Thursday, October 26, 2006

Avondale Racecourse Mapping (1)

Avondale timeline
This project examines Avondale racecourse and the surrounding suburban fabric as a site of potential “productive friction” and “programmatic synergy”. The aim has been to diagram the site to attempt to articulate the relationships, proportions, connections and effects that occur both across and beyond it.

Hemmed in by the sprawling western suburbs of Avondale and New Lynn, the Avondale Racecourse is unimposing in appearance, bordered by a major arterial route and the Whau River, a muddy and polluted creek. In the vein of much suburban development it is unmemorable as an architectural image. However, the racecourse as an image of a cross-programmed site is rich and complex. A vast range of activities occurs across the site; horse racing, touch football, English and island cricket, dance lessons, bingo, catered events, rugby, pigeon racing, darts, and on Sunday mornings one of Auckland’s largest flea and produce markets. Space marginal to one activity is essential to another. Temporal changes mark fluctuations in density of occupation, six horses and trainers at 6am on Tuesday, 300 bingo players by lunchtime and on Sunday at midday 15,000 market shoppers. This project considers such programmatic richness and proposes an intensification of activity through the insertion of ‘more programme’. Different tactics (in De Certeau’s sense of tactics as localised, temporal and responsive, rather than strategy, in design terms the ‘master’ plan) are proposed to allow for this densification. The possibility of production friction between programmes is relished and encouraged.

This project won the Auckland Architecture Association (AAA) Urban Gaze Competition, 2005.
See the AAA website link in the side bar.
See also:

Architecture New Zealand, March/April 2006, p24
Architecture New Zealand, July/August, 2005 p24

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