Anne Gibson

Anne Gibson is the Property editor of the NZ Herald

Airport opens its artistic walk in the park

Fragmented Interactions by Gregor Kregar is one of 10 lakeside sculptures in the airport park.
Fragmented Interactions by Gregor Kregar is one of 10 lakeside sculptures in the airport park.

The Esplanade, a new free circular park-like landscaped walk in the grounds of Auckland International Airport, will be officially opened at midday today.

Peter Alexander, the airport's property general manager, said the new recreation zone was off Leonard Isitt Drive which runs parallel with the airport's main entry road, George Bolt Memorial Drive.

The landscaping and walkway aims to make the airport more of a pedestrian-friendly zone.

Alexander said Leonard Isitt Drive, where the airport company built its own new headquarters, had purposefully been made relatively narrow to try to keep traffic speeds down.

The Esplanade has two parts - a landscaped path under construction to connect John Goulter Drive with the historic Abbeville Estate function and wedding venue and the newly completed walking art trail around the lake, which has a peninsula with purpose-built seating in the centre.

Alexander said the new park was a privately owned public open space, created next door to Butterfly Creek, and a mountain biking track has been created next door.

"No ratepayer or taxpayer money went into this," he said.

The airport company commissioned 10 sculptures, including one by Terry Stringer, for the park around a small lake.

The airport is calling the new area an art walk. More art installations are being placed in other airport areas such as the terminal entry roundabout and in the Landing precinct.

Alexander said the aim was to link parts of the airport. Although the park is about 1km from the international and domestic terminals, visitors still walked over there to relax.

"It's provided for people to use, including visitors to New Zealand and short-term visitors to the airport," Alexander said.

Alexander has been appointed chief executive of listed property specialist DNZ Property Fund where he starts work in December.

- NZ Herald

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