Bridal Veil Falls Viewing Platform
1The Wairēinga viewing platform provides the perfect view of this stunning waterfall near Raglan, in the Waikato. The falls tumble more than 55 metres to a large plunge pool, throwing up an impressive spray into the surrounding bush.
When the Department of Conservation wanted a new viewing platform and shelter befitting the beauty of the waterfall, they called in Holmes Consulting’s expert engineers to deliver the designs. The Department trusted us to create a compelling, functional design that was accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs.
2There isn’t vehicle access to the site, so the location posed a number of logistical challenges. Our designs strove to ensure the structure was as easy as possible to build and minimised materials and the need for specialist equipment – so that there was the minimum impact on the environment at the site and on the track in.
3From a creative point of view, the structural designs needed to harmonise with the natural environment. Working with the architect, structural features were brought to the fore, with light and heavy supporting struts creating the impression that the platform is suspended above the ground. The overall effect is a platform that sits comfortably and harmoniously into its surroundings, yet still makes an impression in its own right.
4If you’re in the vicinity, a short walk will get you to the awe-inspiring waterfall. Once you’ve taken that in, have a look at some of the nifty engineering in the viewing platform – to a structural engineer it’s just about as compelling as the Wairēinga falls. This project won a well-deserved NZIA award for MSM Architects.