STUDENT LANDSCAPE DESIGN
Margaret Popplewell’s redesign of the Wanaka CBD successfully takes the core of the
business district, raises it above the flood plane, removes the cars and develops a
pedestrian place that connects with the lake. The design also identifies the iconic elements
in the Wanaka landscape and skilfully weaves them into her landscape.
A clear understanding of Wanaka’s cultural, historical, physical and natural context and the
need for establishing a clear and legible heart to the CBD is demonstrated.
Areas of social and physical change including the need to accommodate increasing
resident and tourist populations, create a strong sense of place, address the flood issues
in low lying areas and re-establish a link between the town centre and the extended
landscape are woven into the design.
Major site planning issues including redefining the town centre within a grid, rerouting
traffic and changing the use of open spaces are tackled successfully.
The interaction between the Wanaka CBD and the lake is sensitive and results in a series
of interesting spaces and connections between the lake and the buildings. Iconic
elements such as views, willows and the use of natural materials from the area strengthen
and illustrate the designer’s fundamental knowledge and understanding of this landscape.
This is a well though through response to a strong landscape and a problem area within it.