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Landscape award entry proposes radical enhancement of Lyttelton's waterfront a world class gateway for all to enjoy

Shelley Grell - 18/02/2010


Christchurch resident and Lincoln University landscape architect student, Cameron Mclean, has submitted a sterling proposal to the 2010 NZILA awards for the redevelopment of Lyttelton's waterfront. The A+ grade project presents a commendable alternative to the Port's own $250m development proposal submitted to the Christchurch City Council in September last year.

Cameron Mclean
Cameron Mclean

Click here to view a larger version

The design offers a significant enhancement of the existing tank farm and waterfront area by the addition of a major arrival centre for the more than 250,000 people who arrive in Lyttelton on cruise ships every year, a bold new marina, waterfront accommodation, the industrial site arranged for increased efficiency and safety, and a significant recreation and park area for the enjoyment for all.

Proposed Development Site Location around Golans Bay
Proposed Development Site Location around Golans Bay
Image Source Cameron Mclean's Proposal
Click here to view a larger version

As a gateway to one of the most striking tourist destinations in the world, Lyttelton's waterfront falls disappointingly short of all expectations. Not only for the many thousands of wealthy tourists a year who, after dodging industrial trains, are shunted from ship to city with no opportunity to explore the waterfront, but for everyone who would like to work, boat, sail, live, fish and play there.

Design Proposal
Design Proposal
Image Source Cameron Mclean's Proposal
Click here to view a larger version

McLean's design objective is to mitigate the existing conflict between industry, recreation and tourism use by presenting an impressive welcome gateway for tourists to Lyttelton, Christchurch and the South Island.

He says, "The catalyst for change in Lyttelton would be the development of a purpose-built cruise ship docking wharf and terminal building, as well as much needed residential and marine based recreational facilities for all Cantabrians. At the core of my design is a centralised marina space that offers shelter for boats and yachts with 300 berths."

To mitigate the conflict and potential hazard between industry and recreational use of the waterfront, Mclean proposes the existing petroleum and bitumen tanks are relocated to Golans Bay alongside where the Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) is reclaiming land to accommodate further storage of West Coast coal and a container-trade expansion.

"By positioning all industry on Eastern side, and consolidating the Port into one area for increased security and safety, the Southern side can be opened up for public interaction with the harbour. I wanted my design to create a cohesive space for tourists, community and industry to occupy and to inject vitality into what is currently a sorely under-utilised space," says Mclean.

McLean's proposal also includes an innovative ecological saltwater sink hole concept with tide-dependent pontoons for spawning marine life. "It's a new organic idea that would need further research to see if it would be viable," he says.

Mclean presented his design concept to the Lyttelton Community Board on 14 December last year and said they liked a number of his ideas.

"Obviously there were issues around the logistics and cost, which would be at least the same as the projected costs for LPC's proposed development. However, my proposal is bigger in scale than LPC's one. Also their proposal concentrates more on the inner harbour, whereas my proposal keeps the cruise ships out of the inner harbour - which is often too small for captains to dock their ships easily, and windy conditions make it more difficult. Currently most of the big cruise ships dock outside the harbour, so it makes sense to create a docking facility outside of the inner harbour."

Neil Challenger, Senior Lecturer and Head of School Landscape Architecture at Lincoln University, says McLean's proposal would overcome a number of issues for the area.

"It's an innovative and farsighted landscape design that solves a lot of problems and makes creative use of land around Lyttelton. It also responds well to the needs of Cantabrians with a secure marina and attractive recreational and residential facilities," he says.

"McLean's design exposes people to a broader level of thinking than what has been proposed to date. While it's a big financial project, development can be done in stages, and with a potential income stream from residential and commercial leases, tourists and marina rents, this concept can quickly pay handsome dividends to investors."

Cameron Mclean has now graduated from his course at Lincoln and is looking for work in landscape architectural design. If anyone is interested in employing Cameron please contact him on 0276 434776, or email cameron.mcln@gmail.com.

The Landscape Architecture Programme at Lincoln University

The role of landscape architects is helping to improve our quality of life in a way that meets economic and functional needs while sustaining and enhancing ecological and cultural values. Cameron's innovative design proposal for the redevelopment of Lyttelton's waterfront typifies the sort of project that landscape architecture students study at Lincoln.

The landscape architecture programme at Lincoln University is very highly regarded in New Zealand and is world renowned for the quality of its graduates. It has the largest PhD programme in the country, its own refereed journal (Landscape Review), and the programme attracts students and sabbatical exchanges from all over the world.



 
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