Landscape Installation Art
Pop-Up Gardens Competition
Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand

Organiser: Christchurch City Council
Team: Patarita Tassanarapan, Nithirath Chaemchuen, Nicha Chongkriangkrai, Thanatcha Tangsuksawangporn

Community engagement has become a more crucial concept to include in developments, particularly when designing long-term urban public spaces. Additionally, public art and interactive installations are popularly used as an instrument for this and public improvement. Our team incorporated these interrelated these concepts with Christ Church’s major vision of creative community development when designing Noodlescape.

Our proposed project focuses on integrating urban planning with a community-based public art approach to revitalize a communal space in Christ Church city. Accordingly, this garden will create a vibrant ingenious and interactive space that engages the city, neighborhood, and anyone that passes by. This pop-up garden will not only function as a traditional garden, but will also contribute to both community life and the service and vitality of public spaces through public art. Ultimately, since the site is located on Cathedral Square, a historic site surrounded by numerous heritage items, it is also important to attract people to come and appreciate to this invaluable place.

The synchronization between the city’s vigor and people’s movements will be exposed in the garden. Colorful pool noodles, the main material used in the garden, generate the community’s vivaciousness and persuade them to explore. More than 600 noodles about 2-meters in height are used to create the effect of vision through a clump of grass—moiré effect—that rouses curiosity. Their flexibility reacts to the forces of the city including summer breeze, sunlight, and people’s touch; and, its characteristic of softness and safeness allows people of all ages to interact.

At the center of the noodles is Oasis, an area filled with native plants and a playful inflatable seat. The native plants used in this garden, for example, Metrosideros excels (Pohutukawa), will contribute a sense of nature to nourish and enliven the city. The seat’s shape is designed to embody the negative space inside the Oasis; and, it is a shared-seat permitting many people to sit. Thus, they can talk, share, experience, and even more intimately interact with each other. This surprising central space will activate the joyfulness of those that explore!

To set up this garden, two main elements require installation: the noodles and the oasis. First, the noodles can be simply installed using metal stands (see in the figure) which might make each of them a self-contained unit that can be connected to others. Each noodle is gradually varied in height and pattern to create an exciting space. Second, the oasis or core area will be defined by the pump-up seat. Also, the planting pots will be set up in the central space between noodle gaps. The only maintenance required would be watering plants during the event. All structures are temporary so that the site can be returned to its original condition.

We believe that with our background as landscape architects and our multidisciplinary approach, this competition is an opportunity for our team to explore an ingenious way to improve their environment and sense of pride for with the Christ Church community.

“Colourful pool noodles amongst a green oasis will add vibrancy and vividness to Cathedral Square.
Noodlescape is a contemporary garden that invites playfulness whilst creating a sense of pride in the future of Christchurch City.”