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Durban's iconic Japanese Gardens upgraded.

EThekwini Municipality continues to show its commitment to the city’s residents through a number of ongoing upgrades to public spaces, prioritising the use of quality contractors and building materials for every project. For the formalised creation of a wedding venue within the beautiful Japanese Gardens of Durban North, eThekwini Municipality chose clay pavers for their durability and colour fastness.

The incorporation of durable, aesthetic and low maintenance clay paver products assures the municipality of cost-saving measures in the long-run, and a captivating finished product. Clay pavers remained a popular choice for high-traffic exteriors for a number of reasons: The colour-fastness and earthy colour tones offer a really superior finished aesthetic which is remains a dominant outdoor trends, while the skid-resistance in wet weather conditions offers an enhanced safety measure for users.”

The project, which was started in June 2018 and completed in June this year. Key stakeholders involved in the project included eThekwini Municipality’s Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries Department; eThekwini Municipality’s Architectural Department: Urban Design Branch; eThekwini Municipality’s Development Engineering, Department; and Worksite Asphalt as the contractor.

Commenting on the upgrade, eThekwini Municipality’s Spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela, explained: “The Japanese Gardens have played host to garden setting wedding ceremonies for a number of years, with patrons using an avenue of existing trees as a makeshift wedding aisle and informal alter at the end. There was a need to formalise this popular venue by constructing a contemporary gazebo that suited a modern Japanese theme, complimented by the avenue of trees. eThekwini Municipality wanted to formalise the area for better functionality and to increase the use of the gardens.”

The clay pavers were incorporated in the lower parking area for ease of accessibility and at the marquee wedding platform for formalised functions. They were also used to create the aisle between the existing trees - including a paved platform for seating to compliment the wedding gazebo - and for creation of the open-air chapel. The pavers formed the basis of the multi-purpose path around the gardens, from the wedding parking area to the paved, drop-off circle at the top of the tree aisle for the wedding cavalcade.

The cobbles were used in a wedding-aisle pattern to emulate the rustic palette coupled with a Japanese-style border pattern to enhance the theme. The wedding marquee function area was completed in an intersecting, block pattern alongside a Japanese-style pattern to create interest, rather than just a stark, paved area.

In addition to the paving upgrade, the area received a new lower boundary wall and Betaview fencing for enhanced security; landscaping with Japanese-style lanterns; upgraded picnic tables and benches; and a completed grass block surface in the upper parking area.

“Clay pavers were chosen for their exceptional durability and ease of maintenance,” explained Mayisela. “The multi-blend Corolink concrete pavers were chosen as interlocking pavers because they work well under constant vehicle pressure, while the multi-blend finish gives a mottled, subdued serviceable surface that is easily maintained.”

 

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