2016 AILA NSW Landscape Architecture Award Winners
2016 AILA NSW Awards Jury
The IALD Landscape Lighting Award sponsored by iGuzzini
2016 Award Categories and Submissions
The Social Stuff - Exhibition Reception & Awards Night
2016 AILA NSW Award Partners
2015 AILA NSW Awards Winners
2014 AILA NSW Awards Winners

AILA NSW 2014 Medal for Landscape Architecture

Recipient: Sue Barnsley Design
Project: Jubilee Playground
Client: City of Sydney

With more and more children growing up in high-density housing and without the benefit of a backyard to call their own, the local park and playground has become an important focus for inner city families. The City of Sydney is to be congratulated for recognising this need and responding with an array of urban play environments across the city. Jubilee Playground in Glebe’s Bicentennial Park overlooking Blackwattle Bay is a most recent welcome addition. What a delight to see a playground that gets what kids need and want. A place to kick off your shoes and get the dirt between your toes, it encompasses whimsical cubby spaces and room for fantasy and exploration. The new works have rejuvenated a much-loved local playground nestled in the shade of an established fig grove. Designed for children from 0 to 12, the playground is made up of three distinct but interconnected spaces. The overarching idea was to make the playground feel more expansive and engaged with its site by making a series of bespoke spaces that respond to and heighten the varying landscape conditions- the fig grove, the open lawn and the shoreline. A pod-like tree house emulating a giant fruit capsule is the centerpiece of the fig grove. Nestled within a gnarly tree, the exterior skin of timber shingles contrasts with its inviting magenta interior that provides a haven for children to spy on the world beyond. Below the cubby a maze of ropes appears like the hanging roots of the fig tree. A path of tea tree branches encircles this space and a shaded timber platform, allows adults to sit and watch over their children at play. Beyond the tree canopy the play space is more dynamic and focused on a colourful refurbished roundabout and three double swings at the centre of the playground. A tea tree path winds its way from an embankment slide to a shaded sandpit alluding to the water’s edge. The sand and a timber canoe recall the lost shore. The whimsical shade structure above the sandpit takes its form from an abstracted mangrove leaf, a fresh green leaflet opening to the sky. To encourage you to linger longer, new and renovated picnic shelters sit beneath a line of old fig trees, making Jubilee Playground a favourite spot for large picnics and birthday parties. Jubilee Playground is a dynamic place for play and community gathering. The playground sparks the imagination and is physically challenging. It provides an accessible and inclusive play experience for younger children while still engaging older kids. Underpinning the work is an inventive evocation of the palimpsest of the place expressed through careful crafting, re-use and recycling of materials. Yet above all, its sheer beauty and delight makes this parkland play space magical and uplifting for children and adults alike.

Award for Design in Landscape Architecture

Recipient: ASPECT | OCULUS
Project: One Central Park
Client: Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House Australia
Project Team: Patrick Blanc; Ateliers Jean Nouvel; PTW Architects; JAAA + Turf Design Studio; Design Landscapes; Junglefy and Watpac

One Central Park, Sydney, is a high profile project on the former Carlton United Brewery site in Chippendale that has captured the imagination of the public, rekindling an interest in landscape architecture in the public imagination. The built form is veiled by a combination of vertical gardens (green walls), designed by Patrick Blanc, and green facades, podium level and the courtyard landscape designed by the ASPECT | OCULUS team. This award is in recognition of their contribution through the extensive green facades, courtyard and podium level planting of the project, and the design, technical and research expertise that went into creating this challenging and unique project. In considering this award the jury noted the project’s contribution through the technical advancements of the project. These include the soil and planting research, testing and development for the 7kms of balcony planting and green facades that cover the buildings in this difficult urban environment, as well as the automatic recycled blackwater irrigation system developed for the project, the first of its kind in Australia. This award also recognises the substantial contribution to the promotion of landscape architecture and the advancement of culture through design advocacy that this project embodies. Demonstrating a highly integrated architectural and landscape designed project of exceptional quality, the jury notably commended the developer client for undertaking the risk associated with this non-standard project which has delivered exceptional rewards for the city and for the residents.

