Freyberg Place Opens

16 Sep

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Yesterday saw the offical opening of the refurbished Ellen Melville Centre and Freyberg Place. Mayor Phil Goff said:

“We have created in Freyberg Place one of the best public open spaces in the CBD. It refurbishes and preserves the heritage of the building and creates a space where pedestrians, not vehicles, come first. It’s a place where people will be drawn to relax and enjoy.”

 

Freyberg Place is one of a small group of public open spaces within Auckland’s city centre. Set within a network of laneways, it is a popular lunchtime destination – a breathing spot in faster-paced surrounding streets – and, now, a flexible space suitable for performances, markets and other activities. In a towered inner city, Freyberg’s due-north orientation allows for much-needed, sunny and sheltered space in the city.

As a result of mana whenua consultation during early design phases at Freyberg Place, a clear and meaningful strategy around stormwater management, materials and planting was developed. The importance of the water that once flowed through the area has been acknowledged and expressed in the work by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei artist Graham Tipene. The artwork has been water-jet cut into stone, forming a channel for water to flow after emerging from the ground in a cluster of jets.

Isthmus were the lead designers of this Auckland Council project, working in close collaboration with John Reynolds on the design of Freyberg Place, and with Stevens Lawson Architects on the building.

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