The Quays and the Home of Compassion win NZILA Awards of Excellence

Studio Pacific are proud to announce that two recently completed projects, The Quays in Blenheim and the Home of Compassion in Wellington, have received New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence in their respective categories.

The judges were impressed by the simple hard and soft palette of materials of The Quays that makes a “link between the higher land of the urban area, down to the river’s edge and opens up the open space potential at the end of the main street”. They also noted that “Difficult levels have been managed, providing north-facing grassy slopes and a formed accessible gradient zig-zagging down the slope in a way which is inviting to all users. The movement down the zig-zag offers a range of views up and down the river, and is well-complemented by plants which reinforce the location in Marlborough, and generally transitions effectively to the existing riverside boardwalk, where raised flood levels can be an issue for materials and plantings. The sculptural aspect of these plants will be enhanced with time, and the design will continue to develop its strength. Gabion baskets filled with local stone also ground the design in place, and give the necessary structural and visual weight while complementing the riverside location.

The most powerful part of the design is the look-out, which takes advantage of the difference in levels to project a jetty-like form out into space. This high-level viewing point adds some drama to the design, and provides vistas to the surrounding landscape, especially to the river environment. The Award of Excellence recognises a skilful contemporary design carefully inserted into Blenheim’s townscape, and makes a major contribution to the accessibility, celebration and enjoyment of the Taylor River and its significance to the township”.

The Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington was recognised for its impressive design and transformation of the Sisters of Compassion’s site. “The design responded to a site character that maintains a domestic in scale yet is required to comfortably accommodate a variety of users, from individuals to large formal groups, providing spaces appropriate to the site and tranquillity where required. The sequence of arrival has been well crafted, providing a natural flow to the heart of the site. The detailing is meticulous; from the use of text in hard landscape, the containment and flow of water, the selection and placement of lighting, to the planting, every detail has been considered. Special attention has been paid to the underlying historic context, weaving that subtly into the site. It is apparent that the design team respected and responded to the client brief on all levels.”