Dezeen Magazine

Kopupaka Reserve in Auckland wins World Landscape of the Year 2016

An Auckland wetlands reserve featuring "woven" timber structures has been named World Landscape of the Year 2016 at the World Architecture Festival.

Designed by New Zealand firm Isthmus, the Kopupaka Reserve is a 22-hectare landscape made up of five stormwater wetlands.


The designers added a series of timber structures around the edges of three ponds, creating forms that weave their way across the landscape.

These provide reed-bed filters, a skatepark and planting areas.


Judges described the project as a successful translation of regional Maori traditions.

"Inspired by woven baskets for catching eel, Isthmus has developed an innovative river-wall system of interlocking timbers," they said.

"Simple yet sophisticated engienering allows the baskets to retain silt and create habitats which will shift and change over time."


The World Architecture Festival awards aim to showcase the best architecture of the last 12 months.

Last year's World Landscape of the Year award went to Chinese firm Turenscape, which created flood-resistant topography, natural wildlife habitats, and meandering pathways and bridges for the 26-hectare Yanweizhou Park.

In an exclusive interview with Dezeen at the award ceremony, Andrew Buck of Turenscape said the aim was to "control floods in an ecological way".

Dezeen is media partner for both the World Architecture Festival and Inside, which concluded today at the Arena Berlin, in Germany.