Isthmus

City |

Fashion capital.
Newmarket Streets.

Approach

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.

Right A sketch showing Newmarket’s relationship to the volcanic terrain.

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.

Right As it was with the upgrade to Broadway, the integration of public art was at the forefront of the design objectives on Osborne Street. Globglob, a series of nine colourful works of by artist Seung Yul Oh, extends from the corner of Teed Street into Osborne Street.

“The streetscape project was completed with little fuss and a lot of goodwill created with retailers along the way. Its completion made a huge difference.”

— Cameron Brewer, Newmarket Business Association

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.

Left Rendered drawings of Teed Street and the corner of Broadway and Khyber Pass, with volcanic stone-referencing details.

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.

Below Osborne Street’s public seating is simple and elegant. A thick edge of seats delineates the carriageway. Street furniture, lighting and trees all complement the wider Newmarket furniture and planting palette.

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.

Team Members
David Irwin, Nada Stanish, Sarah Bishop,
Past Team Members

Tim Fitzpatrick, Garth Falconer, Fabian Low

Consultant Team
Newmarket Arts Trust
Projenz (Osborne Street)
Tonkin & Taylor (Broadway)
Urban Solutions

Contractor
Downer (Osborne Street)
P&M Civil (Broadway)

Client
Auckland City Council

Awards
2013 NZILA Award of Excellence Urban Design