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Australasian award for Margaret Mahy Family Playground

2 September 2019 Kate Palmer


An iconic project that has bought laughter and joy into the heart of post-earthquake Christchurch has received recognition from Australia's leading municipal engineering body - the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA).
Tākaro ā Poi - Margaret Mahy Family Playground – was a key part of the Christchurch regeneration. It is the biggest play project undertaken in New Zealand and is the largest playground in the Southern Hemisphere.
Last week, at its biannual awards, IPWEA gave the project top honours in the Best Public Works Project over $5.0m section which had 14 finalists from across Australasia.
This is the latest in a long list of award wins for the remarkable project that infused the CBD with hope and life. Technical Principal - Landscape Architecture Catherine Hamilton was the Project Design Leader and says it was a privilege to work on the project that transformed an entire city block from ruins into a vibrant public space for play.
“The project site had been laid bare by the effect of the earthquakes and I started imagining what was involved in creating a new landscape. I wanted to represent the diverse landscapes of Canterbury - wetlands, plains, coastal edges and the Port Hills - and these are all reflected in the different play zones.”
Catherine, who has been involved in numerous playground and park projects in her career, says that in creating a place for children, play value needs to be central in design decisions.
“What are the things that will develop a child physically, cognitively and socially, and how can we create all of those stimuli within the site to build stronger, more confident children? How can we encourage children to reach and overcome their fears, and learn to manage risk? In every design decision that’s made we think about how children will interact, how it will challenge them physically, how it will stimulate their imaginations.”

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Seismic expert receives top accolade

4 June 2019 Kate Palmer

paul campbell

One of New Zealand’s leading structural experts has been recognised for his significant contribution to the engineering industry and communities after the Christchurch and Kaikōura earthquakes.

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