NATIONAL AWARD FOR DESIGN
Adelaide Zoo PEOPLE Project
Landscape Architect: HASSELL
Location: Frome Road, Adelaide
The Adelaide Zoo PEOPLE Project consists of the Entrance Precinct, Giant Panda Forest and Perimeter Fence.
The entrance precinct represents an opportunity to enhance an existing and much-loved South Australian facility and to provide a new and significant civic space for Adelaide that both embodies the aspirations of Zoos SA to engage with the community and communicates the zoo's environmental objectives to visitors.
The project offers a unique opportunity to provide a natural 'transition' and transparent connection between the Frome Road frontage and the landscape setting of Botanic Park through a progression of linked public forecourts, interwoven between both built and landscaped environments.
The functions accommodated within the entrance precinct balance the need to provide durable and exciting public space for South Australians to gather, with the opportunity to educate visitors and passers-by on the broader aims and programmes supported by the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, and with commercial opportunities to ensure that spaces are activated by a broad cross-section of visitors including local residents, school and tour groups, individuals, families, and interstate and overseas visitors.
An extensive green roof and green walls as well as landscaped forecourts and gathering spaces reinforce the Zoos key objectives of Environment, Research, Education and Conservation.
The Royal Zoological Society of South Australia (RZSSA) entered into a cooperative conservation agreement with the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda at Wolong (CCRCW) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) resulting in the arrival of two Giant Pandas, Wang Wang and Funi, in December 2009.
The exhibit accommodates a pair of adolescent Giant Pandas, up to three pairs of Red Pandas as well as Mandarin Ducks, and exceeds best practice animal management. The exhibit will provide the visitor with an educational experience and a close up encounter with these endangered iconic animals. The Giant Panda external exhibits are over 600 square metres each and has considerable enrichment opportunities, including water features, chilled rocks and mature trees.
The main holding building and off display areas accommodate the Giant Pandas in a state-of-the-art facility. The holding building also accommodates research staff, bamboo storage, nursery, plant and services. The journey through the 'Giant Panda Forest' provides the visitor with an immersive experience of the Chinese Highlands and enables a variety of viewing opportunities, educational and recreation experiences.
'The seamless collaboration between the zoo and design leaders at HASSELL has produced a wonderful example of integrated landscape and function with an aesthetic and explicit connection to nature - the sum is far greater than the parts.' Prof Chris West, CEO, Zoos SA
The design concept for the zoo's perimeter fence aimed to create unprecedented transparency into the Zoo, acknowledging the importance of not only its immediate parklands context, but allowing the public a unique glimpse into the life of the zoo.
The replacement of the perimeter fencing also aimed to resolve the zoo's long standing security risks and provided improved surveillance and lighting. The perimeter fence was completed in conjunction with the arrival of the two Giant Pandas from China.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR DESIGN
Meningie Lakefront Habitat Restoration Project
Landscape Architect: ASPECT Studios
Location: Meningie, South Australia
The Meningie Lakefront Habitat Restoration Project is one of a number of federally funded initiatives to improve habitat for local flora and fauna and to generate enhanced social capital and community spirit in the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth region of South Australia. The project was announced in 2009 at the height of the drought, during which time water levels in the Lower Lakes, and Lake Albert in particular, had reached record low levels with salinity presenting a high risk to the health of an already fragile environment.
ASPECT Studios was commissioned by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) to design and superintend the construction of site infrastructure including two viewing platforms, a bird viewing platform of beach stabilisation seating. The works complement an existing interpretive pathway which included signage and seating, to guide visitors along the foreshore and provide insight into European, Indigenous and environmental history of the area.
Responding to a relatively open brief that focussed on integration with the recently constructed works and durability, ASPECT Studios design direction took reference from the inherent site qualities – water's edge, meandering walks and marginal habitat. In keeping with the intent to rehabilitate lakefront plantings along the edge of the reserve, the viewing platforms were kept low and discreet, blending in with the surrounding lake edge. A simplicity of material use including composite timber, steel plate and concrete, met the design brief requirements for durability and working closely with our Engineers FMG, managed to achieve a design life of 100 years for all elements. Interpretive signage plates were designed in-house to compliment the form and character of the interventions, and provide visitors with information on the local flora and fauna that can be found in the areas.
The completed project provides the people of Meningie and the many visitors to the town, with a vastly improved foreshore reserve that allows opportunities for visitors to engage with the water’s edge and to be immersed in the unique lakefront habitat.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR DESIGN
Port Noarlunga and Witton Centre
Landscape Architect: TCL
Location: Port Noarlunga, City of Onkaparinga
Port Noarlunga is one of the most loved seaside destinations in metropolitan Adelaide. The town's casual character, the telescopic jetty, marine park and reef, crumbing ochre escarpments and the nearby mouth of the Onkaparinga River create a highly immersive and memorable experience for both locals and many who visit.
The redevelopment sought to reconnect the coastal setting to the town and to reinvigorate the experience of being 'at the beach', with the new design elements allowing the elemental landscape to remain the hero. The main issue for the project was to deliver sustainable objectives in this precious marine park location while balancing recreation, economic development and tourism objectives. This all needed to be achieved within a very tight construction timeline where various funding body deadlines had to be adhered to.
The redevelopment encompassed the fields of landscape architecture and urban design, architecture, traffic, pedestrian and cycle movement, economic feasibility and planning and aboriginal expression.
