The first public spaces in the Innovation Precinct and wider South Frame are now ready for use with Ōtākaro Limited having completed Vanguard Square, Nurseryman Lane, Poplar Street and Ash Street.
“These new public areas are not only places to relax but they can also cater for public events such as markets, food stalls and outdoor dining. They will become great spots to meet and to enjoy the city, says Ōtākaro Chief Executive Albert Brantley.
The area is bordered by Lichfield, Madras, Tuam and High Streets. The name Vanguard Square is a reference to the future and those leading the way with new ideas and developments in the Innovation Precinct.
However, the square sits among several acknowledgments to the area’s past. Nurseryman Lane refers to the nursery that once operated in this area and a series of large recycled wooden pillars from Lyttelton port reflects the industrial history of the area.
The Innovation Precinct is at the eastern end of the South Frame Anchor Project, which will complete the ‘framing’ of the condensed central city by connecting the East Frame with the Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct and Hagley Park.
Paved with basalt, the lanes are designed to remind us of the volcanic Port Hills which can be seen from the South Frame. When completed a prominent feature of the South Frame will the Greenway,a pedestrian and cycling corridor with gardens and interpretive paving inlays will tell a ‘story of stone’ to reflect the underlying geology of the region. Sections of the Greenway will reflect Ngāi Tahu’s history of trading and utilising stone through sandblasted images, highly crafted inserts and illuminated pounamu.
“Construction of the South Frame is being carried out in stages as land in the five city blocks becomes available, with construction of several sections currently underway,” says Mr Brantley.