MLA, BAS (Land), NZILA (Reg)
Associate Landscape Architect
Studio Management Team
The master planner comes to us from the Northcote suburb regeneration. A project which he leads. It is due to be completed by 2025. Brad Ward crossing to you live from Northcote.
‘We met Northcote locals to find out what they needed before we started. This resulted in the design of ‘Everyday Houses’. People didn’t want granite bench tops — just stainless steel and things like warm, dry walls,’ explains Brad.
‘I think it’s working. There are refinements to be done because as with all master plans, the second it is done, it’s obsolete. It is just a point in time. A moment later it has changed. Whether we know about it or not! There’s probably 15–20 other professions in each of these projects; roading engineers, geo-techs, planners…who all have input.’
This designer is not fussed what the build looks like if it is right for the neighbourhood, ‘You don’t create master plans in your head,’ says Brad. ‘It’s about understanding the place, the community, the site, the opportunities and constraints.’
‘In Roskill South, the community had a connection with two Puriri trees on a private lot and ear-marked for removal. Working with the client we were able to put a covenant over those trees. Whilst they are still in private ownership, the developer who buys them will never be able to remove the trees. The client took a reduction in housing yield because they recognised the social value of the trees to residents.
‘Every project has a ‘key move’ and that’s the one thing we hold onto. These are not massive things. We just look for something pivotal to improve the lives of the people that live there.’
Brad originally studied architecture, then crossed over to landscape design. He has worked at Isthmus for 7 years, starting as a graduate, being promoted through the ranks to Master Planner.