Island and Field
We build transport infrastructure to move about the city efficiently. However, in New Zealand, it is often one-dimensional and disconnected from the urban fabric. This is the case in Hataitai, where State Highway 1 imposes a boundary between the nearby village and the Town Belt that could be bridged when new work on the Mt Victoria Tunnel takes place. What could be the nature of a pedestrian bridge that connects these disparate urban territories? I explored this question with two distinct methods. The first used ‘fast and loose’ hand drawing and physical modelling to explore a ubiquitous mesh structure, replacing the ground plane of the site. This Field accommodated a variety of programmed elements and crossings. The second experiment replaced the mesh with an autonomous loop between the park, village and tunnel. This Island required more precise digital modelling tools and a more measured design process. The two methods offer vastly different approaches to urban design. The ubiquitous mesh replaces the existing ground by extending it. The Loop structure is an autonomous figure over the existing and messy ground of the urban junction below. The research demonstrates the tensions between these two approaches to urban intervention and how they can offer alluring moments in the everyday life of the city.