Victoria on the River claimed one of the major prizes at last night’s Property Council of New Zealand We Are Waikato Property People Awards 2018.
The amphitheatre-style park in central Hamilton, and overlooking the Waikato River, received the Judges’ Choice Award – shared between Hamilton City Council (as property owner and manager on behalf of the community), and architecture firm Edwards White Architects, which designed the park.
The award category is not open for submissions or nominations but recognises an outstanding contribution to the Waikato property industry and can be presented to a team or individual.
The judges noted the “project delivered significant value to the Waikato community, crafting a space for people to gather and enjoy the river and surrounds in the heart of Hamilton”.
It has been a successful project in terms of connecting the cityscape back to the Waikato River and represents a fresh way of thinking about urban design in Hamilton.
The collaboration of the teams involved in the project resulted in the creation of a place that for some is a space to play, for some a place to contemplate, a place to find solitude or a place to be in community.
“The park is unique in its conception and execution and the city has an asset it can be immensely proud of,” judges added.
The award was collected by Edwards White Principal Brian White, who says the project has been very satisfying.
“So often, as architects, you complete a project and don’t get to see people use it or interact with it. With a project such a this, we have been able to observe people interacting with it. To see and hear the public excited and positive as they discover it for the first time has been hugely rewarding,” he says.
Maria Barrie, the Council’s Parks and Recreation Manager, says the design and construction of Victoria on the River saw a carpark and challenging slope transformed into a world-class park Hamiltonians and visitors are enjoying.
“Edwards White’s design responded to some very difficult terrain, which included a steep slope, and also our desire to link the park with our popular network of river paths,” she says.
“Brian and his team worked very closely with us throughout the design phase and stayed close to construction to ensure the shared vision for the park was achieved.
“This was very much a partnership between the Council, Edwards White Architects, AECOM and Schick Civil Construction.
“We are delighted to get recognition from the local property sector.”
Editor’s note: Images of Victoria on the River are available on request.