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10 Isthmus people promoted

Our whole team has grown in experience and confidence this year; ten individuals have been specifically recognised for promotions as they have crossed a threshold to take on their roles at a new level.

Graduate to Intermediate

Ivy has been a key team member on Roksill South neighbourhood masterplan, Eastern Porirua masterplan, and Buckley B precinct at Hobsonville Point. A landscape architect passionate about community, she’s well organised and conscientious under pressure. She’s been working out-of-hours on some interesting design competitions.

Hew is an up-and-coming architect who has contributed to too many projects to list. Her graphic and presentation skills are second to none. She has a hunger to learn and to succeed; this has led to her working with greater independence and self-direction. Hew has also entered a number of design competitions this year with her friend Ivy.

Sophie joined us from the UK in time for the Schools PPP3 – she was part of the competitive design tender and since then has been heavily involved in the developed design and documentation. Sophie has impressed us with her design thinking and thirst for knowledge.

Charlotte’s final year thesis explored ageing in place in rural communities. Her research has led her to a keen interest in designing for both ends of the community spectrum- from kids to oldies. Since she started at Isthmus where she has grabbed the opportunity to get into the middle of Northcote projects – the town centre masterplan and the Awataha greenway in particular – helping maintain integration and information flow between projects.

Intermediate to Senior

Wade took a decade out from landscape architecture to set up and run Sandwiches club, a Wellington institution. In his 4 years at Isthmus Wade has worked on numerous projects including Kenepuru, Civic and Riddiford Gardens, Porirua CBD and Cobham Drive Cycleway. He is now leading the next stages several projects; his eye for detail at site observation stage has led much of our recent work through to successful completion.

James started at Isthmus when still a student, quickly proving himself to be very helpful around the studio. Five years later he has worked on just about every project that has been through the studio, providing bullet-proof graphic support. This year he’s stepped up to take on bigger project roles, and he continues to cast his visualisation magic on many other projects. ‘Not a problem’ is James’ catchphrase.

Senior to Associate

Kamelia is qualified in both architecture and urban design. In her two years at Isthmus she has brought a sense of purpose, ambition and fun to the masterplanning work she has been involved with. She is passionate about trying to solve Auckland’s housing problems, and much of her work has been on the Auckland Housing Programme, including the spatial delivery strategies for Mangere and Mt Roskill Precincts and the Owairaka Neighbourhood masterplan. Kamelia is involved in women in leadership initiatives of the property council and the NZIA and is a committee member of the UDF. Kamelia has embedded herself in isthmus’ culture and become a critical part of the team not only on project work but also leadership and mentoring.

Greg has been instrumental in setting up and managing our BIM server and coordinating project collaborations with other practices. In his two-and-a-half years at Isthmus he been working on varied projects, most recently the Ferry Basin. In addition to his project work, Greg has contributed to mentoring and knowledge sharing – especially on technical issues – and has demonstrated his ability to help actively manage the studio. As a new father, Greg is functioning surprisingly well for someone so seriously sleep deprived.

Associate to Principal

Earl came to Isthmus back in 2015 and quickly and quietly delivered Isthmus’ biggest building to date, the 1,000m2 McKee Mangahewa Control Centre for Todd Energy. It’s a simple looking building that belies great complexity. Earl is a go-to industry expert on pre-fabrication and modular construction, having built a solid reputation for innovative and delivery with both clients and constructors. Earl is successfully collaborating with leading designers in NZ to advance exciting new projects. His calm demeanour, enquiring mind, attention to detail and encyclopaedic knowledge of the world around us have earned him a position among Isthmus’ design leaders.

Haylea is one of those people that seem to have always known where they are going.  She joined us full time 11 years ago, working as an intern while studying at Unitec. Since then Haylea has progressed in a straight, steady line all the way to Principal. The one constant throughout that whole time has been Hobsonville Point. Haylea has pushed the boundaries of the landscape architect to the limit, and beyond. As a residential masterplanner she has a deep understanding of place, community and development strategy. Today Hobsonville Point is a thriving, proud community and as HLC has expanded beyond Hobsonville, so has Haylea. She’s currently working on suburban regeneration projects such as Mt Roskill and Mangere, among much more. Haylea was appointed to the Isthmus Board a year ago in recognition of her strategic thinking and innovative approach to top table projects.

Te Ara Manawa opens

This weekend Hobsonville Onekiritea is hosting a Gala Opening for Te Ara Manawa, the 5km Coastal Walkway that follows the harbour edge around Hobsonville Point. Many years in the making, the final boardwalk connections on the upper Waitematā are complete and it is now possible to circumnavigate the whole of the route; past the ferry landing, restaurants and farmers market at Catalina Bay, through treetops, and among native bush.

In total, three-quarters of Hobsonville Point is encircled by the walkway. In te reo Māori, Te Ara Manawa means the ‘pathway among the mangroves’; however, it is also a play on words. Bernard Makaore, Ngāti Whātua o Kaipara, who worked with Isthmus and New York-based landscape practice Nelson Byrd Woltz on the walkway concept, says that Manawa also means ‘heart’ – although figuratively, not physically.

