Basin Grandstand will only amplify Urban Design Problems
21 July 2011
Grandstand Deal will only amplify Urban Design problems at the Basin
Today's announcement that NZTA will buy off the cricketers at the Basin with $11 million of grandstand is an irresponsible act according Wellington's Architectural Centre. "One of the biggest problems at the Basin is the inward looking nature of the cricket ground which shirks its wider obligations to the city" said Architectural Centre President Christine McCarthy. "If the Basin area is to succeed the cricket ground must welcome the public, not shut them out" she continued.
The Urban Design Protocol (which the NZTA is a signatory to: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues/urban/design-protocol/signatories.html) describes quality urban design "not as isolated elements but as part of the whole town or city." Currently the Basin is an island cut off from its neighbourhood, and in need of the creation of connections not increasing its severed nature. "As a genuine signatory to the Protocol the NZTA would forge the making of connections through the city not further chop it into bits." McCarthy commented.
"The Basin is only used for a few days a year for cricket tests. The rest of the year it should contribute positively to the linkages in Wellington's green spaces. It's time the Basin became a meaningful part of Wellington's recreational spaces." said Immediate Past President, Guy Marriage.
The Architectural Centre, which was formed in 1946, has recently entered the debate about the future of the Basin Reserve with the publication of their Option X (http://architecture.org.nz/2011/07/17/the-public-needs-a-real-choice-option-x/), proposed as a real alternative to the NZTA proposal for an overpass.