New Zealand Pride of Place Landscape Architecture

2006 Award Winners


New Plymouth Foreshore Stages 3 And 4: Woolcombe Terrace And Puke Ariki Landing
Isthmus Group in association with Richard Bain Landscape Architect and New Plymouth District Council

The project’s primary objective was to connect the CBD with the sea.   Its success in achieving that objective has exceeded all expectations.  At all times of the day, and in all weathers, the walkway is alive with ‘promenaders’ - walkers, joggers, cyclists, skaters, people walking dogs.  New Plymouth now is a city that defines itself very much by its association with its coast.  The walkway features in postcards of New Plymouth, and residents are inordinately proud of their seaside city. 

The concept was always sound, but its remarkable success is due in large part to design excellence in its realization.  The project has established a New Plymouth design vernacular that is now finding its way into the design of adjacent buildings and spaces.  It has literally and figuratively turned a provincial city around, demonstrating the power of good design to connect people and place.



Auckland City CBD Public Artwork Development Plan
Richard Reid Architect & Landscape Architect

This is a comprehensive and accessible policy document which confronts issues such as biculturalism.  It is a timely, relevant and sophisticated handling of the topic, with careful and rigorous research, and accessible language.  This work is an important contribution to the future of Auckland and its location in the Pacific.  The work expands the idea of art in public space.


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - GOLD

Lumley Tower Plaza
Rod Barnett

Despite the site’s presenting the severe constraints that are associated with roof gardens, the brief was responded to with an elegant, beautifully-proportioned and -detailed space of massive boulders, cycads and water that is deceptive in its apparent simplicity.  With the arrangement of elements informed by an ordering system based on the Japanese tatami mat, the garden achieves a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, so that it is experienced from within the building also as part of the minimalist foyer space.  A brilliant balance is struck in achieving just the right amount of patterning in the detail, using an integrated palette of subtle colours. It is very hard to do a Zen Garden well, particularly to complement the scale of corporate architecture, but this project achieves it with confidence and style. 


Visionary Landscapes - GOLD

Barry Curtis Park Regional Playground
Isthmus Group in association with Tina Dyer

Isthmus Group’s plan for Barry Curtis Park takes an obvious theme for an Auckland site – volcanism – and develops it in a highly imaginative way to transform a largely featureless site into an intensive landscape offering a multiplicity of play and educational experiences.  Integrated within a framework of ‘wilderness parkland’ vegetation, a series of volcanic features is detailed  -The Plug, Hot Spot, Net, Flow Cone, Steam Chamber and Tuff Ring, Tremor Stack, Wilderness Dome and Fracture Cone.  Each feature is designed and detailed to cater for its own distinct package of active or passive recreational and educational experiences, with the overall park complex deriving its unique Auckland identity from the volcano theme.  It is expected that the same design-led approach to detailing of the individual spaces and features that is evident in the masterplan will see Barry Curtis Park develop in time as an enduring legacy of public open space for the new millennium.


Landscape Planning - GOLD

Urban Design Protocol Programme 2005
Urban Team, Ministry for the Environment

The Urban Design Protocol is a highly significant initiative.  Four publications were included in this entry.  They are all very readable documents, clear and strong on advocacy and memorability of the 7 C’s of good urban design.  These documents are very timely providing strong leadership to ensure something does happen and continues to happen, in this sense, an excellent project.


Landscape Design - Residential - GOLD

Kelvin Heights Garden
Morgan Pollard & Associates Queenstown Ltd

Success with a scheme that is so strongly based in mass-planting obviously requires excellent plant establishment and growth.  Ralph Kruger achieved this firstly through meticulous attention to site preparation, secondly through a sound knowledge of local plants and conditions, and thirdly through a rigorous early maintenance regime.  18 months after establishment the house is superbly integrated with its mountain setting, and local admiration for the garden is seeing its style being replicated in the surrounding neighbourhood. 


