WA, in collaboration with Athfield Architects, were runners up in the Hastings Civic Square design competition. The scheme interpreted the site’s alluvial context and addressed its varied cultural histories, from the settlement of Iwi to the horticultural landscapes of Europeans that followed.

The design was structured around two key axial moves: the ‘Heretaunga gallery’ and the ‘Ngaruro stream’. The first move proposed a spine that – crucially – connected the site’s north and south, while introducing an armature with which spaces, activites and events would interface. The gallery also linked the existing library and art gallery – which was minimally reconfigured – and these were complemented with the addition of new community facilities. Perpindicular to the Heretaunga gallery, the second move was a new water line that interpreted the local landscape’s plentiful streams and native flora and introduced a rich, watery texture and experience to the site. A flexible, layered scheme was the result that interpreted and evoked the site’s cultural, natural and horticultural histories.

The winning scheme and other entries can be viewed here.