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Oriental Bay Beach Claims Environment Award

Wellington’s Oriental Bay Beach redevelopment claims top Year of the Built Environment Award

The enhancement and rejuvenation of Wellington’s Oriental Bay as a place for people in the heart of the City has been judged as New Zealand’s most outstanding example of built environment design.

The Oriental Bay project was selected for top honours from twenty-nine other finalists from throughout the country and was awarded the top prize by the Prime Minister at a special function in Wellington last night.

Three other finalist projects were highly commended.

The Oriental Bay redevelopment which comprises a more extensive beach, new amenity building, extensive landscaping elements and new infrastructure to retain the beach and accommodate greater public usage, combined the skills of Wellington City Design team, Architecture Workshop Limited, civil and coastal engineers, Tonkin and Taylor and the Isthmus Landscape Group.

Judges for the Award considered the improvements at Oriental Bay provided increased amenity and access to the harbour in a way that significantly enhanced the experience.

They said a favourite place for Wellingtonians had been made better by thoughtful and innovative design that could stand proud amongst leading examples of quality urban design and built environment projects from around the world.

Judging convenor, architect Gordon Moller, said the project clearly showed the collaboration of all parties to deliver a highly successful project. “The design respected historical and social character and by contemporary intervention, extended the usage and meaning of Oriental Bay as a place for people. It was completed with such subtlety that the essential nature of the beach was not changed, just made significantly better”.

He said the inclusion of public facilities was very well considered and integrated into the overall project, giving it greater depth and enhancement of the public realm.

Highly commended finalists were:

The New Plymouth Foreshore development developed by Isthmus Group for the New Plymouth District Council.

Judges said the project had made a dramatic difference in opening up the waterfront area for public use. The development had renewed connections between the foreshore and the city and in the process had encouraged new development in the area and made the foreshore a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.

Bay of Many Coves Resort, Marlborough Sounds, designed by Cook, Sargisson & Pirie.

Accessible only by water , The Bay of Many Coves resort is a luxury retreat in the Marlborough Sounds. The site is one of spectacular natural beauty and the design of the resort is very much in sympathy with that. The resort is a collection of small scale buildings sensitively placed to be unobtrusive and minimise the impact on the environment.

All buildings were designed to established principals of sustainable design and materials selection also carefully considered with locally sourced and sustainable felled timber predominately used for both structure and cladding.

Equally, the incorporation of public amenities at the resort have become valued and important facilities for the community based around Queen Charlotte Sound.

Peregrine Winery, Gibbston Valley, Central Otago, designed by Architecture Workshop.

A long canopy roof, evocative of the wing span of the Peregrine Falcon, provides a functional yet spectacular cover to the functions of winemaking and hospitality contained beneath. The use of natural materials and finishes provides strength as well as “grounding” into the landscape. The “fly” roof deals equally with weather and snow loadings as well as improving the environmental performance of the operational areas housed below. Judges said it is a functional building made poetic in a manner that embraces the landscape of the area.

Judges for the 2005 Year of the Built Environment Awards were:

Gordon Moller, convenor, representing the architecture fraternity

Renee Lambert, representing the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects

Michael Gunder, representing the New Zealand Planning Institute

David Halsey, representing the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors

Ends.

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