Located next to a major highway, Tokoroa is a small town in the Central North Island of New Zealand. Once a thriving industry town driven by forestry and farming, people have moved to bigger centres resulting in steady decline for the town itself.
So the overarching brief became “How do we entice motorists to make Leith Place a preference to stop and take a break?”
As the site was long and narrow, DCA Architects created activation points in the north and south to catch interest and give people enough time to turn off from the highway.
The placement of the public toilets in the formation of Mahutonga (Southern Cross star constellation) acknowledges how the constellation was used as a navigation tool by many cultures, including the original settlers to New Zealand.
The public toilets are connected by a unifying roof and exaggerated in height with timber shrouds, featuring Abodo’s Vulcan Screening in Protector - Straw.
Alongside this, there was a local initiative to create a series of artworks called ‘Talking Poles’ located in and around the streets and CBD. Due to their spread out location, the talking poles were difficult to fully appreciate - to overcome this, the poles were relocated to a prominent position on Leith Place, which is lit at night for greater visibility.