Takapuna is one of Auckland’s most important and iconic centres and like so many places around Auckland, needs some love. The council and Panuku, its development agency, have plans to do that centered around turning the 236 at grade Anzac St carpark into a mix of development and new public space. The proposal has seen strong support from the public and local businesses during multiple consultations but was opposed by the previous local board who wanted no development and the whole carpark area becoming large, desolate and soulless public space, along with wanting even more carparking (underground). Those plans took a step forward yesterday with Panuku releasing the concept designs for the town square.
Takapuna locals can now visualise how their future town square will look after the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board endorsed the concept design today. Now, people will be able to give their feedback to help refine the details of the design.
In the future, the town square will be a place where people can come together to meet and relax, children can play and celebrations can be held. The design is the result of local feedback and expert master-planning which will give Takapuna a new heart.
Extensive feedback has been included in the design from the local community, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board and other key stakeholders between 2017 – 2018. The much-debated location and shape of the town square was decided in 2018, following feedback in over 5,300 submissions.
About the design
The design of the town square has been undertaken by Isthmus Group in partnership with mana whenua appointed representatives, Angell and Vern Rosier.
The design references the underground springs flowing from Lake Pupuke to Takapuna Beach and builds upon the meaning of Takapuna – Taka; to collect, gather, assemble and Puna; spring, water, life. Each entrance acts as a wānanga / gallery and references its closest water body; Waitematā Harbour, Lake Pupuke and Hauraki Gulf.
The space has been designed to accommodate a range of events and activities including concerts and a regular market. A possible market arrangement has the potential to provide 86 stalls within the public square, 17 stalls along the lane and 20 stalls along Hurstmere Rd. A total of 123 stalls.
The design includes places for people to sit and play in the sun or shade, with a proposed water feature and outdoor dining area. A potential location for the Anzac Memorial has also been identified in the plan.
The first image is looking north across the town square and at least from these images, the space looks to be right-sized for Takapuna. To the east it ties in links through to Hurstmere Rd, the upgrade of which started earlier this month, which then links to Hurstmere Green and through to the beach and combined should create a great combined public space.
A car can also be seen near the Eat Street sign as well as bollards which suggests the existing access lane will be retained.
The next image is looking west from Hurstmere Rd through to the town square. Panuku say this is in “weekend market mode”. Fortieth and Hurstmere (the building on the right) has dining area along the inside of the wall in the middle section, I wonder how long it will take them to knock that down and open out to the town square.
Finally, in the first image you can see a water feature, this gives a ground view look at it and the square.
In order to free up the land for development, Auckland Transport have forced Panuku to build a 420 space, $26 million carparking building 200m way on the old Gasometer site between Huron St and Northcroft St (below). It will also include with electric car charging stations, bike storage, and changing rooms and is due to open later this year. However Panuku have now agreed to leave the Anzac St carpark open even after the new one opens. The Local Board chair saying:
“It’s very satisfying that Panuku has agreed to keep the Anzac Street car park open for as long as possible to ensure that Takapuna has plenty of parking during the Hurstmere Road upgrade. With the new Gasometer car park also coming on stream soon, car parking in Takapuna will be in abundance.”
They the next steps are:
Over June and July, Panuku Development Auckland in collaboration with the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board will undertake a public engagement process to seek views on whether the design meets the objectives that were identified through previous community engagement between 2017 – 2018. Feedback will be sought through a mix of targeted stakeholder sessions and direct communications, as well as opportunities for the wider community to provide input.
Following this, the plan will move into the final detailed design phase, with a target construction start date of early-mid 2021.
I’m looking forward to this and the Hurstmere Rd upgrades. I used to work in Takapuna but do so nearby now and prior to lockdown I would pop down there for lunch multiple times a week.