Award for Design in Landscape Architecture

Recipient: OCULUS
Project: John Whitton Bridge Open Space
Client: City of Canada Bay
Project Team: ARUP (lighting), CARDNO (civil) and WTP (QS)

This project demonstrates an innovative approach to the landscape design of commonly underutilised public land at the abutment to a major bridge. By co-ordinating a suite of potentially conflicting program elements such as a shared pathway, boat ramp, parking and parkland into a cohesive multi - purpose space the landscape architects have contributed significantly to the value of outcomes for a wide range of potential users. The design and implementation provide a subtle division of spaces that encourage social engagement and provide safe access through the spaces provided. The park contributes to sustainable outcomes by creating a safe, functional link underneath a major road facilitating and encouraging non - vehicular journeys within the community from east to west. Lighting, landscape elements and detailing of the Park suggest and encourage mixed uses over both day and night and contribute to improved quality of experience and definition of the space. The design fuses the applied infrastructure context of the site with the natural opportunities of the foreshore park. This increases awareness of the values of the site and its own identity, demonstrating the value of landscape architecture to contribute to the creation of a complex multi – use public domain that provides function, connectivity, amenity and social engagement.

Award for Design in Landscape Architecture

Recipient: OCULUS
Project: Napier Street Closure
Client: City of Sydney
Project: Team Lighting, Art + Science (lighting), Northrop (civil) and UMUP (planning), Artscape (public art), Hydroplan (irrigation) and function (access)

This Project demonstrates the ability to retain an established landscape setting while responding to new demands on the space. The jury appreciated the design solutions used to retain the existing mature fig street trees and later tree plantings. These give an intimate, cool and soft setting while adapting to new more intense functions in a simple setting of strong design. Historically this short section of Napier Street blocked the short-cut for traffic to and from Oxford Street with dense plantings of trees which augmented the historic street tree plantings of figs which run the length of Napier Street. Under the brief, the existing figs and later planted trees were to remain undisturbed. The design solutions for this project were to; Retain the existing mature Ficus through suspending the seemingly 'on-ground' structure, retaining the soil and having the root zones minimally disturbed. Provide a pedestrian movement space with sitting and semi-active cafe functions and; Screen the adjacent service station with a heavy timber screen fence which provides a strong sense of intimacy and enclosure to the space. The extensive and unobtrusive lighting brings a level of security to the space at night, while allowing passive supervision when the cafe/gallery is open. The jury appreciated the technical and hidden solutions to suspend the concrete and large module paving which retained the air and water supply to the root-zones. While these were not unique, they were seen as an innovative solution to creating a space and setting that has the weight and scale of an on-ground structure which matches the scale and mass of the fig and other trees.

Award for Residential Designed Landscapes

Recipient: Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture (JILA)
Project: Forest Edge Garden
Client: Private
Project: Team Jonathan Temple Architect, James Stockwell Architect, David Harris Bush Regeneration, Bates Landscapes

On occasions outstanding environmental design is distinguished by subtle intervention, almost to the point of invisibility. What are we seeing here? Where does this project begin, where does it end? Jane Irwin’s considered work in this rugged and quintessentially Australian bush-land setting has this quality. The work is unpresumptuous, with its chief ambition being to augment existing landscape and further integrate an ensemble of existing buildings and pool with the site’s qualities. In its easiness, the project is an Antipodean demonstration of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, projecting a sense of the ephemeral but also that this place has been here for a long time. These are elusiive qualities often striven for, but infrequently realised. Beyond the expression of an object juxtaposed in landscape, the project is enhanced by a clear intent to mark the site as a place of more complex human habitation. The existing buildings have been coalesced by a purposeful enrichment of interstitial spaces, both in program (kitchen garden and courtyard) and detail (highly textured ground-plane). These are ideas borne more of cities than the bush, and testament to the author’s wide experience in urban place-making. Forest Edge Garden also offers an exemplary demonstration of sustainable practice. The courtyard floor and terraced pool embankment walls are made from stone off-cuts: discarded or lower grade material otherwise destined for road-base that has been salvaged and re-purposed into things of beauty. Through poetic readings of the traditional rural ensemble and an interest in doing more with less, Jane Irwin has invested this modest project with relevance and a singular sense of place.

