Nga Purapura – Institute of Maori Lifestyle Advancement
Otaki, Aotearoa New Zealand
Landscape Architect : Wraight + Associates
Architecture : Tennent + Brown Architects
Structural Engineer: Dunning Thornton
Services Engineer: eCubed Building Workshop
Civil + Geotechnical Engineer: Aurecom
Client : Te Wananga O Raukawa
Status: Completed 2011
Water sensitive urban design elements are used not only to improve water runoff quality but to distil and reflect landscape features of the broader regional / natural environment.
Harnessing its low-lying topographical position and geographic location within a Kapiti Coast District Council designated overland flow path, this site’s Tasman Road frontage is reconfigured as constructed ephemeral wetland and generous pedestrian entry sequence. Evocative of the nearby naturally occurring wetlands and fens fringing the adjacent Wānanga site to the north, the ephemeral wetland elicits a narrative of the site’s underlying hydrology whilst visually augmenting the site and anchoring the new IMLA building into its environs.
To the south an existing designated stream corridor along the site’s boundary is revitalised, lengthened and developed into a site feature. Weeds have been removed and the stream corridor is widened and lengthened. New planting transforms the character of the corridor and is reflective of native riparian zone species from the Otaki area.
Underpinning all material and vegetation selection is an adherence to environmentally sustainable development principles. The ephemeral wetland provides visual amenity, accommodates a collection of native species from local ecologies and performs an important role in stormwater detention. The ecological materials and finishes are largely locally sourced and selected to suit local climatic conditions and intended site usage.