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Designs for Ferrybank transformation to go on show

28 November 2015

Hamiltonians are getting the chance to see how a major transformation of Ferrybank might look as part of plans to turn it into the city's premier waterfront destination.

In October three design teams were shortlisted by an expert evaluation panel to submit concepts to redevelop the area.

Their designs are now on public display until Sunday 6 December at Waikato Museum and online at

The Ferrybank Development Plan is the first major project and is a significant milestone from the Hamilton City River Plan, adopted by Council last December. It provides the blueprint for how Ferrybank will be developed in the future.

“This is the public’s chance to have a look at what the shortlisted design teams are proposing”, says Mayor Julie Hardaker, who sits on the evaluation panel.

“Like all Hamiltonians, I am excited to see what Ferrybank could be in the future and how it will make the most of the Waikato River.”

There are several criteria that design teams needed to include in the concept and development plans for the Ferrybank area, which also incorporates nearby Roose Commerce Park. These include cafes and restaurants, commercial mixed use development, sports facilities and club houses, open spaces, a jetty for river transport, a tourism hub and provision of public art.

The designs must adhere to the direction set out in the River Plan.

The three design teams are:

  • Boffa Miskell, BCD Group, Fresh Concept, RCG and Warren and Mahoney
  • Chow:Hill Architects
  • Wraight Athfield Landscape Architecture Limited, A Stafford & Associates PTY Ltd, Antanas Procuta Architects, McIndoe Urban, Tonkin Taylor and Stantiall Studios

Michael Hawes, on behalf of the Boffa Miskell team, says their concept seeks to re-connect Hamilton’s CBD and Hamilton East to the river through the creation of an innovative and distinctive river edge precinct.

“The proposal will weave Ferrybank back into the heart of the city as its premier river destination with a complimentary mix of activities that supports CBD business. We are excited by the opportunities to utilise the value created by sustainable development to enable a series of public realm upgrades that re-establish Ferrybank as the place that Hamiltonians will want to live, work and play. The words 'meet me by the river' will become synonymous with Ferrybank."

Brian Squair from Chow:Hill Architects says their proposal seeks to pull people, activity and investment into the Ferrybank areas.

"Both built form and landscape amenity enjoy the flowing organic forms consistent with the Waikato River focus. We have been intentionally bold with our forms, yet sympathetic to the scale of the setting and its need to maintain a park-like environment. Designed to be an active destination as well as a launching point for activities further afield, we believe we have enhanced the Hamilton identity, further removing it from the oftentimes poor perception peddled by outsiders."

"In concert with a deliberate Hamilton marketing strategy, we contend that our design approach provides a uniqueness of place and opportunity for growth in tourism to the city and the wider region."

John Hardwick-Smith represents the Wraight Athfield team.

"Our team is very excited about the potential that this beautiful place offers. Ferrybank demands a sensitive response to the river context, setting and heritage, a clear organisational structure to enhance wayfinding and access, and iconic buildings, spaces and riverside activities that will make this Hamilton’s premier public destination. Central to our proposal ‘The Terrace Landings’ are a series of interconnected terraces to draw people from the city, and create a memorable place for people along the river", he says.

The final design team to complete the plan for Ferrybank will be chosen by the evaluation panel on 7 December and its recommendations made to the Council on 15 December.

The Ferrybank Development Plan will be completed by July 2016.