South Bank Parklands

PROJECT South Bank Parklands


LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Gillespies Australia (2007 footnote: In 2005 Gillespies Australia was merged into EDAW )

The South Bank precinct has become one of Brisbane's signature sites and one where the full potential of Brisbane's sub-tropical outdoor environment can be enjoyed. The cultural focus of the precinct has now been enhanced through the location of tertiary education activities, such as the Queensland Conservatorium and College of Art, to complement the established Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Museum.

This 14 hectare site hosted Expo in 1988 and is situated along the south bank of the Brisbane River opposite Brisbane’s CBD. This former industrial site has been converted into a public pleasure garden. Visitors promenade, picnic and swim in the artificial lagoon. Structures such as the Nepalese pagoda and the Butterfly House invite exploration. The frequently photographed steel arbour covered in bougainvillea forms a central spine through the park.

Roma Street Parklands

PROJECT Roma Street Parklands


LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT PARC collaborative, consisting of Gillespie’s in association with DEM, Landplan and Civitas

This 16 hectare park located in Brisbane’s Central Business District was completed in 2001 converting a brownfields site into an urban oasis. A consortium of designers (DEM, Gillespies Australia, Landplan Studios and Civitas of Canada) was formed to design the park.

The aim of the design was to create a park with a series of ‘rooms’ displaying a variety of native sub-tropical vegetation linked to the surrounding city network. Spaces include a Celebration Lawn, Spectacle Garden, lawns and terraces enclosed by the Serenity Garden, a mist gully as well as the rejuvenated Albert Park. A waterfall links Albert Park to the Serenity Garden, whilst a series of wetlands filter stormwater from the inner city. Converting the industrial site into waterways, open spaces and vegetated areas has created habitat for wildlife, adding additional interest to the parklands.

The designers’ aimed to challenge the notion that Australian plants were dull and unsuited to urban environments, using a range of Queensland species. Information is provided throughout the gardens on the plants.

The parklands received an AILA National Project Award in 2002. The award jury remarked on the skilful planting design employed by the Landscape Architects which interprets Queensland’s unique indigenous environments “making them accessible and interesting to urban dwellers”.

The designers’ have created a vital green space within a short walk to the city providing a variety of recreation experiences for users as well as contact with nature.

Griffith University Campus

PROJECT Griffith University Campus



The Griffith University campus landscape was designed by Roger Johnson. Whilst the intention was for the buildings to contrast with the landscape – a naturalistic Australian setting was viewed as appropriate for a tertiary institution. Johnson’s design represented a departure from earlier campus landscapes which had borrowed heavily from images of verdant university campuses found in the United Kingdom and North America.

Around this time a number of other Australian universities developed landscape settings evocative of the bush, including Macquarie University, Sydney; University of Canberra as well as Monash University in Melbourne.

Under the influence of Barbara van den Broek environmental initiatives were incorporated in the design.