Having attended a community workshop to address anti-social behaviour in the neglected CBD Embassy Park, PAUA Architects volunteered their workshopping and design expertise to a redevelopment working group under the Riff Raff Public Art Trust.
The design challenge was to accommodate the ideas and desires of a community to regenerate the space, to gain approval from the Council (as land owners), and to create an effective and affordable design. The project was a community-led initiative and heavily reliant on donations, community funders, and in-kind support.
PAUA’s design team collaborated closely with the other members of the project working group, Council's Parks & Gardens staff, landscaping students, and the many consultants and trades people involved to deliver a unique, dynamic, welcoming space where people want to linger, to meet a friend for lunch, take in an outdoor movie, meander to the river, or catch themselves on international webcam doing the Time Warp.
The ideas and sentiments expressed at the community workshop developed into an overall concept plan, expanding on the site's theatre history and association with the Rocky Horror Show at the street edge of the park, and strengthening the connection to the river and Maori history in the lower section.
NZIA Waikato Bay of Plenty Architecture Award 2017 : Planning & Urban Design
“This necessary urban intervention has opened up and occupied a once neglected city park, demonstrating the positive role of the architect in community initiatives. While this pocket park is yet to be fully realised, it establishes a framework for long-term reinhabitation and provides a model for future stages and wider projects within the Hamilton CBD.”