Fairlie Main Street 2022 banner image

Fairlie Main Street redevelopment receives award

The New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects recently held their 50th Bi-annual Conference in Auckland. Mackenzie District Council, along with project partners Waka Kotahi and WSP (previously Opus), won an award in the Enduring Landscape category.

This award looks at a piece of landscape work which is over 20 years old, in the context of how it has aged and how it is still performing.

The winning piece of work was our upgrade of Fairlie main street in 2000.

The full Judges citation is below, and it’s interesting to see why this project was deemed to be such a success.

The details and an interview with one of the judges is online here.

Fairlie Main Street 2022

The Judges citation reads:

The Fairlie Main Street project is one which epitomises an enduring design. The project has a sense of timelessness, lending a feeling of age and history that anchors it to the landscape. It is a robust design which is purposeful but retains a light touch. This continues to enable the heart of the township of Fairlie to evolve. The use of stonework has been extended throughout the town, creating a sense of coherence, while referencing the character of the local landscape.

The project has endured in a way that many main street projects from the 1980s and 1990s have not. Its materiality and modest scale speak quietly in terms of local identity, while resonating with the environment and enhancing a sense of place.  Over time, the design has melded with place, and reveals the actions of time as patina and moss cover the stonework. The ambition to build in stone, rather than less enduring materials, is fundamental to the Fairlie Mainstreet project’s success.

The landscape elements are of a scale that are welcoming and engaging, while the ongoing care of the gardens and the addition of some newer elements reflect the sense of care and involvement that permeates the village. The relationship with the wider landscape is clear.  When leaving Fairlie, visitors pass by riverbeds of the same stone employed in the township’s main street, underscoring the specific response to the environment.