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Source: Auckland Council

Te Auaunga Awa – Multicultural Fāle and Outdoor Classroom was the winning entry in the Small Project Architecture category of the 2020 NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards announced this week.

Auckland Council’s public art team worked closely with artist Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi and McCoy + Heine Architects to bring the fāle and outdoor classroom to life.

Using the sacred Tongan artform of lalava (binding or lashing), the artist and architects worked together to create a meeting place with sacred Pacific artforms and ribbons of colour at the heart of the neighbourhood’s new backyard.

Councillor Alf Filipaina, Chair of the Parks, Arts, Community and Events committee says: “The community has realised their vision with this project. We are proud to see it win a regional award.”

“This is a good example of public art bringing a sense of joy to people who gather to talk, learn and play there. One of the main aims of public art is to create something that gives people a new reason to feel connected,” he says.

The judges’ citation published by architecturenow includes: “This garden intervention is heroic in its desire to connect people and place, and in its ambition of creating a space in which to relax and reflect. The project is a homage to Tāmaki Makaurau, home to Pacifica communities who have lived and worked locally for decades.”

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A place for all

Te Auaunga/Oakley Creek is one of Auckland’s longest urban streams, winding its way from Hillsborough through Mt Roskill, Ōwairaka and Waterview to the Waitematā Harbour.

Auckland Council’s investment in the area over many years has seen reduced flooding along the stretch of parkland between Richardson Road and Sandringham Road, improved water quality and renewed the parklands along the awa’s banks.

This scenic waterway now supports a range of indigenous flora and fauna and holds social, cultural and biological importance for the communities through which it flows.