Actively engaging the community throughout the design process is integral to engendering civic pride and creating enduring spaces; Buchan Principal Rob Guild and SA Architect Arno Pieters recently had the opportunity to enact this belief while presenting the latest concepts for the Mangawhai Central town centre, main street and communal space to over 300 members of the community. Also joining the collaborative meeting was Andrew Guest, representing developer Veranda, and Kaipara District Council Mayor Dr Jason Smith.
Influenced by its natural surrounds, mixed-use development Mangawhai Central will establish a new buzzing community set on a site which offers a coastal lifestyle and attractions for new families.
Mangawhai Central will be the epitome of balanced mixed-use, combining; education, retail, hospitality offerings, arts and culture inclusions, emergency services and residential. The inclusion of new businesses and critical infrastructure will deliver social and economic benefits to the immediate and wider communities during construction and beyond.
Placemaking is at the heart of our approach, creating equilibrium between human scale, built form and the surrounding natural landscape will result in a harmonized town centre, equipped to support expectant future growth and providing live, work, play and learn environments in one space. Designers create characterful places through active curation; selecting, presenting and building neighbourhoods and we have endeavoured to integrate communal places where the public realm becomes shared space of value, around which a community can grow.
The design intent was to create a beacon of welcome to the site with a tall, imposing signage tower, metaphorically representative of a lighthouse. The retailer New World Supermarket will anchor the main street with activation from retail and f&b offerings and a shared market place. Local artists will be engaged to create a sense of place, character, ownership and culture. The building’s façades are designed with a nautical leaning and the modular roofs aim to reflect the dunes of distal spit. Indigenous species of plants have been chosen to landscape the streetscapes, with sensitivity to the local climate in mind.
Buchan Principal Rob Guild expands on the influence that the location had on the design “We wanted to capture the relaxed atmosphere and connection to nature that Mangawhai locals hold, by creating a space that is intrinsically linked with its surrounds, both in an aesthetic and functional sense.”
Intense community engagement has been a paramount part of reaching resource consent. Developing relationships and gaining trust is the approach both Viranda Partners and Buchan have taken and our aim is to give back to the community and cultural stakeholders to ensure this new town bolsters those involved in conservatorship of the land.
The full public meeting notes and additional information about the design are available on the Mangawhai Central website.