.3 Mapping

Train route Inner Link Ferry City link Outer Link


4.4 Site Analysis spatial 1.Understanding arrangement of the three



chosen sites and how they start to connect with one another


public space, function and culture impact from notable spaces and transport hubs

3,Exploration of the narrow nature of the 4,two lanes and the slight topography change. The dip 5.within the centre of fort lane and Cruise Lane both contributed to the overall disconnection from the cityscape



This series of images were produced from abstract models. They are trying to understand the relationship between the

urban fabric and designed space. A parallel between function and design.

The model was also

power of small spaces looking at the

interconnecting from place to place.

An early study I did at the beginning of the year was looking at discovering and unleashing the



in sites.

Peaks of design and installations have the possibility to form at

intermittent territories, embodying an effect of greater impact. Impacting movement snakes across the landscape with a

rhizomatic nature linking outwardly where there are hints, this can be done with visual cues.

Cruise Lane held energy within the linear form running from end to end. At the point at the centre of the lane a strong sense of removal combined with insecurity was discovered. This raised potential for creating a space with

elements of security whilst playing heightened

on the nature of removal. Fort Street Carpark harbours an unusual sense of uplifting where the upper level from Shortland St overlooks the actual carpark; the two flanking bare walls further contribute forming a


within the city. Fort Lane collectively gathers at the central point, the flanking walls are of similar proportion and a slight dip which shallows in the middle provides a sense of lowering and removal from the surrounding busy context.

impacting design linking and flowing from site to site linking them with the similarity of

provocative design

condensed pedestrian

movements highlights how people move around the sites and help to understand how people interact with the sites


and pulling together surrounding context


5.0 Design & Experimentation 5.1 Exploration 1. 2.

Initial exploration of applying loose and rough concepts was done through The carpark exploration was aimed at creating a design which would either physically or psychologically ‘move’ into the space and fill the void left behind from neglect different mediums, this allowed me to quickly visualise the affect of


abstracted notions.


4. 5.

A similar approach was taken with Cruise Lane as seen in Fort Lane where a colour juxtaposition was played out. Here I also applied a colour to the ground plane and perhaps an overhead canopy. The idea of creating a space with the use of colour was looked at but this was disregarded as that would involve colouring across shop fronts and privately owned buildings, a concepts which would not come to fruition




Red creates


whilst blue promotes


Exploration Yellow harbours

senses of joy

intellect Pink embodies nobility and



A mixture of elements induce a mixture stir of senses, while the green represents nature the red and yellow form ideas of

strength and energy

The illusion

alters the perception of space whilst creating a strong juxtaposition

between the red and surrounding context

Exploration An entire lane of ‘greening’ creates an intense

sense of


from a city atmosphere. The close proximity to nature helps to calm and clarify. It allows you to step into an alternate territory.

Surrealism is “a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be — the greater its emotional power and poetic reality.” Pierre Reverdy (1918)

Abstracted from Nature Abstracting the basic involuntary sense of being surrounded by natural elements

“Surrealism is [...] a means of total liberation of the mind and all that resembles it” Art in Theory, 1900 – 2000: An Anthology of Changing Ideas (Eds) Charles Harrison & Paul Wood (2003). Pg

5.2 The Plan Using ‘forgotten’ space through the potential of unexpected have been the main design drivers for this concept. The experience of the visitor is the strongest design cue, involving the inner psyche and creating spaces which are based on simplified notions; surprise, subconscious connection and a sense of removal. The reason these spaces become ‘forgotten’ is because nobody thinks to take any particular notice. As it is seen through the eyes of the every-man spaces which are there to serve a pure purpose are not of any particular cultural interest. I, however, do not see the spaces I chose in this light. The hidden nature of the spaces become their strongest feature as this can be played into a greater unexpected outcome. The boundary between designed space and ordinary banal space becomes blurred, the design fits into the urban fabric in a way that is unlike a park. A series of small installations collectively move across the landscape stitching together a larger context.

5.3 Design Outcome Urban ‘forest’

Three sites, acting as one.

Open vibrancy, lifting and inpriring

A nod to the original shore line before reclaimation visual connections from edge to edge

Enclosed ‘green’ space


Cruise Lane

Removal from city atmosphere Stars Unexpected Hidden Safety

Escape Hidden Fascination Jungle

Activation Inspire Provoke Uplift

Interstitial Playful Energise

Cues from woodland Burst Secure Otherworldly

Urban Forest Engage Function

Materials Parthenocissus quinquefolia

A modular vertical green wall system that is durable and easy to assemble. Elmich Green Wall comprises plants grown in lightweight planting media.


