New vernacular

In contrast to the fanfare that accompanies so many new landscape features throughout the country, it is nice to see beautifully-made things simply turn up, to quietly go about servicing a need. One of the most well-designed examples that I have seen recently is this boat ramp on the Rangitopuni Stream at Riverhead.

The sense of proportion that has been applied to the relationships between the three main elements (from left to right; wall, ramp, stairs) is exemplary, whilst the way in which the materials (concrete and stone) are composed shows that the makers of this boat ramp took to their work with considerable pride and craftsmanship.

Aesthetics are guided by practicality (regarding long-term durability) in the specification of the wall that is pictured above, for the angled base of the concrete helps to key the cap into the wall and make it stronger. The way in which various materials converge in the image below, including differing concrete finishes that have been utilised to provide additional grip (such as grooves on the ramp), shows a level of attention to detail that one might find surprising for a set of objects that sit off to the side of most people's view.

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