Australian National Landscape Architecture Awards

From penguin watching to healing gardens, see the best Australian landscape architecture from 2016

International Landscape Architecture
Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum. (Courtesy Hassell Studio)

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has presented this year’s National Landscape Architecture Awards. The winners span an eclectic mix of typologies ranging from penguin viewing platforms to waterfall trails and healing gardens. The AILA chose 40 state-level finalists from ten categories: Civic Landscape; Parks and Open Space; Infrastructure; Cultural Heritage; Land Conservation; Tourism; Urban Design; Research, Policy and Communication; Communities; Gardens and International.

“The winners range in focus and theme, but all have appreciated the merit of urban green spaces and sustainably minded infrastructure to promote health, social and economic prosperity for urban and regional communities,” the AILA said in a press release.

Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. (Lyons Architecture)

Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. (Lyons Architecture)

AILA National Civic Landscape Award of Excellence
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane
Conrad Gargett

Landscape architecture firm Conrad Gargett were duly rewarded for their inclusion of a “Healing Garden” at the Brisbane hospital. With the design based around the concept of a living tree, 11 gardens—primarily used for therapy and recreation—can be found on the rooftops. 23,000 plants can also be found on the building’s green extensive roof.


Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum. (Courtesy Hassell Studio)

Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum. (Courtesy Hassell Studio)

AILA International Award of Excellence
Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum
Hassell

According to the AILA, the project is an “experiential and immersive gateway and forecourt” for the Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum, which was designed by Parisian architect Odile Decq. Multidisciplinary firm Hassell integrated a network of pathways and gardens into a 15-hectare park that includes a 300 million-year-old Paleozoic quarry.


McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk. (Courtesy Site|Office)

McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk. (Courtesy Site|Office)

AILA National Award for Parks and Open Space
McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk
Site Office

Completed on a “modest” budget, the McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk sets travellers within the diverse topography and landscape of the site. “What could have been a simple boardwalk through a dune has become an experiential journey that rewards the user with a sense of pride and enjoyment,” said the AILA. “No longer will be the destination be the focus.”


Mackenzie Falls Gorge Trail. (Courtesy Hansen Partnership)

Mackenzie Falls Gorge Trail. (Courtesy Hansen Partnership)

AILA National Parks and Open Space Award of Excellence
MacKenzie Falls Gorge Trail
Hansen Partnership

Creating new routes through Grampians National Park, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture firm Hansen Partnership were able to cast MacKenzie Falls Gorge (one of Australia’s largest waterfalls) in a new light. Bolted steel bridges and mesh pathways are able to endure flooding and fires (but can’t protect you from spiders).


Forest Edge Garden, Lower Hunter Valley. (Courtesy Dianna Snape/Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture)

Forest Edge Garden, Lower Hunter Valley. (Courtesy Dianna Snape/Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture)

AILA National Gardens Award of Excellence
Forest Edge Garden
Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture

Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture approached this project with the view to blend the garden into the terrain. The result was a subtle and elegant series of interventions that kept the existing landscape in harmony with the dwelling through careful design, plant species selection, and water management.


Penguin Plus viewing area, Phillip Island. (Courtesy Phillip Island Nature Parks)

Penguin Plus Viewing Area, Phillip Island. (Courtesy Phillip Island Nature Parks)

AILA National Tourism Award of Excellence
Penguin Plus Viewing Area
Tract Consultants with Wood Marsh Architecture

On Phillip Island, tourists can catch glimpses of penguins both inside and outside this curvaceous, topographic timber structure by planning and design firm Tract Consultants with Wood Marsh Architecture. “The work is beautifully detailed and provides a replicable prototype for the development of other components of this fragile landscape into the future,” said the AILA.


Get sunflowered by Get Sunflowered. (Courtesy Reactivate Latrobe Facebook)

Get sunflowered by Get Sunflowered. (Courtesy Reactivate Latrobe Facebook)

AILA National Award for Communities
Get Sunflowered
OUTR Research Lab, RMIT University

Get Sunflowered saw new life come to the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia. Community events include cleaning, planting, weeding, watering, and “harvesting”—all accompanied by local live music, food, and entertainment. The AILA praised Get Sunflowered for making use of a forgotten place which has been subject to a population and economic shift.


Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) by Room 11 and McGregor Coxall. (Courtesy Room11)

Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) by Room 11 and McGregor Coxall. (Courtesy Room11)

AILA National Award for Civic Landscape
Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) Stage 2
McGregor Coxall

Multidisciplinary firm McGregor Coxall’s work the second stage of the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park pays extensive tribute and homage to the dramatic landscape of Wilkinson’s Point. The “build it and they will come” approach has paid dividends and is, according to the AILA, a well-used civic and cultural space. “It has captured the imagination of locals and visitors as well as being recognized nationally and abroad.”


Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project by Turf Design. (Courtesy Ethan Rohloff)

Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project by Turf Design. (Courtesy Ethan Rohloff)

AILA National Award for Infrastructure
Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project Stage 2
Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership

Juggling numerous constraints, Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership educate visitors to Sydney Park on environmental issues and the value of inner city green space. Integrating ecology, play, stakeholder management, engineering and sustainable water management requirements within an existing and well-loved inner city park is a difficult brief in any context,” the AILA said. “The project beautifully expresses the forms, shapes, context, ecology and management of water, while also focussing on people, place, habitat and ecology.”


Shipwreck Coast Master Plan. (Courtesy McGregor Coxall)

Shipwreck Coast Master Plan. (Courtesy McGregor Coxall)

AILA National Award for Land Conservation
Shipwreck Coast Master Plan
McGregor Coxall

Shipwreck Coast in South Victoria is a popular tourist destination on the Australian southeast coast. Tourists, however, are the issue at hand with their presence threatening the site they flock to. Tackling this challenge, McGregor Coxall (in their 4th mention in the full list of 40) tie in habitat preservation with investment opportunities while maintaining and amplifying the sight-seeing experience–something which is a must for the economic prosperity of the area.

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