Business parks should be places where businesses want to be and where people want to work. But what happens after work? Will everyone leave or will people stay on to enjoy the area in other ways?
It’s an all-round vision – ‘Work. Life. Balance’ – that joint venture partners Southpark Corporation Ltd and Stewart Transport Ltd are aiming to achieve at Waterloo Business Park. The 114-hectare light industrial and commercial development occupies the former Islington freezing works site, strategically located on the southwest edge of Christchurch close to growth areas, the airport and a direct link to the port of Lyttelton.
Our landscape architects and urban designers are helping create an environment purpose-built to underpin the concept of interweaving work and leisure activities within the one site.
Landscape architect Mark Brown, who is leading the design work, says the provision of ample open spaces and streetscapes is a key aspect of the development. Two parks are being designed and the first streetscape stage is currently under construction, including tree-lined avenues, social nodes that include seating areas and bike stands, and two entry features.
“These spaces are designed to invite workers to use and enjoy them before and after work as well as during work breaks. We’re also aiming to create a distinct sense of place that reflects, in the choice of materials and colour palette, the underlying alluvial landscape of the Canterbury plains as well as the site’s industrial past.”
Boffa Miskell is also providing urban and landscape design advice on the regeneration of the area within the site where the Islington freezing works operated. Within this area, a central hub for the business park – Islington Square – is planned, which will be a destination in its own right, with artisan work spaces, markets, dining venues and various forms of entertainment.
The feasibility of retaining and re-using many of the site’s distinctive, historic buildings as part of the regeneration project is being investigated.
“The re-use potential is important for Christchurch,” Mark says, “given that so many of the city’s historic buildings have been lost since the 2010/2011 earthquakes.”
2016 will see significant progress on the ground at Waterloo, with the Pound Road entry feature and the first of the parks due to be constructed and completed early in the year.
9 December 2015