Waikato Times - - News - Ger­ald Pid­dock ger­ald.pid­dock@stuff.co.nz

Ed­wards White has scooped three prizes in this year’s NZ In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tects Na­tional Awards in Welling­ton.

The busi­ness took out the Sir Miles Award for Com­mer­cial Ar­chi­tec­ture – the top award for the coun­try’s best com­mer­cial build­ing – for the Mezz Box, which over­looks the new Vic­to­ria on the River park in cen­tral Hamil­ton.

Ed­wards White also picked up a gong for its Vic­to­ria on the River re­de­vel­op­ment and it won a third small project ar­chi­tec­ture award for a river re­treat in Taupiri.

Judges de­scribed Mezz Box in their ci­ta­tions as ‘‘an el­e­gant ad­di­tion that ful­fils its com­mer­cial func­tion, en­hances the ex­ist­ing build­ing and makes a com­mend­able con­tri­bu­tion to the pub­lic realm of a new ur­ban park’’ .

They went on to call the project ‘‘imag­i­na­tive’’ and ‘‘well con­sid­ered’’.

Ed­wards White’s Vic­to­ria on the River ur­ban park was de­scribed as a ‘‘par­a­digm shift in Hamil­ton’’.

The in­ner city ter­raced park opened in Jan­uary, open­ing Vic­to­ria St to the Waikato River.

‘‘At last, a well-planned and well ex­e­cuted con­nec­tion has been es­tab­lished be­tween the CBD and the river that runs through the city and was the rea­son for its foun­da­tion,’’ judges said.

The park’s gen­er­ous scale and high-level of amenity im­me­di­ately ren­dered it a valu­able civic as­set.

‘‘The de­sign en­tices peo­ple to en­ter and en­cour­ages them to linger. Part view­ing plat­form, part pi­azza, Vic­to­ria on the River is a fur­ther ex­am­ple of highly suc­cess­ful pub­lic ur­ban space in re­gional NZ.’’

The awards were an­nounced at a cel­e­bra­tory din­ner at Te Papa Ton­garewa in Welling­ton last night.

The awards recog­nised 17 projects rang­ing from an Auck­land tran­sit de­vel­op­ment and a Christchurch govern­ment precinct to a Nel­son bach.

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