Zealandia – a hyperthetical City – for the SLANT 2012 Design Competition
The design ethos was to create an easily navigated city, a city that allowed for free movement, with simple but well defined pathways, stops and vistas. It is a city that has been designed to be a walkable city. A city that each day of the week a person can go for a lunchtime walk and each time take a differing route. Each space, or outdoor room inter-connects, yet through theming of materiality (tactility) or formality / informality of space is unique and individual.
Zealandia is the amalgam of two primary cultures; that of the European and Maori with the influence and presence of Polynesia. Each has served to give a visual presence. The European has given the creation of the city, with scale and style continuing the lineages of each ‘import’ of idea and style. The original inhabitants, the Maori – or Tangata Whenua are a vital cultural interlink between the land and human.
The city is now set. A grouping of external rooms, designed for everyday use. Not empty spaces without use, but spaces that are occupiable by various people, groups and by use. This is a living breathing city – the City of Zealandia.
Awarded: 2012: Top 4 Finalist Awarded for the SLANT Landscape Design Competition
In my opinion Jonathan Gibb has remained very true to his ‘design ethos’ for this project, and his ambition to design a ‘walkable city’ has been superbly attained. Again in my opinion, it is often useful to have a hook on which to hang your design concept, and here we see Jonathan using his ‘Maori Hook’ to set an historical, cultural and aesthetic theme which he then walks eloquently throughout his entire design.
Judges: Paolo L. Bürgi (Switz); Teresa Moller (Chille); Steve Martino FASLA (USA); Hugh Ryan / MIDI / MGLDA (IRL)
Design & 3D Imagery: © Jonathan Gibb 2012