It’s clear that many cities across the globe are stepping up to meet the challenge of climate change, and landscape architecture is well placed to be the driving force behind this transformation.
In the 2019 edition of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture (AILA) Victorian Awards program, submissions have highlighted how Melbourne and regional Victoria can be greener, more sustainable, inclusive and vibrant.
Adrian Gray, President, Victorian Chapter of the AILA, said that this year the Victorian Chapter of AILA has once again received a record number of submissions to the annual AILA Victorian awards.
“It’s very exciting to see the breadth of work occurring across Victoria by landscape architects who are leading the way in ensuring the liveability of this state through great public realm design,” remarked Mr Gray.
With 56 entrants across 13 categories – an increase from 43 entrants across 13 categories in 2018 – submissions prioritise public open space, stronger communities and greater environmental stewardship.
According to Jury Chair, Mary Papaioannou, landscape architects are busier than ever, and their contribution is starting to be felt in the creation of places that people go to for health and education, to conduct daily business, and to enjoy the restorative aspects of landscape or the many forms of play.
“Based on the projects entered, landscape architects have also made contributions within community groups that would otherwise not have had access to design services and have contributed to our collective knowledge bank through research.”
One project entrant was Goulburn Valley Palliative Care (Community Contribution category) by engineering, landscape architecture and urban design consultant, Spiire.
Spiire was engaged in 2018 by Goulburn Valley Health to bring a new courtyard garden, for the Palliative Care Ward in Shepparton, to life.
The idea behind the project was to create an attractive, welcoming and tranquil garden for the enjoyment of palliative care and dementia patients and their friends and families.
The garden’s design was born out of a design competition offered through Spiire’s graduate programme to all Spiire Graduate landscape architects across their metropolitan and regional offices.
The competition format generated a range of unique ideas, perspectives and design proposals.
The Therapeutic Courtyard Garden has become a valuable addition to the Palliative care facilities and caters to the social, spiritual and emotional needs of all who utilise the space.
For the duration of the project Spiire offered the services of two senior landscape architects based in Shepparton and the competition winning graduates, Adam Gardner and Martina Mohenska from Melbourne, at no cost to the client.
Another interesting project entrant is Nightingale Village (Urban Design category) by landscape architect, Openwork.
Nightingale Village is a triple bottom-line sustainable housing precinct in Brunswick inspired by deliberative and co-operative housing models.
In contrast to speculative development, deliberative development removes the risk and profit oriented motivations of the developer from the process and shifts control of the project to its designers who act as proponents of each building’s community.
Openwork completed the structure that the seven Nightingale buildings respond to and is providing ongoing landscape architectural services for five of those seven buildings.
The urban plan is landscape-led and sees the project not as the delivery of autonomous buildings, but as the provision of shared infrastructure and shared spaces that future buildings must contend with.
Shared infrastructure includes precinct-based car parking, public space as a common ground, shared waste facilities, shared energy generation and substations, shared water utilities, a new street hierarchy formed from voluntary building setbacks and street closures enabled by consolidating of car-parking from seven sites to one.
All award submissions were revealed on Wednesday 15 May at the Awards Submission Reveal Night at Brickworks Design Studio in Melbourne.
Award winners will be announced at an awards presentation on Friday 14 June at MAIA, Docklands.
Themes within the award submissions include:
- Turning rooftops into gardens at Parliament House. By TCL. Project: Parliament of Victoria Annex’s Landscapes (Cultural Heritage category)
- New ways of living together. By Openwork. Project: Nightingale Village (Urban Design category)
- Prioritising people and public transport over cars. By ASPECT Studios. Project: Caulfield to Dandenong Level Crossing Removal (Infrastructure category)
- Giving voice to Indigenous knowledge systems in education. By Deakin University. Project: Recasting Terra Nullius Blindness (Research Policy and Communications category)
- Restoring degraded creeks into thriving, enduring landscapes. By McGregor Coxall. Project: Moonee Ponds Creek Strategic Opportunities Plan (Landscape Planning category)
- Prioritising nature for wellbeing. By Spiire. Project: Goulburn Valley Palliative Care (Community Contribution category)
- Transforming 27km of the Federation Trail into lineal parkland. By Melbourne Water, Wyndham City Council, VicRoads and City West Water. Project: Greening the Pipeline (Land Management category)