Maitland Riverlink

Architecture Urban design East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

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25 Images

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1. Maitland Riverlink

The Riverlink as seen from the opposite bank at dusk.

Matt Abbott

5000 px 3333 px 8 MB A4 print

2. Maitland Riverlink

View from the opposite bank of the Hunter River.

Brett Boardman

5500 px 2524 px 9 MB A4 print

3. Maitland Riverlink

The Riverlink looming at the end of the main street.

Mark James

4000 px 2222 px 7 MB Print - Low res only

4. Maitland Riverlink

The Riverlink as urban frame, seen from the High Street.

Simon Wood

7307 px 3986 px 18 MB A3 print

5. Maitland Riverlink

A 'living room' for Maitland.

Simon Wood

3543 px 5099 px 14 MB A3 print

6. Maitland Riverlink

Locals taking in the new vistas out over the Hunter River.

Simon Wood

7087 px 3986 px 19 MB A3 print

7. Maitland Riverlink

Visitors enjoying the new public space with artwork by Braddon Snape

Simon Wood

7087 px 3991 px 20 MB A3 print

8. Maitland Riverlink

View from the firs floor restaurant space.

Brett Boardman

3000 px 3408 px 8 MB Print - Low res only

9. Maitland Riverlink

Timber meets brickwork.

Matt Abbott

8256 px 5504 px 22 MB A3 print

10. Maitland Riverlink

Locals taking an early morning stroll.

Brett Boardman

5000 px 4902 px 9 MB A3 print

11. Maitland Riverlink

The public plaza with the Hunter River in the background.

Simon Wood

5057 px 4131 px 15 MB A3 print

12. Maitland Riverlink

Custom corner bricks bring the walls to an impossibly thin edge.

Brett Boardman

3000 px 4500 px 7 MB A4 print

13. Maitland Riverlink

Custom corner bricks bring the walls to an impossibly thin edge

Matt Abbott

7684 px 5123 px 10 MB A3 print

14. Maitland Riverlink

Dawn light filters through the frame.

Matt Abbott

6840 px 5519 px 17 MB A3 print

15. Maitland Riverlink

The urban frame at dusk.

Simon Wood

6663 px 3698 px 13 MB A3 print

16. Maitland Riverlink

The faceted brick and timber form spills out onto the riverbank.

Simon Wood

7087 px 3986 px 28 MB A3 print

17. Maitland Riverlink

The Riverlink in full swing during the Riverlights Festival.

Clinton Weaver

5792 px 8688 px 4 MB A3 print

18. Maitland Riverlink

The Riverlink in full swing during the Riverlights Festival.

Clinton Weaver

5792 px 8688 px 3 MB A3 print

19. Maitland Riverlink

The entrance to Coquun restaurant.

Clinton Weaver

5792 px 8688 px 5 MB A3 print

20. Maitland Riverlink

The restaurant awaiting the arrival of diners.

Clinton Weaver

4935 px 7403 px 4 MB A3 print

21. Maitland Riverlink

An aerial view with the Riverlink in context.

Mark James

3992 px 2242 px 8 MB Print - Low res only

22. Figureground Study

1191 px 842 px 2 MB Print - Low res only

23. Floor Plans

CHROFI

4649 px 2384 px 2 MB Print - Low res only

24. Site Section

CHROFI

6205 px 2011 px 5 MB Print - Low res only

25. Site Elevations

CHROFI

3992 px 1829 px 721 KB Print - Low res only

1 Video

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Description

Project Attribution: CHROFI with McGregor Coxall

FROM THREAT TO COMMUNITY ASSET: Reviving a country town’s heart and linking it to the river

Work has now completed on the Maitland Riverlink, a public project that will crystallise new value for the regional centre Maitland, both in terms of its identity and its assets. The project will support a revitalisation of the central business precinct, extending it beyond the main street to the river.

The space acts as a kind of ‘public living room’ for the community, reactivating an unused part of town and drawing locals back to the river that is a fundamental part of Maitland’s heritage, whilst bringing tourists and visitors to the town. In recent years, rural Maitland’s town centre had turned its back on the river, disconnecting it from its main commercial and community activities. A series of devastating floods meant locals no longer see the river as an asset, but as a threat to the community. Working with McGregor Coxall, CHROFI identified an opportunity to help reframe that dynamic, then worked closely with Maitland City Council to find buildings which could be purchased and redeveloped to act as pivot for the revitalisation of the centre of town.

The building unites Maitland’s two key assets for the first time - its architecturally rich High Street and the environmental amenity of the Hunter River - providing a greater experience for tourists and locals. The building is expressed as a ‘sculptural gateway’ that frames views to and from the Hunter River and attracts people to pass through the space. The timber and brick arch frames a covered space for the community use, reactivating an underused part of town. The building also houses a café and restaurant as well as public amenities.

The architecture has a strong civic presence in a street full of historic buildings and is a landmark when viewed from the river. The precise angles of the walls, ceiling and ground plane frame a ‘public living room’ that offers a comfortable place to sit, a mobile library, high quality public amenities and a café/restaurant all of which can be transformed into an outdoor cinema or theatre for special events. Handmade brick was chosen as the primary building finish to complement the heritage brick and sandstone textures of the town. The warmth and texture of clay bricks works at the urban scale and at the interior human scale to provide an enduring finish. Unique brick corners help the monolithic brick walls bend at unlikely angles giving the material a razor-sharp, abstract quality.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Scot MacDonald MLC says ‘It is important that we continue to invest in community infrastructure such as The Riverlink to enrich our regional cities. It is an inspiring space that I’m sure will see many opportunities for people to utilise, whether for events or spending time in the city’s heart.’

Maitland Mayor, Cr Loretta Baker said ‘The Riverlink Building is a wonderful addition to The Levee and it will really strengthen the city’s historic relationship with the Hunter River, whilst adding to The Levee’s development as Maitland’s premier lifestyle precinct. It’s a beautiful building that we are very proud of and that our community will use for generations to come’.

Five years in the making Maitland’s Riverlink Building is the work of award-winning Architectural firm CHROFI and extends a legacy of place-making public architecture including New York City’s celebrated TKTS, Times Square, The Goods Line in Ultimo and the forthcoming Ian Potter National Conservatory in Canberra. “As a practice, we have always been focused on high impact public projects that resonate with the local culture and community”, said CHROFI Director, Tai Ropiha. “We are thrilled that the building has been well received and is changing how the Maitland community engage with the river.”

Questions and Answers

What was the brief?

The brief was to crystallise new value for the regional centre Maitland, both in terms of its identity and its assets, and to revitalise the central business precinct, extending it beyond the main street to the river. Originally a return brief, CHROFI proposed a ‘public living room’ that offers a comfortable place to sit, a mobile library, high quality public amenities and a café/restaurant all of which can be transformed into an outdoor cinema or theatre for special events

What were the key challenges?

In recent years, rural Maitland’s town centre had turned its back on the river, disconnecting it from its main commercial and community activities. A series of devastating floods meant locals no longer saw the river as an asset, but as a threat to the community.

What were the solutions?

Working with McGregor Coxall, CHROFI identified an opportunity to help reframe Maitland's relationship with the river, then worked closely with Maitland City Council to find buildings which could be purchased and redeveloped to act as pivot for the revitalisation of the centre of town.

Details

Project size

439 m2

Project Budget

USD 5,000,000.00

Completion date

2018

Building levels

2

Project team

Susanne Pollmann

Project Architect

Tai Ropiha

Project Director

Joshua Zoeller

Project Architect

McGregor Coxall

Landscape

CHROFI

Architect