LandLAB: The Vaughan’s Stream Reserve is a new 20 ha infrastructural park that provides the signature landscape experiences for a 162 ha site that encompasses a new town center, 2500 houses, and 28 ha of parks.
The project scope includes:
1| the design of 3 wetland areas forming part of an integrated low impact design network and stormwater treatment system for the broader development,
2| a road bridge on the sites central north-south spine connecting the two sides of the stream,
3| and a series of secondary pedestrian bridges providing pedestrian connectivity between the stream corridor, neighbourhood and adjacent Long Bay Regional Park.
The design strategy stitches together the ecological restoration of the corridor with new stormwater and social infrastructure programs into a contemporary coastal parkland network with a distribution of design elements – boardwalks, bridges, and pavilions – which facilitate circulation, navigation, and occupation. The articulated bridge and structures are a recessive yet sculptural family of steel elements set within the rejuvenated ecological network of the park. These features reveal and support way-finding and connectivity of the park network and articulate an episodic experience for the park system.
The weir dam separates the main wetland forebay and the main body of the wetland that incorporates a pedestrian access bridge leading to the Long Bay Regional Park walkway. Corten weirs provide water aeration, introduce the sound of water as an experience, and manages water flows in a variety of rain events. Rows of gabions define alternating pond depths that support surface flow (SF) and sub-surface flows (SSF). A pedestrian path runs along the western side of the pond, and it links the park spaces to the adjacent Long Bay Village. It incorporates opportunities to access the water’s edge via timber decks orientated to more sweeping landscape views.
The central bridge re-conceives conventional notions of a bridge, as it expresses an infrastructural and landscape-led approach. They are characterised by its horizontality, which meshes with the surrounding landscape and preserves views to the broader coastal landscape. This strategy also harnesses the convergence of the park’s more extensive movement networks to create a landmark and focal point. The bridge form extends a folded sequence of corten walls across the stream corridor and integrated into the surrounding landscape. These forms support legibility and way-finding and extend the bridge beyond its span into the surrounding landscape.
The design of the smaller bridges reinforces way-finding through the use of solid panels that unfold and extend into the landscape. It contrasts with lighter detailing over water, which enables views of the stream corridor and water from the bridge and surrounding spaces. These bridges continue the materiality palette of the wider project, utilizing concrete, timber, and corten steel. They also incorporate detailing of balustrades via a sculptural composition of solid panels and vertical bars.
A vital feature of this project is the considered inter-weaving of the typically mutually exclusive spaces of recreation and stormwater treatment into a hybrid infrastructural parkland. Its sensitivity to the significant surrounding landscape of Long Bay, the Waitematā and beyond has ensured an appropriate fit and transition between the neighboring project and these significant existing natural landscapes.
Landscape Architect: LandLAB
Project location: Glenvar Ridge Road, Long Bay, Auckland 0630, New Zealand
Design year: 2015
Year Built: 2017 / Current