The former Islington Freezing Works is evolving into a mixed-use destination
The reinvention of the former Islington Freezing Works site into Waterloo Business Park hit another milestone, as entrances, streetscapes and greenspaces have been finished and many of the warehouse spaces are ready for businesses to move in.
Landscape architect Mark Brown, of Boffa Miskell’s Christchurch office is the lead design consultant for the streetscape and public realm areas. Mark says that although much of the design was inspired by the industrial fixtures of the early 20th century freezing works, Waterloo Park is in step with the expectations of modern businesses. The development is planned around a central hub and plaza, and green spaces will provide a key balance to the large-scale industrial areas found throughout the 114-hectare site.
“There are plenty of amenities for the people working at Waterloo,” says Mark Brown. “There will be gardens and trees, outdoor furniture and open spaces that could be used for games, or exercise, or an office event like a picnic lunch.”
The opportunity to celebrate one of Christchurch’s historic industrial precincts was particularly appealing, because so many of the city’s heritage buildings were lost in the earthquakes.
Visual references to the remaining buildings and fixtures of the Freezing Works provide a point of difference. Design cues were taken from the extensive colour-coded pipe network and industrial infrastructure. Pathways follow and incorporate the former rail lines, and colour is used along paths for wayfinding.
“The streets are finished to a higher standard than found in many office parks, and there are cycleways, and bike parking throughout,” Mark explains. “The planting scheme reflects the red, yellow and blue colour-coding that was used on the pipe network in the old freezing plant, and we’ve kept as much of the remaining infrastructure as possible.”
The vegetation recalls the English-style gardens found throughout Christchurch. Plane trees, oak and red beech are used along the streets and paths, complemented by poplar trees, cherry trees and groves of native plants. Clipped hedges will contrast with colourful beds of mass plantings, and rows of tussocks link back to the surrounding rural landscape. Stormwater for the precinct is managed by a series of raingardens.
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For further information please contact Mark Brown
27 March 2018