The scope included the upgrade of the tired 30 year old Witton Centre and associated car-park to include improved facilities for the Port Noarlunga Surf Life Saving Club and the Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) aquatics program, the creation of a generous foreshore square, shelters, lookouts and pedestrian resting and seating spaces, improved beach access, the continuation of the multi-use coastal trail, and the creation of a visible and functional link between the foreshore and township and the opportunity for interpretive art and graphic installations in relation to the European history of the port and the ongoing Kaurna heritage.
TCL lead a multidisciplinary team with Shannon Architects and interpretation designer John Nowland with input from local Karuna Artists Leone and Jason Brody. TCL designed all structures and elements excluding the Witton Centre (by Shannon Architects). The staff of the City of Onkaparinga Council were also vital members of the collaborative team.
As befitting such a much loved location, there was a high level of consultation (at all stages from planning to design) with the general local public, tenants (including the life- saving community) and the local aboriginal Kaurna community to ensure there was complete alignment of varied issues and interests including economic viability. The feasibility and robust nature of the design was constantly tested by community feedback as well as competing interests and preoccupations.
Sustainable principles and practices underpinned the project including the retention of as much as possible of the existing Witton Centre structure and recycle of surplus material for re-use within the City of Onkaparinga, the use of long life robust materials, WSUD initiatives including the filtering of stormwater through gross pollutant traps, the harvesting of rainwater for use in the building, the supply of fill from nearby developments and planting of local indigenous vegetation.
The project has been the recipient of numerous awards including:
Planning Institute Australia SA Awards for Planning Excellence 2012 - 'From Plan to Place' category
Planning Institute Australia National Awards for Planning Excellence 2013 - Commendation Australian Civic Trust
People’s Choice Award – Urban Category
Australian Civic Trust Jury’s Award of Merit – Urban Category
IPWEA SA Excellence Awards 2012 – Highly Commended
NATIONAL AWARD FOR DESIGN
M2 and the Plasso
Landscape Architect: Swanbury Penglase
Location: University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes
The M2 Building and the Plasso development is an innovative research, teaching and learning centre for Materials and Mineral Science commissioned by the University of South Australia for its Mawson Lakes campus. John Wardle Architects and Swanbury Penglase Architects were engaged to integrate the urban design and landscape architecture for the award winning building within the UniSA campus at Mawson Lakes.
The urban design is integral to the development of the M2 Building and the adjacent outdoor space, labelled 'The Plasso', as it establishes a critical link through the campus. Our design team's approach was to look at ways of interpreting the 'cast and moulded forms' that are philosophically expressed in the built form. The use of level changes and raked retaining walls frames the spaces and provides opportunities for meeting and gathering as well as outdoor, informal learning spaces.
The iconic nature of the development was intended to represent the University's excellence and innovation in teaching and research worldwide. The project is a part of an ongoing exploration of texturing and patterning in UniSA projects. The patterning of the building and landscape relates to the research foci of the two main user groups accommodated in the building – minerals and materials.
Minerals and Material sciences are expressed both as a rough cut rock face and archaeological stratification in the design aesthetic. The rough cut rock face is created through the irregular forms of concrete retaining walls and seating elements. The irregular forms of the walls were achieved through careful detailing of the three dimensional panels and coordination with the structural engineer, contractor and fabricator. Stratification is expressed through various paving patterns across the site. The theme of 'stratification' responds to the surrounding context of the nearby Dry Creek, lake and wetlands around Mawson Lakes.
The focus of the design for the Plasso is not only what it represents but also how it is experienced and the way in which it is integrated into the university and town community. The Plasso provides a strong connection to the east entrance of the building with a café spilling into the space. It then follows a 'ribbon' effect through the building to the west. The upper level terrace is a transitional space forming the link way through the campus with designated areas for meeting and gathering. The planting design to the east uses native species, informally spaced to create a restful ambience. To the west of the building the forecourt provides a formal contemporary approach, with feature paving bands on the ground plane and deciduous trees, framing the western façade of the building.
Working with Walbridge and Gilbert, the car parking facilities around the Plasso incorporates WSUD treatments, collecting stormwater from the permeable paving in the bays and slotted kerbs. The water is remediated and filtered through the planting and soil profile before being directed to holding tanks under the road to be used for irrigating the site. The selection of plants took into consideration drought tolerance as irrigation was intentionally not connected to mains water. At present, the WSUD is used as a teaching aid for courses run in M2 and other faculties of the University. The WSUD design also won Walbridge and Gilbert along with the project team, an Award of Excellence in Stormwater Awards 2012 hosted by the Stormwater Industry Association.
The project tackled the issue of sustainable design with great rigour. It received a 5 Green Star rating by integrating the landscape and urban design elements with the building. It was achieved through balancing the ecological standing before and after construction, creating more planting areas on a site which was previously car parking. Aside from its WSUD credentials, recycled and locally sourced materials were used wherever possible. The design encourages the use of sustainable transport by creating convenient bike facilities and electric car charging car parks. Clear pedestrian way-finding and access through the campus allows for good social integration on campus. This is further enhanced by allowing power connections at each table and ensuring that the outdoor areas are fully accessible by all.
The powerful and distinctive use of materials has made it an 'iconic' building and landscape. It makes a poetic yet pragmatic contribution to the Mawson Lakes Campus and, more broadly, to the built form of the adjacent local community. The Plasso takes geological references from the area and combines these with a purposeful acknowledgement of the forms, heights and modulations of the adjacent campus buildings. This distinct visual form purposefully integrates with the forms of the M2 building, which also flows seamlessly into the rest of the Campus.