VICTORIA ON THE RIVER

Light as a "luminous object"
of urban design

Published on May 24, 2019

Architectural project  Edwards White Architects


 

"Victoria on the river" park reconnects nature with the urban environment. The elegant urban regeneration project reunited this public space of important social and architectural value with the city of Hamilton. The lighting elements fit into the context in a perfect balance between materials and the shape of spaces.

The project conceived by Edwards White Architects and implemented by Schick Civil Construction, consists of a large urban park overlooking the Waikato River and placed in the heart of the business district of the city of Hamilton, New Zealand.

The initiative of the City Council , began from the need to restore a former industrial site, which originally housed  the printing presses of the local newspaper "Waikato Times" . It was later converted into an underground parking and finally it became a wide urban area abandoned to urban decay.

Cities are not something immovable;
 what was perfect yesterday becomes unusable tomorrow
"

 

A river park to connect nature and city

The project aims to link this abandoned area to the city, trying to make the most of its special position and creating meaningful visual and physical connections with one of our cities best natural assets. The concept of Edwards White Architects revolves around two important visions. The first is the idea of a destination where people can rest, interact and enjoy the river views. The second, but no less important, is the concept of a device that links the different  levels of the lower river path, upper promenade and main street.

Photographer - Simon Wilson
Photographer - Simon Wilson

The choice of materials played a significant role because it was able to create a gradual integration between the site, located on the edge of the built environment, and the natural environment of the river. The basalt stone walkways, the urban concrete and wood furnishings, the diverse surfaces marked with Corten steel elements, come together to create a refined palette of colors.

Photographer - Simon Wilson
Photographer - Simon Wilson

Light as a "luminous piece" of urban design

 

The idea of a river park conceived as a resting point where to meet and interact, become really effective if this elegant amphitheater maintains its vocation even during the evening hours. 
The lighting fixtures to be installed in a public space must meet some essential requirements: strength, durability and low energy consumption. From the aesthetic point of view, the luminaire had to become like items of  urban furniture and satisfy the guidelines of the architect, constantly oriented towards meticulously detailed urban design. 
The perfect integration of these "luminous pieces" with the stepped gardens, terraces and boardwalks that characterize the architectural project, was the main goal of the lighting concept.

Photographer - Simon Wilson
Photographer - Simon Wilson

The Concrete bollard was the fixture chosen among the various solutions offered by Simes: a product that seems to have been specifically designed to fit this urban space. During the day it furnishes the space with its simple and rigorous forms; at sunset it becomes a luminous sculpture with a strong emotional impact and it makes the space pleasantly usable even in the evening hours.

 

Photographer - Simon Wilson
Photographer - Simon Wilson

This bollard is a concrete volume that hides an aluminum core where LED source is housed. Concrete is a living material that ages, transforms and evolves absorbing the surrounding colors, blending, integrating and interacting with the architecture. The aluminium takes on the more structural part whilst the concrete a more aesthetical function leaving the emotional role to the lighting effect.

victoria arredo urbano 07

Prizes and awards

 

Edwards White Architect has been awarded with the recognition of the "Golden Pin" in the "Public and Institutional Spaces" category by the Designers Institute of New Zealand, for the build quality and the high comfort level of the site.    

 
Designers Institute of New Zealand - Best designer award / Public and Institutional Spaces 2018

 

CAN WE BE HELPFUL TO YOU? 

If you have any public space or urban contest to be illuminate, fill in the form with a short description so that we can be back to you with suggestions and with the right light solution for your project