Incorporating community ideas into a makeover of the Whangaparāoa Library Plaza has got Hibiscus and Bays Local Board’s stamp of approval.
The board has approved the library plaza design which includes most of the landscape concepts developed by the Future Whangaparāoa group and Auckland Council staff.
Chair Julia Parfitt says that the community is very clear the area should develop as a vibrant and accessible centre for everyone.
“Coast Plaza comes to life during celebrations but the area outside the library is well overdue for an upgrade. The new design is an attractive fit with the existing plaza square.
“The design has changed slightly to include a small garden overlooking the library’s quiet working spaces and meeting rooms. Replacing an informal play area with a peaceful space gives library users access to the outdoors that is in keeping with the quiet area.
“Getting to this stage has required a lot of hard work, patience and planning and while it’s not over yet, it will be worth it when it’s complete.”
The Whangaparāoa 2030 Visioning Project and the subsequent Whangaparāoa Library Courtyard project began after a group of passionate locals were inspired by a community empowerment workshop run by Milenko Matanovic.
Future Whangaparāoa Trust Chair John Davies says it's amazing to see a community's ideas and commitment coming to fruition.
“The Whangaparāoa 2030 project that started the move for a community heart in this area and led to the Future Whangaparaoa Trust formation really looks forward to enjoying the new space in the coming year.”
A public art tiled wall created by the community will decorate a new masonry wall surrounding the garden area.
Other improvements include:
- forming new garden areas within existing concrete walls
- installing shade sails as a temporary measure until newly planted trees generate enough shade
- planting coastal trees, other native vegetation and together with artificial grass to create green areas and informal play areas with sight lines maintained by grouping and sizing plants
- installing timber-clad seats, steps and planter boxes throughout the space and removing the existing water fountain to replace it with plants.
The local board has approved $112,500, in addition to $92,000 approved last year, for the project. Construction is expected to start in the 2019/2020 financial year.
Details of the final design can be found in the Whangaparāoa Library Courtyard Update on the council website.