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NZ 1st, 3rd and 4th in landscape architect awards

Media release – July 29, 2004

NZ 1st, 3rd and 4th in international landscape architect awards

New Zealand has taken first, third and fourth placings in the inugural International Federation of Landscape Architects’ Eastern Region excellence awards.

The New Plymouth foreshore project in NZ was award first prize, the Seonyudo Park on the Hangang River in Seoul, South Korea, was awarded second prize and the Manukau project in Auckland NZ was award third prize.

The awards will be officially presented at the IFLA World Congress in Taipei on September 9-11.

Eastern Region President James Hayter said the award programme was developed to encourage and recognise the best quality landscape works within the Eastern Region of the IFLA. These countries include Malaysia, Thailand, Japan, Australia, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia. India and China will join the group next year.

``The best of landscape design and planning is vitally important for the future of the planet in order to blend man's footprint with nature,’’ he said.

He said landscape architects around the world were striving to enhance the landscape and to contribute to the design, conservation, and management of the environment.

It is a credit to the quality of the landscape architectural profession in New Zealand that they were awarded first and third prizes. What was particularly impressive was the landscape architects’ involvement of the local community in these projects and the strong emphasis on environmentally responsible and sustainable solutions.

The winning project was designed by the Isthmus Group for the New Plymouth foreshore in New Zealand.

New Plymouth wanted to develop the foreshore as part of its revival of the city centre. The seawall needed to be repaired.

Auckland based Isthmus Group were engaged to design and project manage the $3.2 million project.

The design reconnected the city with the sea and accentuated the experience of being on the west coast.

Mayor Peter Tennent said he was thrilled but not surprised about the award.

“It is unusual to have a project that has had such a profound effect on the community. The foreshore was neglected for generations but with significant ratepayer expenditure and immense community support, we now have a facility that is used by thousands of people each day – locals and visitors alike – who are walking, running and rollerblading in a unique coastal setting.

“To have international recognition of a local project is, quite simply, fantastic.”

Mayor Tennent congratulated the community for their absolute support toward the entire project, as well as David Irwin of the Isthmus Group, local landscape architect Richard Bain, and the council’s project manager Grant Porteous.

The Korean’s second-placegetter, Seoahn Total Landscape company in Seoul, was recognised for its efforts in its Seonyudo Park island project on the Hangang River.

Seonyudo is one of a few islands lying in the Hangang which flows majestically through Seoul. The main design concept for the Seonyudo Park was to reveal the geographical and spatial potential of Seonyudo, situated in the midst of the city of Seoul.

Auckland’s Project Manukau was third in the competition. The project was one of New Zealand’s largest construction projects at a cost of $451million. It involved a major upgrade of the Mangere wastewater treatment plant, the removal of 500 hectares of oxidation ponds and the rehabilitation of 13 kilometres of coastal foreshore.

Boffa Miskell, the landscape architects, developed a concept to provided for passive recreation, met the needs of migratory birds, restored ecosystems, mitigated the visual impact of structures, and rehabilitated the coastal environment. The design was seen in tune with nature and the original form and character of the Manukau Harbour.

The fourth place-getter was Catherine Hamilton of Studio Urban Landscape for the endangered species project at the Auckland regional botanical gardens.

Ends

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