Hobsonville: next design hotspot?

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Artist John Reynolds with his new artwork in Hobonsonville Point Park.

Artist John Reynolds with his new artwork in Hobonsonville Point Park. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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Tiwatawata is constructed for a series of charred poles.

Tiwatawata is constructed for a series of charred poles. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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The poles cross the landscape, through a stream, in Hobsonville Point Park.

The poles cross the landscape, through a stream, in Hobsonville Point Park. Image: Patrick Reynolds

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Hobsonville public toilets designed by Arch Office.

Hobsonville public toilets designed by Arch Office. Image: Simon Devitt

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In the current issue of Urbis (63) we featured John Reynolds’ new sculptural artwork in Honsonville. Called Tiwatawata, the work integrates into the landscape of Hobsonville Point Park in Auckland. The artist created the piece in association with Isthmus Group, the landscape designers for the park.

Mr Reynolds says his creation, Tiwatawata, is intended to connect with the surrounding HobsonvillePoint Park and the wider environment. It is designed to provoke a rich pedestrian experience andeven ‘unsettle’ as a singular and thoughtful visual spectacle in the park context. He says, “I used a procession of 108 charred poles dynamically to track across the shifting topology of the parkland. Taking inspiration from nineteenth century illustrations of local Maori demarcation poles and photos of the eventual fencing of boundaries with the arrival of more recent communities, this workdramatises the processes of ‘marking off’ the land.”

But this work isn’t the only graphic element to revitalising the park. Public toilets don’t usually spring to mind when you think of inspiring architecture, but the new block in Hobsonville, designed by Arch Office, manages to create a poetic moment that references the history of the area. A floating roof soars like an airplane wing above steel plate screen laser cut with an historical image from the area’s aviation history. I’ve been out to see it, and while the steel seats might be cold, the design by project architect Henri Sayes adds welcome bit of warmth and personality to the park. 

Nearby, a sculptural playground has been designed by Isthmus Group in collaboration with Cicada Workshop making sure the littlest ones don’t miss out on a good time.

For those you like design on a larger scale, the new Hobsonville section of the Western Ring Route motorway has been extended, and you can cross the recently opened four-lane highway by way of a bright yellow pedestrian bridge. 

If you’re Auckland-based, get out there for an afternoon nosey. It’s a fascinating little hotbed.


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