WSP Opus has joined the Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC) and is delighted to stand alongside other leading New Zealand organisations who have joined forces to tackle climate change.
One of the country’s highest risk intersections has undergone a dramatic transformation in a project that will deliver positive outcomes for road users, the local community, visitors, and rare native local wildlife.
There is currently a lot of attention on adaption for sea-level rise.
Scientists argued its urgency last week, predicting that increased sea-levels were sure to amplify the destruction caused by Hurricane Florence. Apprehension among the community of North Carolina was heightened when the National Weather Service commented that they could not overstate the threat of catastrophic flooding that the storm would bring.
A Tale of Our Cities – 2018 WSP Global Cities Index provides insights about how cities are preparing for a future shaped by the major urban transitions of our day: urbanization; density and growth; digital disruption; emerging mobility; evolving utility models and a changing climate.
Auckland University of Technology’s (AUT) newest building on its City Campus sits on the foundations of inner-Auckland’s rich history, and work carried out by WSP Opus sheds new light on what this looked like.
148 years and, with an increased headcount and new capability, will continue to create what matters for future generations for many more years. Our rich history dates back to colonial New Zealand, when the Public Works Department was opening up the country’s notoriously difficult terrain through the combination of national road and rail networks. Over the years we’ve worked under several monikers; in 1988 the Ministry of Works and Development became a state-owned enterprise, and we became Opus. Now we’re known as WSP Opus, which combines our New Zealand heritage with the power of global thinking.
We were there to help Napier rebuild after the great earthquake and fire of 1931. L.B Campbell – from the Public Works Department – was appointed as one of a two-man commission that was geared at cutting through the red tape to speed up the rebuild. Our DNA contains the blueprints for the Westshore Bridge, the Napier Courthouse and the innovative redevelopment of the Crown Hotel, which transformed a former industrial site into a key waterfront location. We also played a key role in the $18m Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery redevelopment which revitalised a respected and vibrant cultural institution. The redevelopment restored and renewed some of Napier’s finest heritage buildings, ensuring their continued relevance into the future.
In the last 18 months, our Hawke’s Bay office has grown from two local building-focused specialists to a team resource of 20+ local specialists comprised of Structural, Geotechnical and Civil Engineers, Project Managers, Planners, Surveyors, Contaminated Land and Property Advisors.
Responding quickly to damage caused by storms is something you need to be good at on the West Coast and there is an increasing requirement to build in resilience following storm events, which are set to become more frequent and extreme with climate change.
Whangarei locals know that for spectacular and panoramic views over the city and harbour, the summit of Mount Parihaka is unrivalled. It’s not much of a secret either, as a visit to the summit is highly recommended to visitors on local and international tourist websites. Towering 242 metres above the city, Mount Parihaka is one of the most significant mountains (maunga) for Māori in Northland.
However, the lookout at the summit didn’t capture the cultural and historical importance of the site. In 2015 work began to replace the existing lookout with a structure that properly reflected the mana of the site, one that combined Whangarei’s relationship with its maunga and enabled visitors to enjoy the stunning views.
WSP Opus was heavily involved in the project, working alongside Whangarei District Council. WSP Opus provided professional project management, engineering, procurement and construction supervision services to enable a new - and larger - hexagonal viewing platform to be successfully consented and constructed in a remote and challenging site. This included a ramp with palisade-like edges and a design that mimics the parapets of the Pā that once stood there, with stainless steel panels that describe its history, and a panorama that identifies the locations it overlooks.
Central to the lookout structure is a specially sculpted kōhatu (rock), an exquisitely carved piece that anchors the lookout platform and lends a sense of ceremonial occasion to the site. The slow incline of the walkway accentuates the power of the borrowed landscape, while the visitor is transported to a primordial time by awe-inspiring views. The kōhatu was carved from a stone specially selected from Lake Waro, just north of Whangarei and had to be helicoptered into position.
As a result of WSP Opus’ expertise and community focus, a lookout has been provided that does justice to this historic place overlooking the city.
The project was acknowledged with a New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Award of Excellence in 2017.
It’s hoped that emerging Pacific Island architectural talent will find a deep connection to their culture during a three-day immersive workshop later this month.