Landscape Design/Urban Design - GOLD 

Manukau Square
Isthmus Group

There is a sureness and lightness of design touch that sets this project apart.  The design team’s objective of creating a space that is civic in nature, yet sufficiently informal to invite the casual, everyday use that will occupy it for most of the time, appears to have been met effortlessly.  This project achieves design excellence that lifts it into the realm of the extra-ordinary by sophistication in design thinking that takes the notion of Aotearoan identity and vernacular to a new level.  Navigation, weaving, rafts, drums, fishing, mats, plants and birds are all represented.  Almost none of the symbolism is overt, however, so that the experience of the space as Aotearoan/South Pacific works largely at a subliminal level. A finely-matched suite of construction detailing is complemented by a subtle palette of warm ‘volcanic’ colours, and a carefully-chosen plant menu that reinforces weaving references with its use of mass-planted harakeke. 


Landscape Research – GOLD 

Critique of the Northwest Arch
John Clemens

This is a very relevant critique concerning suburban Christchurch sculpture at or near the entry of a subdivision.  It is a work that is lyrically written, original, tactful and direct.  This work is a useful contribution to critique in NZ.  Skilled articulation of the principles of critique and a light-hearted and delightful but rigorous work. 


Landscape Research – SILVER 

It isn’t a village anymore
Shelley Egoz

This is an example of research contributing to the understanding of landscape issues.  This work contributes to more informed choices and decisions in the future.  It is a very accessible work while maintaining rigour and demonstrates sensitivity to the cultural, historical, physical and natural context.  It is a work which is about community values and this is integral to its findings.


Landscape Design - Rural/Park/Recreational - SILVER

Manukau City Council 2004 Ellerslie Flower Show Relocatable exhibit "Marble Play"
Chow:Hill - Bridgit Diprose, Dave Little

This tiny ‘park’ is a delightfully self-contained space that artfully integrates children’s play and education within the context of a very tight and coherent circular ‘marble’ design.  Despite a tight budget, the design works at all levels.  As a land art ‘piece’ set on a slightly raised mound in the middle of a lawn area it presents an intriguing aesthetic – swirls of massed groundcover and winding timber paths reflect the patterning of one of the traditional types of marble, with the nicely proportioned vertical elements of interpretation panel mountings, three cabbage trees, and several symbolic and playful large steel ‘marble’ spheres completing the third dimension and drawing the eye.


Landscape Design/Urban Design - SILVER

Vodafone Plaza

The plaza is designed on a formal grid that is slightly offset from the alignment of the enclosing buildings, with an organic oval ‘volcano’ form dropped onto the grid acting as a counterpoint to the formality of the space overall, and creating an inviting people space within the square.  The project achieves a smart ‘downtown urban’ character that integrates corporate ‘entry statement’ with creation of inviting human-scale spaces for workers and customers.  There is a nice counterpoint of formal and informal. A limited and well-integrated package of paving and structure details is skillfully used, all in corporate grey except for several well-placed highlights in ‘Vodafone red’.  The predominantly grey hard landscape provides a good foil for a well-chosen palette of native plant species that has superb tïtoki specimens as its key signature.


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - SILVER

St John's College Cemetery Area
Boffa Miskell Ltd

The best reference for the skill with which this brief has been met is probably to say that it is one of those sites where it is not immediately obvious that a landscape professional has been involved.  Here the new structures of gate house and niche wall, and the bollards defining the boundary of the burial area, have been designed and constructed with such absolute consistency with the proportion and detail of those of the historic chapel that they look as though they have always been there.  A great detail of respectful thinking and attention has been accorded to the development of this site, and it shows in the result.


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - SILVER

Matakana Farmers Market
Isthmus Group

A tight corner site in Matakana Village with significant contour from road edge to river, and adversely affected by former industrial use, has been skillfully redeveloped as a farmers’ market.  Competent site design is complemented by a palette of hard and soft landscape materials, and a construction details package, that pay homage to the site’s industrial history, to the rural character of its location, and to its new use as an outlet for produce from the surrounding countryside.  The whole site has a folksy feel that brings it to vibrant life on Saturday mornings when locals converge to meet as much as to buy, and increasing numbers of city dwellers make the trip up from Auckland for the farmers’ market experience that has quite suddenly become remarkably popular up and down the country.  Little over a year old, the Matakana Farmers’ Market is already making a major contribution to revitalization of the district and community.


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - SILVER 

Spy Valley Wines
Wraight & Associates Ltd

A contemporary design approach that acknowledges the site’s rural location, and use of a limited palette of hard and soft landscape materials, have created a simple but striking entry statement to Spy valley Winery’s tasting room and sales area.  The project takes an imaginative approach with the pond and drainage lines, uses materials competently in a highly appropriate landscape response, and has a distinctly contemporary feel and vitality well matched to the growing status of the local wine industry.


