Designers at odds on pavilion visual aspects

MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014

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Design experts are at odds with cricketers over the best way to protect the Basin Reserve from views of the proposed flyover.

Four architects have now told the flyover's board of inquiry that a 55-metre-long pavilion at the Basin's northern entrance is the best way to hide the $90 million structure from view inside the ground.

A pavilion of that length would largely hide traffic on the flyover, while maintaining some of the views into the Basin that pedestrians on Kent and Cambridge terraces currently enjoy, they say.

But the Basin Reserve Trust has said the pavilion needs to be at least 65m long, otherwise the sight of traffic will be too distracting for cricketers and spectators.

If that were to happen, there would be a real threat that the Basin Reserve's test match status could be revoked, the trust has said.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has said it will build a pavilion as part of its plans to construct the two-lane highway flyover 20m north of the historic cricket ground.

It favours a 65m building but a final decision is yet to be made.

There is also disagreement over what to do with the bottom level of the pavilion.

The flyover's urban designers say it should be largely open with semi-transparent gates to preserve views of the ground from outside, while cricketers say it should have "solid, opaque" gates to shield batsmen from views of traffic and pedestrians.

In documents presented to the board of inquiry, urban designer Deyana Popova said solid gates would destroy the visual connection between the Basin and the Kent and Cambridge terrace boulevard.

Like the three design experts who gave evidence before her, she also stated her preference for a 55m pavilion because it provided the best balance of protecting views inside and outside the Basin.

She acknowledged more traffic would be visible inside the cricket ground, compared with the 65m pavilion option, but she played down the difference as negligible.

"The type of screening would be very similar . . . there would always be some glimpses [of traffic] through the trees to the east of the pavilion."

Basin Reserve Trust lawyer Megan Yardley suggested some of the traffic would be visible against the skyline, making it more obvious than objects moving inside the ground.

Popova agreed but pointed out that a "green screen" of plants that would be built next to Grandstand Apartments, on the corner of Kent Tce and Ellice St, would act as a backdrop.

Earlier in the day, urban designer Kevin Brewer was asked about the possibility of having a screen instead of a pavilion, either on the flyover, on the C S Dempster Gate or standing on its own.

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Brewer said all three options were possible but would be less attractive and less functional than a pavilion.

- The Dominion Post

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