Frasers Property have been rapidly developing their Hamilton Reach master-planned community over recent years with Riverlight East opening in mid-2018. Riverlight is a multi-tower luxury residential apartment development located to the western edge of the community. It is afforded open river views to the south and enjoys direct access to Northshore Riverside Park, Riverwalk, local café and ferry terminal. It boasts a generous and vibrant landscape that flows seamlessly from the public entry park to the communal garden areas and private courtyards. The landscape design is reflective of its riverside location and commensurate to its benchmark high-quality living experience.

The landscape design has been inspired by the ‘ebb and flow’ of the riverside context to craft a diverse array of landscape ‘rooms’ to address all aspects of daily life including 20m swimming pool, covered BBQ and outdoor dining structures, yoga-lawn, sensory gardens, atrium gardens, intimate lawn pockets surrounded by lush gardens and open lawn areas to interface with the tree lined streetscape. The attention to detail is exquisite with the clever use of salvaged wharf timbers restored for use in the ‘totem’ sculptural installations and seating elements. All aspects of riverside living have been accommodated with the inclusion of a purpose-built kayak storage facility.

Frasers Property continue to drive for high quality residential living outcomes engaging Group GSA architects to design the towers and work closely with D&C-contractor, Watpac, to deliver the next chapter at Hamilton Reach. Lat27 created a successful working relationship with Watpac, and landscape contractor, Bland 2 Brilliant, to remain heavily involved in the project from concept to completion to see the first residents inhabit the space in mid-2018 after starting the journey in late 2015. This project represents the culmination of ideas development and design and construction expertise derived from working closely and sharing with Frasers Property over the last decade at Hamilton Reach.

At the broad scale, pedestrian movement patterns within adjacent landscapes were identified and explored. From this, the key concept of a ‘field of connecting lawns’ was derived – bringing the main lawns across Macarthur Avenue into the site creating the public ‘plaza’. Engagement with these public spaces was a key component for the proposed design outcomes, providing a seamless transition between public and private realms. Activation of the base of the plaza frontage with a residents’ gym, dining room and swimming pool provides a busy and animated backdrop to the plaza itself. River-craft storage beneath the pool deck is accessed from the plaza itself, further animating this public frontage.

Public art also features strongly at the streetscape interface with a carefully crafted and uniquely designed wharf timber installation. This installation uses weathered wharf timbers recycled from the neighbouring wharf structures to provide a distinct landmark, bring a sense of interest to the landscape and tell a river story derived from the natural ‘ebb and flow’ of the river itself.

The character of the neighbouring parkland and riverside context is drawn right into the communal recreation and landscape areas of the development transitioning from riverside grasses and trees in open areas to lush broadleaf species and palms in the protected shady pockets. The arrival sequence, past the swimming pool and through the expansive lawn and garden areas, terminates at the glass lined atrium garden laced with heavy timber framing and filled with colourful and unique plant species. The atrium is the central node and gathering space connecting the residential towers at ground level. The communal landscape gardens have been designed as a series of rooms to accommodate quiet play, group fitness, family BBQs, swimming and lazing by the pool with friends in a garden setting designed to stimulate the senses through colour, scented plants, foliage form and texture. Advanced tree and palm stock, with a generously planted understorey, was delivered at Day One to provide an instant garden with significant canopy, colour and shade to increase human comfort and scale at the outset. Shade structures of heavy timber framing and patterned glass are nestled in amongst the landscape complete with off form concrete bench seat, tables and honed concrete BBQ benches. Low gardens of subtropical plantings wrap the perimeter of the site with vines drawn up the building facade and over freestanding trellis structures in the landscape. Critically, the design achieves integrated equitable and compliant access across the development from the street accessing all communal areas including the swimming pool.

Lat27 has enjoyed long-term involvement at Hamilton Reach with Riverlight forming one of the most significant riverside instalments for this master-planned riverside community.

Project location: Hamilton, Queensland, Australia
Design year: 2016-2017
Year Built: 2018


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