Not only is this project a success in terms of connecting our cityscape back to the River, it represents a fresh way of thinking about Urban Design in Hamilton City. Edwards White Architects was engaged by Hamilton City Council and presented with a fresh opportunity to create a meaningful visual and physical connection with one of our city’s best natural assets.
At a macro level the design seeks to establish a park that serves two functions. Firstly, as a destination where people can pause, interact and enjoy river views. Secondly as a device that links the disparate levels of the lower river path, upper promenade and main street. A variety of surface treatments provide a rich texture and differentiate this park from the rest of the city.Split face stone along the edges of the terraces visuallydelineate changes in level. Carefully selected plantssoften and complement the hard-angular lines as they feather out into the riparian landscape.
The park carefully draws the user from Victoria Streetabove and traverses the 28 metre level difference to connect with the lower river path. A terraced amphitheatre has been carefully calculated to ensure a gradient of less than 1:20 preventing the need forhandrails. The required ramp landings are integrated into the terraced seating providing places for thepublic to sit and enjoy the river from different vantage points. Full size models of the terraces, steps and seatswere fabricated to refine the ergonomics of theseelements.
Although the design of the park was in many ways ahighly technical exercise, its use by theindividual has been spontaneous and unique. For someit’s a space to play, for some a place to contemplate,a place to find solitude or a place to be in community.For others it’s a means of access or a place to exercise.A new market, concerts, yoga classes, boot camps,skateboarders, meeting friends to eat together, alloccupy this space.Sitting down in the park and overhearing both youngand old as they discover it for the first time is a real joy.As an architect, these projects built for the pleasureand enjoyment of the public, prove especially satisfyingto contribute to.
Material Used :
1. Peter Fell – Coloured Concrete - 4% PFL Black Oxide / U5 with Rock Salt Finish including anti-graffiti coating
2. Peter Fell – Coloured Precast Walls – 2% Black Oxide including anti-graffiti coating
3. Timber Decking – Peltogyne Species 140mm x 42mm rough sawn
4. Paving – Bluestone Basalt slab paving, Bluestone Basalt setts paving, Bluestone Basalt setts rumbled paving, Bluestone basalt setts split face paving
5. SCE Stone, Stone and Design – Paving – Ancient Chinese Clay Pavers
6. Permathene NZ – Root Barrier – Root Barrier 600mm width
7. Hunua Park Furniture – Bench Seats – Purple Heart timber with galvanised steel framing and fixings
8. Hunua Park Furniture – Rubbish bins – Galvanised steel and corten steel, powdercoated black and pre-oxidised and sealed corten
9. Hunua Park Furniture – Steps – Corten Steel, Pre-oxidised and sealed
10. Hunua Park Furniture – Planters – Precast concrete