Water Sensitive Urban Design has been central to the practice of Wraight + Associates for fifteen years. From streetscapes to large parks Wā’s projects have sought to sustainably manage surface water and mitigate pollutant runoff, in turn improving the health of water bodies and providing a unique expression of city ecologies.
Wraight + Associates helped to pioneer water-sensitive landscape and urban design practices in New Zealand. Wā-founder Megan Wraight was lead designer on Wellington’s iconic and multi-award-winning Waitangi Park. The park, along with ecologically managing site water, re-surfaces a long-buried city stream and treats this before its discharge into the harbour. Megan collaborated on Waitangi Park with Wā-director Nicole Thompson, who brought essential expertise from her integral role in the design and realisation of the multi-award-winning Victoria Park in Sydney, which similarly pioneered WSUD practices in Australia.
The expertise gained on these pioneering projects has since been adapted and applied to others across New Zealand. The Wā team have gained a keen understanding of WSUD-integrated design approaches, technical requirements and liaison with specialised hydraulic engineering services.
Wā recently led a multi-disciplinary, short-listed entry for the Kallang Riverside Master Plan design competition, and completed Auckland’s celebrated North Wharf, Silo Park and Jellicoe Street, which includes extensive rain gardens and a new urban wetland. Wā directors have presented and published widely on WSUD, its impacts and opportunities for cities. Selected recent articles and presentations:
WSUD’s importance lies not just in slowing and cleaning storm water runoffs, and thereby improving the health of water bodies and the performance of cities. WSUD techniques provide the opportunity to expose ecologies otherwise lost to urban environments and to elicit complex – often forgotten – cultural and historical relationships; bio-remediaton as place-based interpretation