Award of Excellence for Planning in Landscape Architecture

Project:Shiralee Masterplan & DCP
Client:Orange City Council

The Jury recognised the integrated whole of site approach, analysis and solutions resulting from closely working with the site, the community and Orange City Council. The Shiralee Master Plan identifies a strong desire to create a distinct and identifiable precinct of South Orange. The jury felt it exemplifies innovative planning and development incorporating the natural and semi-rural attributes of this regional central tablelands site. The master plan demonstrates a logical understanding of the site, setting and community values and sensitively incorporates them. As well as strongly following natural drainage and visual catchment principles, the master plan retains valued existing elements of the winery, historic quarry and swamp areas. At the same time it develops some logical but innovative entry, transport and village-centre development solutions. The plan accommodates the concerns of the existing adjacent 'lifestyle- lot' residents with an adjacent buffer of 'green-belts'. The proposed diversity lot sizes, from 200M2 to 2 Ha, are integrated into the plan offering areas of varied living-style opportunities, which are not often accepted in regional areas. Developed from extensive and astute site analysis, the broad Landscape Planning Principles Plan shows a good planning balance between the site and existing land-uses with community needs into the future. Its simple and bold principles can be effectively carried through to more detailed DCP level elements.

Award for Planning in Landscape Architecture

Recipient:JMD design in collaboration with WSPT
Project:Bungarribee Master Plan
Client:Western Sydney Parklands Trust

Bungarribee, a 200 hectare precinct in the northern part of the Western Sydney Parklands, will be developed into a major recreational hub by the Parklands’ Trust. Leading a multi-disciplinary team, JMD Design has created a compelling vision for the Bungarribee Master Plan, supported by in-depth analysis, emphasis on sustainable principles and active stakeholder and public engagement. Using six key vision elements, the master plan skilfully arranges the proposed land uses of passive and active recreation tourism activities, community gardens and environmental conservation into a legible and iconic landscape. “ The ‘heart’ preserves the delicate ecology of the existing grasslands, the ‘loop’ provides circulation throughout the site, the ‘the runway forest, a thousand trees’ gives scale and interprets the former military runway, the ‘creeks’ provides a restored riparian and habitat corridor”, ‘the commons’ highlights an urban farm and forest plantation providing an ongoing source of material for the Parklands, and the ‘southern greenbelt’ delineates a visual buffer against the thrust of the adjacent industries. Markers, landforms, artworks and other transformative, whimsical and unexpected moves draw out the identity and rich spatial qualities of the site. Imaginative, exciting and vividly brought to life by Anton James’s evocative sketches, the Bungaribee Master Plan is a deserving recipient of a Planning Award.

Award for Planning in Landscape Architecture

Recipient:McGregor Coxall
Project:West Belconnen
Client:Riverview Projects (ACT) and ACT Land Development Agency
Project Team:Adrian McGregor, Matt Ritson

Supported by an enlightened client, McGregor Coxall’s West Belconnen Landscape and Open Space Strategy is a demonstration of an exemplary planning process. The work is underpinned by imagination and focus on the qualitative aspects of site and place: attributes too often absent from planning studies. The 1623-hectare site straddles the ACT border with NSW, and is comprised of both natural and rural landscapes destined for new urban development. The Plan’s strength lies in its reading of the site’s key characteristics, and a translation of these into principles that will ultimately integrate a robust, sustainable urban environment for 30,000 new residents within a natural setting. The authors identify three defining features, an heroically-scaled landscape segment of the Murrumbidgee River traversing the western edge, a web of major transmission lines converging on Canberra Substation to the south, and at the site’s heart, a vast landfill site. The Plan conserves and enhances the dramatic river gorge, and re-invents the transmission corridors and landfill site as the connective tissue of the open space network by allocating a range of community uses to these previously degraded and isolated spaces. The remaining wooded hills, ridges and broad-acre farmland comprise 50% of the site, and it is these lands that are consequently allocated to new urban development. Being outside of the Brief, there is less detail provided for how this land will be integrated with existing landscape. The authors have, however, provided strong cues to limit sprawl through more compact suburban form models and a bio-street network that integrates transport modes with ecological functions and social/community infrastructure.

