The Courtyard is a hidden gem – a peaceful space at Hornby Community Care Centre which we revitalised during 2020, utilising our Community Placemaking Approach in collaboration with the Hornby Community Care Centre Trust.
When we first arrived, the courtyard was a lush, self-seeded jungle; beautiful, but overgrown and under-utilised. Over the course of six months, we reached out to the surrounding community, inviting feedback and participation in the design and building of these new amenities. We installed a BBQ area, a platform that can be used for seating or as a stage and a grassed off area for picnicking. We fenced off the bins to make the space more user friendly, and created a community activation planter with games. Steppers through the garden and a kids balance activity space were also included. We incorporated a memorial seat for a significant community member, Lesley Keast, who recently passed away.
This project was completed against the odds. We had just moved our moveable workspace onto site ready to start construction when we all went into lockdown due to the COVID19 pandemic. The resulting delay and significant change in the economic environment could have scuppered this project, and all credit must be given to Linda Turner, Satali Auvae, and the board of the Hornby Community Centre for their vision and commitment to seeing the project through. They believed in the design the community had co-created and trusted that spaces for community connection will be important in the coming months and years as we face uncertainties together. They did everything in their capacity to make it happen.
Our thanks to Christchurch City Council for their ongoing support of our mahi, to City Care for their help in shifting our Moveable Workspace, to Thank You Charitable Trust and Mitre 10 MEGA Hornby for supporting the project. A huge thanks also to the incredible community of folk who volunteered to help complete the design, reclamation, and build. They were exceptionally dedicated; showing up despite the build being the middle of winter, instead of early autumn, committing significant hours each week.