02 September 2015

ArchEng promotes engineering and architectural collaboration

  • Screen capture of an animation of winning project “The Outcrop”. The floating walkway would extend 150m into Wellington harbour.
  • Engineering student, Ashley Jones (left) and Simon Gourley, who studies architecture, designed winning project “The Outcrop”.

The fourth annual ArchEng workshop, bringing together engineering and architecture students in a collaborative project, took place in Wellington in July.

The brief was to design and pitch for an iconic development for Wellington’s waterfront. Eleven two-person cross-disciplinary teams, made up of students from Auckland, Canterbury and Victoria universities, Unitec and Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology, were given three days to develop a preliminary design.

The winners were engineering student, Ashley Jones, from The University of Auckland and Simon Gourley, an architecture student at Victoria University of Wellington for their project, “The Outcrop”. The judges were Nick Mouat from Athfield Architects and Hamish McKenzie from Holmes Consulting Group.

Ashley and Simon described “The Outcrop” as a “movable floating structure to allow people in the central city to interact with the water and the harbour.” They said “The harbour is the jewel of Wellington; however, the city side consists of straight edges and shapes which form a barrier. We [proposed] a floating walkway that extends 150 metres into the harbour from Frank Kitts Park. To create an iconic development on a macro-scale, this walkway needs to reflect the key characteristics of Wellington, particularly the wind. For this reason, the walkway will be movable, with the shape and form of the walkway reflecting given wind conditions. On a meso-scale, the primary focus of “The Outcrop” is to get Wellington engaged with the water, allowing people in the central city to interact with the water and the harbour. At the micro-level, the walkway has been designed to take the user on a journey as if they were going to the beach or hopping along the rocks, interacting with the natural elements.”

Dr Joe Gamman, ArchEng 2015 Project Manager and Education and Development Manager at the Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ), says: “The standard was high but overall, Simon and Ash demonstrated a deep collaboration between the two disciplines over the three days and this is what the judges were looking for.

“All the attendees got a lot out of the workshop … reinforcing how important it is to bring different disciplines together in a forum such as this.”

The ArchEng Workshop was created by CCANZ in 2012 as an initiative to encourage aspiring construction specialists to work together to incorporate the best insights and latest technology into a building design. BRANZ has been a sponsor of the event since 2013, and, from this year, has taken over the event’s management to move towards a materials neutral approach with concrete, timber and steel sector support.

IPENZ supports the ArchEng workshops as a means of promoting collaboration between architecture and engineering students.