Rolleston Fields: Experience the New Side to Rolleston
Hit the motorway heading south from the centre of Christchurch, and in a mere 15-20 minutes, you’ll arrive in New Zealand’s fastest-growing town, Rolleston. Once dubbed “the town of the future”, it’s apparent this is now very much a reality with a booming population, plenty of investment and exciting new developments appearing on the scene. With its modern, design-led town centre, it’s clear to see why so many people from around the country and further afield are choosing to call Rolleston home.
Words by: Julia Rutherford
Rolleston Fields on Tennyson Street is the most recent addition to this urban centre, celebrating and showcasing a range of retail, hospitality and entertainment experiences for the wider Selwyn community. Most importantly, Rolleston Fields demonstrates how thoughtful planning and design can create future-focused spaces for both residents and visitors to enjoy.
The Big Picture
With a desire to create a modern town centre that would be fit for purpose for many years to come, the Selwyn District Council partnered with Cooper Developments on the Rolleston Fields concept. There is, of course, the landmark library, community and performance facility Te Ara Ātea (designed by Warren and Mahoney) that anchors the whole development. To one side of the library, you will find the grounding Sensory Garden and to the other are several buildings, such as the Health and Wellness Precinct, a selection of eateries and some of your favourite local and national retailers. At the heart of these buildings will be a covered arbour, a town square if you will, designed by the award-winning Paul Izzard. Complete with plenty of seating options, music and lighting, it’s going to be a multi-purpose space that will be used for markets and events throughout the year, no matter the season.
Te Ara Ātea
56 Tennyson Street, Rolleston
One of the most exciting additions to the Rolleston town centre landscape in recent years is Te Ara Ātea. The name was gifted to the project following extensive consultation with Te Taumutu Rūnanga. Meaning ‘unobstructed trail to the world and beyond’, it reflects that this is a place for the community to learn, gather, connect, explore and celebrate the heritage and people of the area.
Commissioned by the Selwyn District Council, this modern library, community and performance facility was designed by renowned architecture firm Warren and Mahoney. Meticulous thought went into every aspect of the design, with particular attention paid to sustainable elements and ensuring that this building would adapt to the community’s needs as it continues to grow and evolve. Both cultural and historical narratives have been incorporated into the design, which has led to the building’s unique look and feel. Renewable and recyclable materials were used in the construction of the building. There is an emphasis on ensuring running costs remain as economical as possible thanks to a number of design elements.
Each time you visit Te Ara Ātea, chances are you will discover something new and exciting, as there are so many neat spaces throughout the facility. There is, of course, the library itself, and free classes are offered regularly here. If you want to catch up with friends over a coffee and not leave Te Ara Ātea, the in-house Urban Espresso cafe has you covered. Wāhi Tamariki on the ground floor was created for little explorers but will appeal to all ages. Te Waka Huia exhibits a range of beautifully curated taonga displays and the Wāhi Auaha studio, which features design equipment such as 3D printers, robotics, music equipment and more. Plus, the community can utilise plenty of other spaces for meetings, getting creative and all kinds of learning.
Te Ara Ātea has it all!
Outdoor Sensory Space
56 Tennyson Street, Rolleston
The outdoor sensory space was created with the community in mind, and its design allows you to engage all the senses when spending time here, from exploring the raised gardens complete with edible plants to finding a quiet spot to read a book you’ve just found on the shelves inside to enjoying the outdoor instruments and beautiful water and colour features. To further reflect the creativity of the local community, students from nine schools around the Selwyn district are the talents behind the beautiful decorative poles and mosaic tiles. These features of the garden not only represent the schools and what makes them unique but also pay homage to the environment the outdoor garden inhabits. Take a moment or more in this space; your sight, touch, sound, smell and taste will be so glad you did.
Wellness centre, O-Studio, has built a stellar reputation since they first opened their doors in the centre of Christchurch city at The Welder. Luckily for Selwyn residents, O-Studio has chosen to open its second location at Rolleston Fields. Improving and assisting your physical and mental performance is at the heart of O-Studio’s concept, emphasising relaxation and recovery. They provide you with a range of tools and services to do this, such as yoga, pilates, meditation, float, massage, ice baths, saunas and more. This is the place to take some time out for yourself and leave feeling uplifted and with a fresh take on things.
Embrace Skin & Beauty
Another city centre business that has expanded to Rolleston is Embrace Skin & Beauty, where luxurious pampering and advanced treatments are their specialty. With a team of experienced specialists who are passionate about what they do, Embrace offers a relaxing environment, delivers incredible results, and works with you to achieve your skin and beauty goals. So whether you’re in need of a deep tissue massage to relieve some built-up tension, a hydrating facial to wash away the stress of your week, or a good ol’ mani + pedi situation, book yourself in to Embrace, and you’ll quickly become a regular.
Eateries At Your Service
If you’ve worked up an appetite, then rest assured there are options to satiate that rumbling stomach. Whether you are after a banging burger and spud fries from Burger Fuel, a generous meal from Lone Star or cake and a cup of tea vibes from Majestic Tea Bar, you certainly won’t go hungry. Bonus points on a sunny day: they all have beautiful outdoor dining spaces that overlook the town square.
The development teams are still hard at work across some aspects of Rolleston Fields, with some exciting additions due to be completed in the near future. This includes the covered arbour, which will serve as a long-desired gathering point for the community and a great space to host a variety of events throughout the year - the options are endless! Further retail and office space will offer more options for businesses considering a Selwyn location. And for the young ones in the area, there is a dedicated Youth Zone currently under construction that will include a skate park, a colourful half-basketball court and a netball zone. Plenty of thought and intention has gone into the design of the skate park, with the project being led by iconic Kiwi skateboarder Dave North and his company Nelson Creek. Once the park is finished, it is sure to draw in not only local skate enthusiasts but those further afield as well.
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