Thanks to Jeremy Hansen, Adrienne Rewi and Patrick Reynolds for the HOME Magazine article on the stunning Jack Manning designed home and LA Works designed landscape.
Congratulations to Chris Beer who has taken out the Master Builder House of the Year for the remarkable Sumner home that LA Works had the pleasure of designing a stunning landscape for.
LA Works are proud to be part of the Modus Group (www.modusgroup.co.nz) design team delivering social housing for Christchurch. The housing and surrounds are vibrant, robust and unique and will provide quality living environments for tenants.
Rolling out successful playcapes over the years has been an area of focus for us and we’ve been quietly pleased with our methods, evidenced by big ups from the NZ Herald that rated 6 of our designs in the top 10 playgrounds in Auckland.
My thinking on this though has been blown apart by a recent experience.
In April I was invited to sit as a judge on the Amazing Place City Playground Competition being held by CERA for what will be New Zealand’s biggest playground in the Avon River Precinct in the ‘new’ Christchurch.
Schools were invited to submit their ideas and designs for the playground and the first round of judging was from early childhood to year 6.
Aside me on the judging panel was our long time collaborator, Tina Dyer (play expert from Park Central), an education specialist, a Council Parks and Open Spaces manager, a student from Burnside High and a PhD student doing her thesis on children’s play.
What struck me was the clarity of the kid’s ideas, their unconstrained creativity, their understanding of Maori culture and mythology, provisions for all abilities access and consideration of their parents needs.
Generally before we launch into playground design we ensure we understand the current trends and research into changes in children’s behavior, know the demographics of the kids in the area and add this to the usual background review, site and community analysis.
What we are missing out on is the presently untapped creativity when you simply ask kids what their ideas are.
A taniwha climbing apparatus with a tongue slide? A rocking hector’s dolphin? A waka flying fox? A flying toilet? Road cone tower? Pataka Kai storage hut? Hobbit caves? Margaret Mahy park? Maze with a lookout where others can watch you get lost? Adrenalin hamster wheel?
What these kids also taught me was that this is much bigger than a playground to them.
They simply need to have fun, be carefree and be acknowledged.
Their messages were we need a place to hide in case of an earthquake, we need water play, our parents need to be okay and we need to make new friends.
These messages reflect the situation – it can be dangerous, many public pools have closed, they worry about their parents and they don’t have many places to socialize with other kids.
Having a window into their magical minds was a privilege and we all owe it to them to deliver on it.
For future projects we’re certainly changing our methods.
Cameron Rennie, Landscape Architect, LA Works
LA Works designed Marybeth Reserve receives praise from Councillor, Calum Penrose.
Feature article in Autum 2012 edition of Landscape Architecture Magazine on our playscape work noting Cameron Rennie (our very own) as the designer of the ‘lion’s share of top-rating projects.’ Check it out:
LA Works considered leading playspace designers with 4 out of the 9 best rated playgrounds in Auckland from our very drawing board.
They are Schnapper Rock, Schopolo Playground, Heron Park and Okura Reserve.
Check out the story:
LA Works designed and managed Marybeth Reserve is opened in a mayoral opening. The Papakura Courier tells the story:
LA Works designed and managed Long Bay All Abilities Playground is opened by Mayor Len Brown. Scoop picks up the story:
LA Works designed and managed playscape, basketball and skate half court is noted for Aucklander’s weekend activity. NZ Herald picks up the story: