Plans for first big Hamilton City development on river progressed

Plans for first big Hamilton City development on river progressed

Plans for a major development alongside the Waikato River in Hamilton have Tonkin + Taylor doing what it does best; devising clever solutions to thorny site challenges.

The complexity of the site and its proximity to the river provide associated engineering challenges aplenty, however the site will be one of very few in Hamilton allowing the public direct access to the river.

“Waikato River is relatively fast flowing. The water level can vary up to two metres in any one year due to rainfall and hydro-electric operations, and up to five metres in a flood,” says Tonkin + Taylor Senior Civil Engineer Ted Willson.

“The large variation in water levels means that in this instance traditional engineering methods won’t always meet requirements.

“We have designed a series of terraces, steps and ramps as well as a pontoon so that no matter how high or low the river is, the public can be right near it”.

The engineering challenges are twofold - the river and the river bank.

“The geotechnical components of bank stability, seismic risk and controlling erosion have also underpinned and had a major impact on the design plan”.

A consortium including T+T has been awarded $150,000 by Hamilton City Council to deliver a development plan and it is expected to be presented to council by August for approval by councillors.

The proposed plan includes recreation and social spaces, as well commercial development opportunities, including terraces, a pedestrian and cycle bridge, a promenade, playground and buildings integrated into the landscape of the Ferrybank and neighbouring Roose Commerce Park.

T+T will work with Wraight Athfield, an architectural, landscape architectural and urban design practice, and local partner - Antanas Procuta Architects (now known as Procuta Associates Urban + Architecture or PAUA). The other team members are A Stafford & Associates Pty Ltd, McIndoe Urban and Stantiall Studios.