Green walls are a device being used worldwide but were almost unheard of five years ago. Basically green walls are a vertical garden where the plants either grown or are placed vertically inside or outside a building. There are many different techniques of producing a green wall, some at a much higher cost than others. There is the technique of creating a green facade where vines are planted against a wall for them to grow vertically eventually covering it entirely. This technique often needs help of a trellis or wire support structure. Alternatively plants can be grown in a growing medium supported against or next to the wall. This technique is common as there are a lot of companies selling modular installations which can be placed virtually anywhere. There is usually quite a high cost associated with this technique though and can cost upwards of $2000 per square meter. A brief breakdown of different techniques: Natural Habitats steel modular frame Overall upward of $2000 per square meter all inclusive. Maccaferri Elmich Green Wall plastic cell based modular structure Overall $1000 - $1200 per square meter Plants: $320 per square meter (at 16 plants per cell) Wally Pockets Overall $550 per square meter Climbers $30 - $50 a lineal meter including labour, soil, plants

Ficus pumila

Tecomanthe speciosa Ballatini-Strada is a resin bound aggregate that uses coloured glass beads. This product has unique properties with a velvety matt appearance and a rich saturated colour. The surface lasts 5 - 10 years under t rafficking, resists soiling and cleans and slip resistant. Materials such as mosaic and paint can be easily applied to many surfaces to create a vibrant colour effect of any colour desired. These materials are generally very durable. The paint can easily be covered or removed without a huge cost.

5.4 Reflection The idea and research problem stemmed from a personal interest in designing in different way, with unusual sites; something which was different from anything I had done in my studies. Originally I felt that I did not want to design another park or open public space but instead explore the field of small intervention. There were six sites to begin with which was quickly narrowed to three because of their spatial arrangement and proximity to the center of the city. The sites were discovered by exploring the city and allowing them to reveal themselves. Cruise Lane surprised me especially as I didn’t even notice its existence until I was standing in the entrance. Safety arose on a site visit when I happened upon a homeless man retiring in an alcove off Cruise Lane. The notion of surprise and unexpected lead me into the study of Surrealism. Surrealism is based largely on dreams and connecting with your subconscious . Subconscious is an involuntary state, involuntary reactions interested me. It is through the involuntary that a greater effect can be realised. From here the study into colour psychology and benefits of nature arose. I found it difficult at first to base this form of design and interstitial nature into landscape architecture, this was later understood with terrain vague and the ‘cultivated expression’ typology. Cultural voids exist in these landscapes, they are there because of function. Understanding that function was a strong and important factor the need for it dominated my design. Through my research I have discovered that design does not need to be hugely complex and intricate in order to convey the affect desired. Each of my sites’ concepts have been distilled from a larger idea bringing forward the crucial elements, keeping the end result simple and elegant. The network of connections and affects resulting from the designs can be portrayed directly without the distractions of extra ‘fluff’. Many restrictions needed to be overcome, minimal surface area could in fact be covered but with restrictions comes possibility and you are therefore forced into seeing opportunity and space with a new attitude.

5.5 Summary A simple palette portrays with more clarity The ‘in-between’ nature of interstitial space holds an opportunity to link with other interstitial space, creating a wider affect This approach could be applied to many locations, the existing site remains functional Heightened awareness creates heightened security The design approach allows the visitor to interpret the space in a personal was as they are designed to connect to an involuntary subconscious or inner psyche An opportunity is created to work with street artists and sculptors alike, mimicking the rhizomatic nature of the outward pulling

6.0 Bibliography Books • Becker A, Schmal PC.(Eds) (2010) Urban Green: European Landscape De sign for the 21st Century. Birkhauser Books of Architecture. P 26 – 31 • Fisher, M.P, Zelanski, P (1989) Colour. The Herbert Press Ltd, London. • Guild, T (1992) Trincia Guild on Colour: Decoration – Furnishing – Display. Conran Octopus Limited, London. • Harrison C, Wood P (Eds) (1992) Art in Theory – 1900 – 2000: An An thology of Changing Ideas. Blackwell Publishing Ltd Pg 4, 5, • Holtzschue, L (2011) Understanding Colour: An Introduction for Design ers. Fourth Edition. John Wiley & Sons • Waldberg, P (1997) Surrealism. Thames & Hudson Ltd, London. Journals • Moll, C. (2008). Parque Da Juventude Sao Paulo. Topos: Transformation #63. P 85-90 • Phillippe, O. (2009). The Vache Noire Roundabout in France. Topos: Ma terials and Details #67. P 35-37 Websites • Auckland city council website. Retrieved from (2011) http://www.auck • Brown P, Maller C, Pryor A, Townsend M (n.d) Oxford Journals: Health Promotion International. Healthy nature healthy people: ‘contact with nature’ as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations. Retrieved 12 August, 2011, from: • Claude Cormier + Associes Architecture de Paysage et Design Urban. Re trieved May 23 2011 from: • Klingenstein S, Preston S. (n.d.). Vague-ing Terrain: Technology and the Popular Reappropriatation of Public Spaces. Retrieved May 18, 2011 from: • (Author Unknown)The Lost Gardens of Haligan. Retrieved May 24 from:

Urban Confrontation: Activating Interstitial Territory  

Negotiated Study research project design report. BLA forth year 2011 Unitec, Auckland, NZ

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