The Kopupaka Reserve was the recipient of the Landscape of the Year award at the 2016 World Architecture Festival. This 26-hectare open space forms the major recreation zones for the Westgate Town Centre development.
Auckland Council engaged Synergine to programme manage the delivery of the 156ha Westgate development, including the Tōtara Creek Open Space network project - named in consultation with Iwi and the Henderson Massey Local Board as Kopupaka Reserve. Synergine managed the planning, procurement, design and onsite direction, as well as co-ordination and engagement with iwi, developers, consultants, contractors and Auckland Council CCO’s.
The park is structured around six stormwater wetlands and works also included the revegetation of the Totara Creek and Sakaria Stream corridors. The new stormwater infrastructure not only accommodates urban expansion but also restores elements of the degraded riparian system, protecting water quality and ensuring habitat preservation. Cycleways and shared paths weave between the streams, with the routes leading to the confluence of the waterways, wetlands and community gathering places.
Key to the wider success of the development has been the liveability and public realm opportunities it provides for the future community to connect, both with one another and with the surrounding environment in a meaningful way. A significant aspect of the project was forming the major recreational open space for the development. This open space includes low impact stormwater management devices, strategic road linkages and pedestrian linkages. Initially, the Open Space was to be a stormwater reserve with limited opportunity for the future community to benefit from this space. An understanding of human centric design principles and a desire for the Open Space to balance these with ecological restoration to create new public reserves, urban connections, and strong landscape amenity, led to a green corridor of riparian planting, shared pathways, a playground, skatepark and open grassed areas. The timber structures, integrated with the wetland ponds, take reference from Māori values associated with resource gathering and healthy water. The land bridges connect the wetlands along a shared pathway, facilitating wayfinding and recreational access to the water.