Award for Urban Design in Landscape Architecture

Project:New Acton Precinct
Client:Molonglo Group
Project Team:Fender Katsalidis Architects

This project uses an innovative blending of building finishes, public art and landscape design within a new residential and commercial development to create a complex series of spaces to facilitate public access, encourage social engagement and provide opportunities for contemplation of the program of public art on the site and the natural features that act as landmarks. The design and demonstrated outcome extends the brief of supporting the public art by bringing landscape influences into the building exterior finishes and design and integrating buildings and landscape into a co-ordinated experience of different sized and functioning spaces. The project recovers a derelict site and re – uses materials found on the site. Plantings are intentionally low water use and an edible garden has been provided to enhance the sustainable contribution of the design. Functional passage spaces serving the major circulation paths of the site are contrasted with active gathering points and defined sanctuaries for contemplation. Planting, relief and finishes are used to suggest and define enclosure and circulation in a confined and complex program of elements. The project contributes an alternative and integrated public domain environment close to the existing Civic heart of Canberra displaying positive cultural and environmental experiences to residents and users. The role of the Landscape Architect is demonstrated in the realisation of this range of spaces and the place making opportunities they provide within the new development.

Award for Land Management in Landscape Architecture

Recipient:Environmental Partnership
Project:Edmondson Regional Park Vegetation Rehabilitation And Landscape Management Plan
Client:NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Project Team:Ecological Australia

The role of Landscape Architects as environmental stewards and leaders in the conservation and regeneration of our diminishing Cumberland Plain Woodlands.is particularly critical today. Environmental Partnership has taken up this challenge with excellence and rigour in the delivery of the Edmondson Regional Park Vegetation Rehabilitation and Landscape Management Plan. The brief from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service ( NPWS ) called for a ‘ best practice’ approach to managing the aggregated tracts of remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland in Edmondson Regional Park and strategies to address ‘future proofing’ in relation to quality recreational and environmental performance, soil conservation, seed collection, weed management, habitat enhancement and implementation. Working in conjunction with Eco Logical Australia, Environmental Partnership has prepared a benchmark model for future Cumberland Plain Woodland management in National Parks, underpinned by almost forensic analysis of the existing ecology, active consultation with experts in the field and a holistic approach that balances environmental and recreational values in the community. The Management Plan is accompanied by an Audit Reporting Framework, involving a GIS platform and photo monitoring to create an easily accessible management tool for use by the NPWS and land managers in their revegetation programmes. Environmental Partnership’s blueprint is outstanding for its robustness, use of emerging technology and science, and collaborative approach to problem solving. The future of Sydney’s remnant Cumberland Plain Woodlands augers well as a result of this outstanding work.

Award of Excellence for Research & Communication in Landscape Architecture

Recipient: Elke Landscape Architect & Consulting Arborist
Project: Soils for Landscape Development: Selection, Specification and Validation
Client: SESL Australia and CSIRO Publishing
Project Team: SESL Australia, Simon Leake; Australian Government Department of Industry-Aus Industry, Ken Long; CSIRO Publishing

This book demonstrates excellence in an innovative and objective approach to the analysis, planning and specification of soils for landscape use that provides leadership and improvement to the whole landscape industry. The influence demonstrated by this project is based upon extensive experience and collaboration in all areas of landscape works by both authors. The book provides a specification based approach for chemical, hydraulic and structural properties that enables use by designers and contractors in an objective and responsive manner. The tools provided to test and reuse existing soils to achieve design aims and to address potential threats to retained vegetation contribute significantly to fundamental sustainable outcomes in the landscape design process. By integrating objective guidelines for assessing, specifying and constructing soil root volumes for trees with soil specification the landscape architect adds significantly to the knowledge of a major pillar of the profession of landscape architecture. The contribution of the landscape architect in framing the direction and context of the information to modern landscape practice extends the application of theory into practice and raises the awareness of the value of landscape architecture and design. The book makes an important contribution to the profession of landscape architecture and the community by providing a useful and functional set of assessment, specification and design tools based upon the rigor of a scientific methodology tested by extensive consultation framed by the significant and relevant experience of the authors.

