The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has announced the winners of the 2020 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards, a celebration of the best landscape architecture projects in the state. 26 outstanding projects were awarded across 12 categories, recognising design excellence across urban and regional Victoria.
Jury Chair, Jocelyn Chiew, says that places designed with, and for community, were the strongest performers in this year’s awards.
“The 2020 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards celebrate design quality and innovation at a range of scales and contexts. Each award recognises the contribution these projects make to the culture, legacy and liveability of their respective settings, delivering vital tools and spaces to support public and private life. The awards demonstrate that landscape architects play an essential role in effecting quality public realm outcomes that support wellbeing, biodiversity, social inclusion and sustainability. This is even more important in the context of a pandemic and the new urban metric of social distancing,” says Chiew.
The awarded projects range from a trails strategy for the Eastern Metropolitan Region by Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture; to a series of new civic spaces in Brunswick by landscape architects at Moreland City Council; to the B100 project by Openwork, a carefully considered urban intervention at RMIT’s central Melbourne campus.
“The B100 project is an ingenious solution to a common problem. It not only serves the purpose of preventing undesired vehicular activity, it enhances the pedestrian experience and offers an object of wonder; an intriguing punctuation of space that provides an appropriate adjunct to the adjoining architecture and a delightful alternative to the ubiquitous bollard,” says Chiew.
Chiew says that there is also a strong representation of regionally located projects amongst the winners.
Celebrated regional projects include Eaglehawk Regional Play Space, a community gathering space on the edge of Lake Nangear by landscape architects at the City of Greater Bendigo; and a collaboratively developed master plan for North Gardens Sculpture Park at Lake Wendouree.
The project team for North Gardens Sculpture Park, comprising of Mandy Nicholson – Tharangalk Art, Glenn Romanis, Isobel Paton – BASALT and David S Jones – Deakin University, collaborated with Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung people, to design a framework for the ongoing restoration of Lake Wendouree landscape.
“The master plan for North Gardens Sculpture Park demonstrates leadership in new processes of engagement, embedded in deep listening,” says Chiew. “The team has demonstrated how cultural knowledge can enrich the ways in which Australians understand and manage local landscapes, setting a benchmark that will inform the practice of landscape architecture for years to come.”
AILA Victoria Chapter President, Heath Gledhill, says the projects showcased in this year’s awards demonstrate the positive impact that landscape architects have on designing public space for community wellbeing.
“Amidst the isolation of COVID-19, we’ve been reminded of the value of our gardens, parks, playgrounds and reserves.
Outdoor spaces are essential to healthy community life, and are now more important than ever,” says Gledhill. “This year’s top landscapes showcase the importance of high-quality design for these outdoor spaces.”
The awards are a key vehicle for the celebration of the achievements of landscape architects in Victoria. They demonstrate the role that landscape architects play in the planning and design of the built and natural environments.
The winners of the 2020 Victoria Landscape Architecture Awards were selected from 50 entries and were announced on Wednesday 24 June via YouTube livestream.
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