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - SILVER

Bush City - Te Papa
Boffa Miskell Ltd

The successful establishment of a ‘bush’ ecosystem that provides visitors with a remarkably authentic experience of New Zealand native forest on a 32-metre-wide site of just 4500 square metres is a triumph of meticulous planning and design.  Careful replication of seven different substrates to create a range of habitats, manipulation of levels and vertical separation to exaggerate scale and density of vegetation, skilled construction of artificial rock outcrops, and sheltering of establishing vegetation with a large wind mesh canopy in early years, are just some of the measures that were implemented to ensure that the skeptics were confounded.


Visionary Landscapes - SILVER 

Sylvia Park
Isthmus Group

Seart Park is the space located beneath the expressway, and it is clear from the submission that the design for this space is a more metaphorical expression of volcanic and bush origins. The designers have explored options using a variety of forms and patterns to articulate the idea of ancient portage paths, streams, volcanic cones and the forest  However some of these themes have been discarded and the final is apparently based on the forest theme with an underlying volcanic influence. The result has lively vertical expression created by multi-coloured poles of different sizes (the whimsical forest) located in an abstract pattern throughout. Discarding the movement lines through the site and introducing the strong static circular patterns (Volcanic cones?) on the ground floor plane reduces the liveliness and movement of the space.


Landscape Planning - SILVER 

Porirua Suburban Character Study
Boffa Miskell Ltd

The brief and process for this study is clear, relevant and timely, it sets out recommendations very clearly and outlines how they should be implemented.  This is a well structured study; rigorous and professional. 


Landscape Planning - SILVER

Magawhai Structure Plan
DJ Scott Associates

This structure plan details a quality approach to an important NZ issue and looks at longer term planning through catchment management approaches.  The plan is beautifully presented and a lot of emphasis has been placed a on the integrated team approach and identification of the team and how they worked together; this has set a benchmark that should be adopted by others undertaking these sorts of projects. 


Landscape Design/Urban Design - BRONZE

Tuwharetoa Street Upgrade
Mansergh Graham Landscape Architects Ltd

Mansergh Graham’s Tuwharetoa Street upgrade for Taupo District Council has transformed a run-down, ‘problem’ area of town into a smart urban precinct that expresses strong local character. ‘Sense of place’ is emphasized in the ground plane by pumice-coloured pavers, with blue glass chips in the pavers and sinuous blue bands along the pavement paying homage to the lake that is the town’s key asset.  Plinths of local stone built around light, cycle stand and shelter bases reveal the local geology. Cleverly-designed street lighting evokes images of leaping trout at night, and large shelters and even seating details incorporate arcs and angles that lift the streetscape beyond the merely pedestrian.


Landscape Design/Urban Design - BRONZE

Cambridge Civic Renewal
Mansergh Graham Landscape Architects Ltd

Redevelopment of the space between the neoclassical Cambridge Town Hall and its facing War Memorial was the first stage of a wider Cambridge Civic Renewal project.  Mansergh Graham’s redesign establishes a formal plaza in honed concrete, neoclassically patterned to address the refurbished Town Hall building.  The patterning ‘centres’ the space, which extends through to encompass the War Memorial.  The plaza, the Town Hall and the memorial are all anchored and provide some low enclosure by formal planting beds.  Paths around the hall itself are detailed in similar style to the plaza.  The plaza is now several years old, and is standing up well to intensive use that includes heavy vehicles, including the occasional tank!


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - BRONZE

Whitireia Polytechnic: Library Learning Centre
Wraight & Associates Ltd

The masterplan for Whitireia reverses the previous ‘landscaping’ approach on the site – using plants to screen nondescript buildings in different styles – by re-exposing the buildings and instead developing strong axes and re-establishing a sort of wetland metaphor on the site.  Buildings and associated boardwalk accessways now sit alongside sunken plantings of massed wetland species that echo site history.  A pond, around a new Library Learning Centre collects roof and parking area runoff before discharging into a sunken wetland of indigenous native planting that treats stormwater before discharging into the harbour.