AILA NSW Graduate Landscape Architect Award

Recipient April Ye, David Moir Landscape Architecture

This years winner of the Future Leaders Graduate Award has begun her career in regional NSW and has within a very short time demonstrated her commitment to the landscape profession and service to the community. April graduated from the Agricultural University of Anhui Province, Hefei, China, in 2009 before completing her Masters of Landscape Architecture at The University of Adelaide in 2012. Since then, she sought out work in regional NSW and has been with Moir Landscape Architecture since 2013. April is clearly a passionate advocate for landscape architecture and community engagement, and has demonstrated her enthusiasm for getting involved beyond the boundaries of traditional practice. The jury was particularly impressed with the energy and enthusiasm she has shown in bringing the global “Parking Day” event to Newcastle, engaging directly with stakeholders such as Newcastle City Council and Newcastle Now, leveraging her experience of the event in Adelaide into her new community. As an active young professional in the regional design and arts community, April has looked for the opportunities of her position around her, demonstrating her leadership potential and broad sense of the role of the landscape professional. The jury felt she has taken her experience and unique pathway into landscape architecture in Australia and has begun to build a unique professional profile that embodies the spirit of this award.

Future Leaders Student 1st Prize Recipient:Jessica Lock

Receiving first place for the AILA NSW Student awards for 2014, Jessica Lock’s portfolio stood out to the judging panel for its breadth of enquiry, and a clear enthusiasm and optimism for landscape architecture in promoting community wellbeing and renewal. Jessica’s work is tuned to the social conditions and potentials of landscape architecture and impressively recognises the role of landscape architecture in complex social and physical contexts, from river ecologies to urban renewal. The jury was impressed by the enthusiasm for landscape as an activist tool for community improvement and considered Jessica’s work sensitive and socially charged, operating through an excellent design sensibility from detail design to strategic and planning scales. Jessica has clearly benefitted from her exchange to Penn in 2013, and has developed a passion for travel which she shows in her work through the diversity of projects in her portfolio. Currently working at HASSELL, the enthusiasm Jessica clearly enjoys for her chosen career imbues all her work with a liveliness, optimism and human dimension which was highly commended by the jury. The jury is confident Jessica will go on to be an excellent spokesperson for landscape architecture and its central role in shaping our future communities.

Future Leaders Student 2nd Prize Recipient: Sarah Fayad

This year’s jury were immediately taken by the excellent communications skills of the AILA NSW second prize winner Sarah Fayad. Her portfolio demonstrates an exceptional graphic skill and ambitious projects that draw on Sarah’s international experiences while studying, from China to Dubai. Sarah’s work is oriented towards urban and infrastructural projects where she consistently looks for the overlap between industrial situations and environmental opportunity. Her commitment to design innovation in Landscape, through careful consideration of large environmental and ecological systems in contexts like urban regeneration in China or algae farming in Badgerys’ Creek, shows a considered designer who has used her time while studying to explore new ideas. In this way, Sarah’s work celebrates alternative and innovative landscape futures. Through her portfolio she has demonstrated her willingness to take risks in her work, and a commitment to innovation that embraces both a high level of design resolution, and an understanding of the potentials of technology in landscape architecture as a source of inspiration and invention. Her attention to the issues and opportunities of the metropolitan scale are also commendable, demonstrating her understanding and application of systems-based thinking that has established a clear intellectual foundation for her work resulting in smart and plausible solutions to complex contexts. The judging panel commented on the commitment to innovation necessary for the profession at this time, and Sarah’s clear alignment to this goal.