'Hammer City' design wins competition for Hamilton's Pier 8 promenade

Pier 8's waterfront promenade will be designed around a theme that plays off the city's industrial and waterfront heritage.
The winning proposal for the development of the Pier 8 promenade comes from a design team led by Forrec Ltd. (Forrec Ltd)

Pier 8's waterfront promenade will be designed around a theme that plays off the city's industrial and waterfront heritage.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger announced Friday that the winning submission in the design competition for the new waterfront development comes from Toronto-based Forrec Ltd.

The design is called "Hammer City" and features three distinct spaces along the sides of Pier 8.

A rendering shows the proposal for "Hamilton: Hammer City” by a team led by Forrec Ltd. (City of Hamilton)

The jury that selected the winner described it has employing "materials and features that reflect the marine and industrial heritage of the site, to create a unique sense of place that will become a destination along the Waterfront Trail."

The Forrec Ltd. team will work with the City's Waterfront Development team to develop a detailed design and documents to implement their proposal, the city said in a press release.

Construction on the park is anticipated to begin in spring 2018.

The city unveiled the winning design on the Waterfront Trail. (Adam Carter/CBC)

Scott Torrance, Forrec's practice lead for landscape architecture, told reporters at the announcement that designers were "inspired by the city's deep rooted history."

"We really wanted to get a sense of place about here, Hamilton," he said. "We see this as the place Hamilton would come together to gather and celebrate together."

He said the design includes a beach, a games terrace, a cafe, and playground space, as well as "wetland remediation gardens," as a nod to Hamilton's industrial past, and the green space that was destroyed by heavy industry on the water.

Design images show the east side of the pier featuring a pavillion with a crane-like structure, where events like movie nights, arts shows, farmer's market's and concerts would be held, complete with a floating stage, set against the industrial skyline.

On the longer north side is the "boatworks promenade," which incorperates the steel hulls of freighter boats into its design structure.

Separating them at the transition between the north and east sides is an open, undefined, industrial-themed space called the Landing.

Mayor Fred Eisenberger announces the winning design Friday morning. (Adam Carter/CBC)

"Getting this right and making it a dynamic and exciting place to be was critically important," Mayor Fred Eisenberger said at the announcement. 

 Six proposals were submitted as part of the design. Forrec's was chosen by an expert jury including architects and artists, and after considering almost 300 comment submissions from the public, the city says.

You can read the jury's full report here.