Mangere East Community is one of the low-income pockets of communities in Auckland region that have fought hard over the years to retain the dilapidated community centre at the central hub of the region’s business district. For the last four years, the community board and city council were made aware of the dire need of the Mangere East village to upgrade their recreation and community facilities, but the process had been deprioritised over other matters favouring commercial incentives, and the Auckland Chapter has been brought on board to try and advocate and expedite the decision-making process for this community. The Auckland Chapter will lead the facilitation of collaborative design and visioning process for the proposed community centre in Mangere East. We will focus on firstly producing architectural schemes for clients and future funders, but also to co-ordinate and manage the community workshop by building an interactive booth at the annual Christmas festival held at the community centre. This will be a high-profile event attended by local politicians and community members who will galvanise around this vision and will serve as a catalyst for progress in area long neglected by rapid urbanisation and development in more affluent parts of the city.
Mangere East community is one of the quickest growing neighbourhoods in Auckland and is in dire need of service facilities that would promote community spirit, keep crimes down, and most importantly encourage local youths to stay at school by way of providing recreation spaces and opportunities for continuing education.
Description of the project
The proposed Mangere East Community Centre will upgrade a dilapidated and neglected community centre that has operated in the last 50 years out of former prefab army sheds and abandoned masonic lodge that were not designed for the particular needs of the community but has been awkwardly repurposed for its use. The new community centre will serve three main functions: 1) Adult education; 2) Early childhood services; 3) Afterschool care. Taking advantage of its central geographic location abutting the adjacent commercial district and recreational reserves, the proposed community centre will complement and incorporate the existing library, sports field (bowling club, rugby league club, soccer club, village green, netball courts), clubhouses, and small retail facilities. The new community centre proposes to enhance and extend the vision for the district development plan proposed for the Mangere East region, by providing additional public facilities and Park & Ride transport hub to mitigate existing problems of overcrowding and congestion, as well as to enhance road safety for pedestrians and particularly children.
During the participatory design process, we will adopt the adjacency planning strategy to identify key relationships needed by the community, and revise the design schemes according to existing skillsets of the local experts, so that the proposed building reflects the identity of the community and incentivises them to take ownership and maintain it once built. Full community buy-in from early on in the design process minimises the community feeling alienated, as some recent projects in the area have done. Also, because of the culturally diverse and young demographic in the area, adaptable building strategy is key to the future success of this project, and there is a need to look at several options for not just how it could be used, but also how it could be funded. Most likely this will be developed in phases, with a view to develop the most urgent facilities, then to other amenities that complement existing infrastructure and scale of the neighbourhood.
The community is currently supported by a group of dedicated volunteers from the neighbourhood who offer their skills and time in sustaining the activities of the community learning centre. There is only one paid community manager supported by local community trust, who co-ordinates and liaises with people on every aspect. Naturally, the community cannot afford the services of architects, so we are seeking this grant to be allocated specifically for the early days of architectural outreach in order for them to pitch a strong proposal to local authorities and prospective funders to back their proposed development.
The estimated cost of the outreach project is as follows:
$1000 Est. cost of materials to make temporary foldout booth, signage, logistics
$500 for first two schemes: $50 base x2, $200 for modelling material, $50 drafting, $50 mounting boards, $25 printing x 4 A1s, $50 contingency
$250 for third scheme (participatory design)
$250 for collaterals (brochures, information pack, survey)
$250 for variations to scheme (estimate)
$250 printing reports to prospective funders
Further $500 sponsorship request has been lodged for paints
The balance of funding will come from gold coin donations at sausage sizzle stands on the annual festival.
If you can help us with our project, please write to us via the contact form of the project lead, Thank you.