Auckland’s skating community is pumped now that they have two additional world-class skate parks to add to their list of venues.
The two brand new facilities have been built by the Well Connected Alliance (WCA*) for the NZ Transport Agency’s Waterview Connection project. The parks - situated at Waterview Reserve and Valonia Street - were designed in collaboration with The Well-Connected Alliance, Auckland Council, the local skating community and construction companies who specialise in skate park design and build… and both include snazzy sections of brightly coloured concrete from Firth.
“We used Derek Maisey, Landscape Architects, and his team from Segar Construction to build the Waterview Reserve track and asked them to include brightly coloured sections of concrete in the design,” says Patrick Gibbs, Project Engineer for the WCA. “We always wanted sections of blue and discussed with Firth, who are our concrete supplier, what we wanted and asked for samples of the brightest blue available. But a test sample using standard cement didn't come up bright enough. Firth recommended we use blue in a sample using white cement and that gave us the vividness of colour we were after.”
“We used two colours in the concrete - the blue and a sandstone yellow in a 30MPA - as the park has lots of edges and transitions,” explains Derek. “30MPa ensures the park should stand up to the knocks it will get.”
Derek says Firth were very good at helping with samples of the sandstone and the blue to get the percentages of oxide just right. “It was a bit fiddly but definitely worth it as the colour breaks up the larger sections. It has come up very well.”
“After six years of construction it was great to see this park and the BMX track opened for people to use,” says Patrick. “People are very excited, understandably. And the opening of these parks, plus the playground that was opened last year, makes the Waterview Reserve a wonderful area for the community.”
But there’s more …
Construction of the second skate park with a unique volcanic theme in the suburb of New Windsor started at the end of August. The WCA once again entrusted the design and build to Convic, the company responsible for the new BMX track and a global leader in skate park design.
“The WCA had decided on the volcanic theme for this park and asked us to submit a design to suit the fractured geology that reflects this theming,” explains Simon Bogalo, Project Designer from Convic. “With the site having significant level change we terraced the design into four different zones. This helps deal with grading and creates an interesting skate space that allows for a higher capacity of users; meaning higher volumes of people that will use the park safely.”
“With this design centering around a volcanic theme it meant using a bright red oxide in the concrete mix to depict the lava flow,” says Simon. “We are on target for a February completion date. I am an Aucklander, a skate boarder and Landscape Architect so it’s been great to be involved in this exciting project which I know Aucklanders will really enjoy.”
*WCA - The Well-Connected Alliance comprises the NZ Transport Agency, Fletcher Construction, Parsons Brinckerhoff, McConnell Dowell, Tonkin+Taylor and Obayashi Corporation.