Uni students compete to give lower Tory St in Wellington a fresh summer look

Nicole Crawford and Jessie Wrigglesworth combined to come up with this concept which plays with the modular form of a cube.
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Nicole Crawford and Jessie Wrigglesworth combined to come up with this concept which plays with the modular form of a cube.

Lower Tory St is set for a summertime makeover, with Victoria University landscape architecture students clambering to be at the drawing board.

Almost a dozen concept drawings have been created by students as part of a design competition called Re-imagine Tory St, in partnership with Wellington City Council.

The project aimed at reinvigorating the quake-damaged central city street with a temporary design due to be installed for the summer months.

Third-year landscape architecture student Nicole Crawford teamed up with colleague Jessie Wrigglesworth to create their design named Framing the Urban Wilderness.

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The pair believed lower Tory St didn't have "a strict identity' – something they hoped to shape using carved wooden posts reflecting the Maori culture of the area.

Tension trees, artificial tress anchored to the ground using cables, has featured in this design named, Teneti.
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Tension trees, artificial tress anchored to the ground using cables, has featured in this design named, Teneti.

"We also came up with this modular form of a cube and just played with how you can make it different. And how you can make people interact with it in a functional way," Crawford explained.

"As a conceptual design, it's quite fun and quite out there."

Other concept drawings include stilts, recycled coffee cups, foam circles and the establishment of an "artistic hub".

Wellington's takeaway coffee cups would be re-used in a unique way in this Victoria University student design.
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Wellington's takeaway coffee cups would be re-used in a unique way in this Victoria University student design.

University research associate Carles Martinez-Almoyna Gual said collaborations between officials and universities like this have been used successfully overseas.

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"It's the cutting edge way of testing designs, so instead of building something and wasting lots of money, or doing something permanent, you develop ideas that are temporary.

"First, you involve the community in a potential change. Second, you create an awareness ... that a street should change. And thirdly, you can test specific ideas and see how they work," Martinez-Almonya said.

How about putting lower Tory St on stilts? This design explores the possibility.
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How about putting lower Tory St on stilts? This design explores the possibility.

Over the past month, student designers have been speaking to local businesses and residents about what they wanted in a design.

The group also held public workshops, before the students created their designs which have been on display at Courtenay Central and online this week.

"After the exhibition, we are going to select a winner and that project, under the supervision of Wellington City Council, is going to be developed as a detailed design," Martinez-Almonya said.

The students were asked to "strike a balance" between pragmatism and being experimental.

The public can vote for their favourite design on the council's Facebook page until Monday.

 - Stuff

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