Jonny was part of Greening the Rubble for many years and has worked on many projects with Gap Filler. We specifically asked him about his experience working on the Sound Garden project with us, one of the first Gap Filler and Greening the Rubble did together.
Can you tell us who you are, what you do and give us an interesting fact about you?
I’m Jonathan Hall (aka Jonny). My role in Greening the Rubble (GtR) was varied being a small organisation, but Project design/construction and Site Supervision were my main roles. Back in the early 90’s I used to play bass with a bunch of musicians who went on to form Salmonella Dub.
Can you explain why you got involved with the Sound Garden project?
Originally GtR built a garden on the site where the new library (Tuuranga) was being constructed. Gap Filler approached us with the idea of creating a sound garden by adding a bunch of outdoor instruments, which of course was a great idea! When we moved the project to the Peterborough site I designed it so the instruments were integrated more around the plants to make it more like the projects name – Sound Garden
What surprised you most about the Sound Garden project?
How popular it has been, it was voted as the number 1 playground in Christchurch by www.christchurchtop10.co.nz!
What have been the main gifts of Sound Garden to you, your organisation and/or the public?
The importance of interactive projects. Mostly our gardens are simply green spaces with a theme, or stories as part of the design intent. Sound Garden offers another layer by encouraging people to react with the project and get creative!
Would you do anything differently next time?
The benches we used for this project were made from pallets for one of our first projects six years ago. We used pallets because our projects are temporary and didn’t need a long life span. But now they are beginning to rot… If I would do anything differently it would be to use more durable timber.
If you could see anything happen in this city – what would it be?
Cheap rental spaces for artists, artisans, musicians, quirky shops, second-hand stores etc in the central city. Perhaps a creative places precinct? They have precincts for everything now, but none that interest me… (have you seen the self-appointed rental car precinct on Manchester St… jeez!)
What’s your favourite thing about Christchurch right now?
I like seeing pockets of the city opening as they get rebuilt slowly joining up and the new bicycle lanes joining together also. I went to the Arts Centre, the Art Gallery and the Museum last weekend, I’m so glad these places survived, it’s comforting to see some of my home town is still remains intact.
A huge thanks to Jonny for being our first contributor and for all his help over the years!