A group of UCOL’s architectural students have teamed up with Whanganui District Council to help create a new ticketing booth for the iconic Cooks Gardens.
UCOL Senior Lecturer of Architectural Technology and Construction, Marshell Putu, explained the Council’s Venues and Events team came to UCOL with a community engagement proposal we were pleased to provide that opportunity to our students.
“Just before the holidays our architectural technology ākonga | students were provided with the opportunity to design a ticketing booth in their own time. It was a great chance for them to put their skills into practice and the design chosen will be recognised on a plaque.”
“We had six students who returned designs which were then presented to the Venues and Events team, who chose a preferred design but liked aspects of two others,” explains Putu.
“These three students are now collaborating to finalise a joint architectural plan for the booth which will then be provided to our Level 3 carpentry students in Whanganui to build and install.”
Eifion Paul, the student behind the preferred design, says it has been a great opportunity to hone his skills, create a ticketing booth that will become both functional and beautiful.
“I have been blessed with this opportunity, but of course have that excited apprehension to see how the structure will perform. I have come from a graphic design background, so getting the opportunity to have the design built into a full structure for the first time is incredibly exciting.”
“The concept design was fun to play with over the Easter break, but realising the next step of detailing and trying to keep within budget has been the real challenge and a great insight into industry expectations,” Paul explains.
“I love the design and character of Cooks Gardens and I hope that the ticket booth will complement the entrance and surrounding areas for the Whanganui community.”
The Council’s Venues and Events Manager, Dana Burnett, says the ticket booth replacement has been a positive collaboration between the Council’s Venues and Events, and Facilities teams, and Matapihi ki te Ao | UCOL Whanganui.
“UCOL has been a fantastic project partner. We’ve really enjoyed working with David Freebairn (Academic Portfolio Manager – Construction) and Marshell Putu to develop a project brief and we were impressed with all of the students’ draft concepts.”
“It was a difficult decision but we chose a design that we believe is going to blend in well with the design of the Cooks Gardens Events Centre while also considering the historic importance of Cooks Gardens.”
Having a ticket booth back in place at the St Hill Street entrance will be appreciated by all visitors, Dana Burnett says. Unfortunately the booth had to be removed two seasons ago because of vandalism. The new booth will be a semi-fixed structure and more robust.