The Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture (AILA) today recognised 47 projects across 17 different categories as part of the 2021 National Landscape Architecture Awards.
Winners were selected for displaying an effort to facilitate environmental stewardship while striving for cultural sustainability.
AILA president Claire Martin said the past 18 months have highlighted the strengths and vulnerabilities of Australia’s cities, stressing the need for public spaces to deliver fundamental social, environmental, and economic change.
She said: “This year’s diverse award entrants demonstrate the leading role that landscape architects play in delivering innovative responses to complex issues and making positive contributions to our regions and cities.
“Despite all the challenges the pandemic delivered, it presents a great opportunity for the industry to re-evaluate how we use these spaces.
“The variety of submissions illustrates the passion and drive of our AILA members to influence the way we work, live and play.
“These projects set new benchmarks as we continue to build knowledge as a profession.”
Three projects received awards in the Parks and Open Space category, recognised for their consideration of community in all aspects of design.
Riverside Green – South Bank Parklands by Hassell took out the Award of Excellence while Bina Parkland in Western Australia and Tullamore Southern Gully Reserve in Victoria received Landscape Architecture Awards.
Winners in the Play Spaces category encouraged meaningful play and creative stimulation through design, with the Award of Excellence going to Victoria project Deep Creek Eco Play by Playce Pty Ltd for connecting sensory and tactile aspects of landscape in a fun and playful way.
Other Play Spaces award recipients include the Bradbury Park Scooter Track by Form Landscape Architects and Brisbane City Council, the Sales Ring Playground in New South Wales by Arcadia Landscape Architecture.
This year’s awards also saw a reimagination of the Gardens category, with projects not traditionally associated with this category being considered. One such project is Coogee Common by Seedesign Studio in WA, which took out the award for its productive food garden that provided fresh supplies for the new bar and restaurant of the historic Coogee Hotel.
AILA national jury chair Peta-Maree Ashford said the awards jury applauded this year’s winners for focusing on community involvement and the growing use of localised public and private spaces.
She said: “COVID, for the first time to such an extent, has encouraged communities to make the most of their own backyard, whether that be their physical home, local park or community garden.
“Growing use of these spaces means there is undoubtedly a need for thoughtfully landscaped, high-quality spaces that locals are genuinely excited to use.
“Green spaces add this irrefutable value in strengthening community connectedness and maintaining mental and physical wellbeing.
“Demonstrating leadership and advocacy for approaches outside the norm, the award recipients have succeeded in enhancing local landscapes so that they are an impetus for greater wellbeing and shared understanding within the community.”