Student success at landscape architecture awards

Three students from Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Architecture won New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Awards at a ceremony last week.

Buildings in central Wellington with a stream running along in front of them
Pulse by Oliver Pool

The student projects looked at how landscape architecture could improve current urban or environmental issues.

Oliver Pool was the NZILA Category Winner for Best Student Project 2017 for Pulse. The project re-introduces Kumutoto stream in Wellington, which ran from Kelburn down what is now Woodward Street to Lambton Quay and the harbour. Oliver looks at how resurfacing it could improve our urban ecosystems and assist in flood mitigation.

“These waterways were covered up, so that the city could expand,” says Oliver. “I’m looking at the potential if returned to the surface. Can they increase public awareness about natural ecosystems and possibly help address the extreme climatic events that are increasing in regularity and breaching our current hydrological infrastructure?”

Oliver graduated with a Master of Landscape Architecture from Victoria in 2016.

Hurunui O Rangi Marae by Claudia Boyo.

Claudia Boyo, who is currently studying toward her Master’s, won an Excellence Award for her project Hurunui O Rangi Marae, championing the idea that landscape architecture can be the catalyst for the betterment of communities and place.

“Hurunui O Rangi Marae is a small rural marae in Carterton. I’ve redesigned its landscape to incorporate important cultural conventions and activities, helping strengthen the Maori community. It includes areas for recreation, food production and commerce,” says Claudia.

“I am so surprised and excited to have won, it was a huge honour.”

A Rising Storm by Daniel Whatnallt.

Daniel Whatnall’s project A Rising Storm uses the Wellington suburb Kilbirnie as a case study for sea level rise adaption. Daniel graduated with a Master of Landscape Architecture from Victoria in 2015.

“I’ve used landscape architecture to reexamine current approaches to combat sea level rise and future flood events. The proposed methodologies look to minimise damage to coastal communities through adaptive strategies of redirecting surface water through water sensitive urban design principles,” he says.

Associate Dean Daniel Brown from the School of Architecture, who supervised Oliver and Daniel’s master’s theses, says “These awards show the extremely high calibre of postgraduate student research taking place at the School of Architecture. The students experience a cross-disciplinary research environment that draws from and contributes to the research of highly acclaimed academics representing a wide range of disciplines.”

In addition to the Student Awards, Architectus and Athfield Architects won an Excellence Award in the institutional category for their work designing Victoria University’s Kelburn Hub.

The win acknowledges how the Hub functions as a meeting place in both summer and winter, playing host to a wide range of different student activities.