Architectural project Edwards White Architects
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.