BRITOMART PEOPLE: RICHARD GOLDIE AND BENNY CASTLE

World Park(ing) Day is an event that asks a simple question: what would our streets be like if the spaces dedicated to cars were made available to people?

Friday 21 September is World Park(ing) Day, in which street side carparks all over the world are reclaimed as spaces for people. Across Auckland, more than 50 car parking spaces will be transformed into parklets – you can check out a map of where the installations are located here.

Britomart’s Tyler Street is going to be a hotbed of carpark conversion, with architecture and landscape design firms including Auckland Design Office (whose illustration of their giant board game is above), Beca, Boffa Miskell, LandLAB, Warren & Mahoney and Peddle Thorp all taking part.

For their parklet installation, Britomart-based Peddle Thorp are teaming up with Britomart-based fashion boutique WORLD to create something memorable outside the Tyler Street store. Richard Goldie is an architect at Peddle Thorp, and Benny Castles is a designer and director at fashion label WORLD. We asked them to tell us more about what promises to be an intriguing installation… and they did, in their own, cryptic ways.

Britomart: What are you planning for World Park(ing) Day?

Benny: The Team at Peddle Thorp have planned an Auckland-styled takeover – all I can say is if you thought you hated road cones, you might just love them by the end of Friday! WORLD is adding a sense and a sensibility experience!

Richard: We like the irony of using the traffic cone, that ubiquitous presence in modern life, for an ironic spin on World Park(ing) Day. Working with WORLD on WORLD Park(ing) Day – imagine having a day named after you – the fun just keeps on coming! So, the most present device to control traffic is used to control the car, ultimately its long-term mistress! Benny from World brought a wafty new dimension into our early ideas. What’s that in the air? (That’s a clue!) Visit to find out.

Britomart: How has the collaboration between the two of you worked out?

Benny: It has been exciting for our team to collude and swap ideas with such an established and sophisticated architectural firm. We’ve been able to add some curious touches to instigate the senses.

Richard: Fun, fast, flexible – like any good collaboration!!! Speed is a critical factor in our lives, including our creative ones.

WORLD’s Benny Castles, Peddle Thorp’s Richard Goldie, and a road cone, the inspiration for their World Park(ing) Day installation in Tyler Street. 

Britomart: Richard, you’re already busy with lots of buildings. Why use your and your team’s valuable time on a little project like this?

Richard: Because we like a micro-project to keep our juices flowing. Many of our projects will run for five years or more, so it’s a great chance to flex our creative muscles.

Britomart: Why do we give so much public space in our cities to cars?

Benny: We are habitual beasts who love convenience – customer is king! –  but as our habits evolve and Auckland’s public transport continues to become more accessible and comfortable, you will see less reliance on car spaces in the city.

Richard: Because deep down we love cars – they still represent a valuable freedom? Or because we have so many! Just across the road from Britomart are the wharves, where all the cars arrive. The port’s plan predicts we will bring in over 400,000 per year in the future. Don’t get me started!

Britomart: What thoughts do you hope people will take away from seeing your and the other installations during World Park(ing) Day?

Richard: Happy thoughts. Smiles!

Benny: Perhaps a gentle chuckle – it is important that people approach the installation with a sense of fun and all the senses open. It is important for us to look around this wonderful city and the amazing locale of Britomart and continue to see ways of improving it in engaging and thoughtful ways… and perhaps we won’t all hate road cones so much afterwards!