Landscape Design - Commercial/Industrial/Institutional - BRONZE

Kohimarama Esplanade Reserve Redevelopment
LA4 Landscape Architects Ltd

A robust functional design approach to addressing protection and use issues along the beachfront is lifted into the realm of seriously good design by some nice touches in the detail design such as seats that look slightly ‘wind-blown’ in response to the prevailing onshore breeze and by an approach strongly informed by sustainable principles such use of sustainably grown Solomon Islands Vitex hardwood for the fine boardwalk, low-energy LED site lighting, and easy-care massed planting of hardy native coastal groundcover species.

This project scores highly assessed against criteria of responsiveness to site character and challenges, functionality, and sustainability. 


Landscape Research - BRONZE

The ‘Construction’ of Landcape:  A case study of the Otago Peninsula, Aotearoa, New Zealand
Marion Read

This thesis is interesting, thorough and provocative.  Marion takes the stance of landscape as social construct, to be understood by application of ethnography and discourse analysis.  Having identified points of conflict in the discourses identified in her selected study area, Otago Peninsula, she then makes recommendations for the landscape profession, particularly for landscape assessment and the role of the landscape architect.  This is a thesis which should be made available to all members of the profession and which highlights the benefit of research in the progression of new ideas within the profession.


Landscape Research – BRONZE

Passing Time: A Phenomenological approach to heritage design
Wendy Hoddinott

Excellent research essay taking the difficult topic of heritage design and interpretation of design to create an inspirational outcome easily read and understood.  It recognises contemporary work as well as the views of New Zealand landscape architects.  It poses an experiential design intervention as the research outcome.  The site in Akaroa instead of buying into a native vs exotic approach or community response approach is undertaken as an intervention for the research.


Landscape Research – MERIT

Wings of Peace
Shannon Davis

This is a well researched, evocative and effectively communicated article about the fire-fighters reserve in Christchurch.  The article considers the significance of what is a memorial and what it is memorialising – globalisation or peace?  The work recognised the designers’ purpose and was well illustrated.


Landscape Research – MERIT

Critique of the Christchurch Cathedral Collumbarium
Wendy Hoddinott

A very readable critique explaining why the columbarium was built, the design concepts, materials selection and a critique of the design is an example of well illustrated, sympathetic and informative writing.


Student Awards:


Nathan Young

This project explores the notion of extending the landscape beyond the edge and under the sea. The site is the Wellington waterfront and the designer explores the physical and natural, historical and cultural past of the edge, concluding that the edge between the land and the sea is a temporal and ephemeral space, a place of change.

The project process is clearly set out, logically worked through, beautifully illustrated and is original and innovative.



Chris Punt

This foreshore site is in need of a makeover.  The design objective is to redevelop it as an integrated park demonstrating the range of ecological systems that characterises the Nelson Region.  The result is a matrix of environments wedged between the sea and the urban area and dissected by water, connecting paths and a road, and anchored by a commercial area to attract the visitor.  Superb graphics and illustration.



Lynette Wilson
This project appears to be extensively researched and it responds sympathetically to both the cultural and physical constraints of the site – Wanganui prison. Client needs – prisoners, guards and society - are combined with cues from the surrounding landscape to reveal a creative and innovative landscape intervention. This could form the basis for redevelopment of the entire prison landscape.



Charlotte Grant
The designer has a good grasp of the multicultural nature of this lower socio-economic area and the problems inherent in the neighbourhood. Her solution is wide-ranging, and includes opening the park to the street, focusing neighbourhood activity in a new community centre in the centre of it, providing facilities which can be readily used by the community such as outdoor BBQ and hangi areas along with more traditional recreation areas, thus building physical and metaphorical bridges back into the neighbourhood.



Wendy Hoddinott
This is a project that evokes imagery of both the physical and the cultural past of the place by using the simple device of a landscape intervention – albeit on a fairly dramatic scale - to symbolize what might have gone before.  Water reclaims the land, but the marks of human influence are retained. Displays a mastery of design, with beautiful graphics and illustrations.



Mark Teesdale
This project establishes an entry experience to the ‘mainland island’ reserve.  The entire entry landscape is a metaphor for ecological history.  This design presents an intriguing solution to the problems of creating a new landscape in an old one, particularly when the old landscape has multiple layers of meaning and a strong cultural past. The masterplan clearly illustrates the connections between the landscapes and the detailed design for the visitor facility is simple but effective and accompanied by good illustrations.