Vinegar Lane wins national architecture award

Ponsonby’s Vinegar Lane was one of three winners in the Planning & Urban Design category at the NZIA’s New Zealand Architecture Awards held at Te Papa last Friday night;

“This is a leading, intelligent and innovative solution to a pressing contemporary challenge; the project is being progressively realised, and is resulting in a highly credible contribution to Auckland’s urban development”.

Brady Nixon of Progressive Enterprises – who’s day job is to deliver supermarkets – worked with Isthmus urban designers Gavin Lister and David Irwin, planner Mike Foster and lawyer Bronwyn Carruthers to conceive of a innovative development model for the balance land. The large lot not required for the Countdown development was subdivided into street facing sections with laneways opening up the interior of the site. A design guide was developed and individual resource consents granted for each of the freehold lots, prior to sale. Owners engaged their own architects who have worked within the urban design framework for Vinegar Lane to deliver individual buildings with 100% site coverage that collectively create a contemporary urban form for Auckland.

Vinegar Lane is a three-dimensional urban design framework made up from lines, words and a legal structure. It has been the individual owners and their architects that have created the variety and spontaneity of this authentic, mixed-use neighbourhood that fits with the fine-grain of the city-fringe suburb. We thank the NZIA judges for understanding this and awarding the project at this level.

Full project credits are on our website:

Auckland’s new Ferry Basin revealed

A vision of an accessible waterfront neighbourhood that prioritises people is driving efforts to transform downtown Auckland. In just three years Auckland’s waterfront will look dramatically different. The Downtown Programme will create a generous and welcoming destination along the water’s edge that better connects people to the Waitematā Harbour and turns the Quay Street area into a more vibrant destination.

Working closely with Council, Auckland Transport and other stakeholders, Isthmus are designing a new water’s edge public space, as well as a ferry terminal with six new berths. Combined with the enhancement of Quay Street (by LandLAB) this exciting new waterfront destination will accommodate growing numbers of people in the city centre who need more space to move, rest and play.

“The design of the dramatic changes afoot will reflect our unique Auckland identity and celebrate our place in the world,” says Councillor Chris Darby.

Park(ing) Day 2018

PARK(ing) Day is celebrated globally when citizens, artists, activists and designers collaborate to temporarily transform metered car parking spaces into PARKs, sparking conversations about how our streets could become better ‘human habitats’.  

This year a keen team from Isthmus’ Auckland studio partnered with three Unitec Landscape Architecture students to lay claim to a carpark in lower Queen Street, intent on getting people to think about how they play in Auckland’s central city. Play is fundamental to how we experience cities, impacting how we enjoy the spaces we inhabit

PARK(ing) Day presents an opportunity to highlight the disparity between the amount of street space provided for cars compared to people, and to initiate conversation about how we play in the city centre. The team asked passersby to explore their associations with the word “park”, inviting them to identify on a map where they ‘park’ (i.e. arrive in the city by car, via public transport, or bicycle) and where they ‘park up’ (relax in the city). This encouraged people to think about the city spatially and their experience within it. While considering this, an apple was offered, representing a moment of pause to reflect on where they as individuals chose to play or find respite in the city. The apple became a metaphor to invite them to reflect and take their own opportunities to pause.

The outcome was a map dotted with pink and yellow stickers illustrating how people use the city. The placement of these stickers told a story but perhaps richer still, was the conversations that occured (with apple in hand) about the city we live in. Even in the busy and fast-paced environment of lower Queen Street, people embraced the opportunity to spend a moment to speak about the spaces they enjoyed spending time in, as well as the spaces they did not

Our hope is that the conversation continues; how could Auckland’s streets better meet the needs of the people?

The Isthmus team was Charlotte Warren, Matt Jones, Dale Harrop and Greer Oliver.
NZILA connected us with three Unitec students: Alex Luiten, Ge Shi and Yue Yu.

Rotorua Lakefront funded

Rotorua’s lakefront is both magical and mystical. It is steeped in the history of Te Arawa and forms the city’s civic soul. The lake’s scalloped bay forms, the history of migration, stories connecting the lake and the land and the beautiful love story that embraces Mokoia Island all go into creating the conceptual framework for Rotorua’s new lakefront.

The design re-orients the movement along the natural arc of the bay as a tracing of the movement of human and mahinga kai species as they move along the waters edge. The concept aims to feed the souls of the residents, and inspire visitors. It builds on what is Rotorua.

Developed in consultation with Ngāti Whakaue and Te Arawa Lakes Trust, the design has been guided by the Rotorua District Council’s steering group and a project advisory group alongside the team’s cultural design co-ordinator.

Yesterday the Government announced that Rotorua will receive $20million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the lakefront to match the $20m allocated by council. The grant will help fund several developments including a play area, new boardwalk, car parking, a new wharewaka, lakeside terraces and buildings to house cafes and restaurants.