Three projects – Broadway, Osborne Street and Lumsden Green – add depth and variety to Newmarket’s streetscape and create a richer, safer and more generous pedestrian experience.
Newmarket’s ascendency as Auckland’s retail capital is not often disputed, but increasing pressure from other shopping destinations and online shopping led to a plan for a series of upgrades that would improve the pedestrian experience, bring greater depth to the area, and provide new opportunities for retailers. Newmarket, once a pā site, sits at the centre of a triangle of volcanic cones, and this fed the development of the design concepts for Broadway, Lumsden Green and Osborne Street. Across all projects a commonality in materials harks back to the volcanic landscape, with stone walls, reclaimed bluestone kerbs, basalt paving and simple, yet elegant, paving patterns adding quietly to the character of the area.
The upgrade of 800 metres of Broadway’s streetscape, undertaken on a limited budget, addresses pedestrian and vehicle trouble spots – an early demonstration of Auckland Council’s commitment to pedestrian priority. Aesthetical highlights include the crater-like forms that project out of the pavement to create sheltered seating areas while defining spaces.
Lumsden Green is an art-filled wedge of land at the intersection of Broadway and Khyber Pass. Although an important green space for Newmarket, it needed to become a focal point – an oasis of green for bustling streets. The reorganised space leverages off a 12-metre-wide pedestrian boulevard that is an active edge for restaurants and cafés to spill out onto. Osborne Street, a precursor to the central city’s shared-spaces, signals a change in urban design theory in Auckland. Here, surface detailing cues alert motorists to the fact that this is a pedestrian-favouring zone. The cues are subtle: the carriageway is narrower, the kerbs shallower, and the road’s textured surface – which gives of a light rumble when driven on – provides an aural indication of priority.
Once a quarter for light industry, Osborne Street recalls its heritage through gritty-but-refined visual qualities, but is brightened by elegant magnolia trees and the integrated egg-like artpieces of Seung Yul Oh – the perfect scene for the boutique stores and businesses that now occupy the precinct’s restored industrial buildings.
David Irwin, Nada Stanish, Sarah Bishop,
Tim Fitzpatrick, Garth Falconer, Fabian Low
Newmarket Arts Trust
Projenz (Osborne Street)
Tonkin & Taylor (Broadway)
Downer (Osborne Street)
P&M Civil (Broadway)
Auckland City Council
2013 NZILA Award of Excellence Urban Design