Jack Evans Boat Harbour

By Lyn Drummond

14 December 2011 – Jack Evans  Boat Harbour, Tweed Heads,  designed by ASPECT Studios in collaboration with Tweed Shire Council won the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects NSW medal as   “an outstanding example of transformation in a regional coastal town,” the judging panel said.

The medal in landscape architecture as well as being the highest awarded project in the state is the leading project over the four categories of design, planning, urban design, land management and research and communication.

Awards jury chair, Marianna Preston, of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, said the project had “ enriched an existing park to create a unique civic place of waterfront leisure. It is visually compelling; it has provided for a rich variety of recreational and aquatic activities; and it ingeniously introduces a refined solution to a complex hydrological environment subject to tidal, river and coastal climatic pressures. ”

National award to NSW OE & H
The new AILA national award which  recognises innovative policy development, national significant programs or groups of projects, and management of important  places and settings went to the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage which the judges said  had  “over many years remained committed to its goals of conservation and sustainable development and land management.”

The citation said the agency had become an important collaborator for AILA in such programs as the AILA sea-change 2030+ ideas competition, AILA’s climate change adaptation professional skills program, and its facilitation of the “green cover” demonstration projects in western Sydney.

AILA recognised the agency’s national leadership in a whole of government approach in the key areas of adaptation to climate change and promotion of sustainable settlement.

This includes the NSW Government’s  2021 10-year plan, the sea level rise policy statement,  the strategic direction of tackling climate change and protecting Sydney’s natural environment, and the urban sustainability funding program.

The agency is also an employer of a number of landscape architects who have  promoted precinct based planning and design through Regional and National Parks, the judges said.

State projects that received recognition in the design category included Darling Quarter by ASPECT Studios, which won the excellence award for  “boldly placing a world class interactive play space as the centre piece of the urban renewal, which has ensured immediate and enthusiastic public use and economic benefits to the precinct, “

The judges applauded “the building of strong new links to the city and Darling Harbour, the revitalisation of its urban context, and the impressive resolution of technical and design details”.

Excellence in Planning won by McGregor Coxall
McGregor Coxall won the excellence award  in the planning category for the Callan Park master plan for Leichhardt Council.

Part of Callan Park

The company was appointed to develop a master plan, financial model and plan of management for the 61 hectare Callan Park site in inner city Rozelle.

Building on the back of an award winning community engagement strategy, McGregor Coxall developed a master plan for a wellness sanctuary. The plan includes modern mental and physical health services with education and research in an historic landscape setting.

The plan guides the future of Callan Park as a regionally significant public asset for Sydney’s inner west and secures its future as a new state facility that will deliver world leading mental health services, the judges said.

The citation said the project used an innovative approach to broad-scale landscape planning and urban design and community consultation. It places great value on the existing natural and cultural features of the site.

The judges said it demonstrates innovative approaches to current socio-cultural, environmental and economic aspects of landscape including economic, social, political and demographic trends, biodiversity loss, impacts of climate change and health and well being.

The judges said MacGregor Coxall and the firm’s team had prepared a coherent document that made sense of a hugely complex site and myriad issues. “ Its success lies in its distillation of a large body of information into a clearly enunciated vision for the future of this important public site”.

Bourke street cycleway. Photo: Simon Wood

Excellence in Landscape Architecture won by Pod Architecture
Bourke street cycleway, Woolloomooloo, designed by Pod Landscape Architecture for the City of Sydney, was recognised in the RTA NSW Award for Excellence in Landscape Architecture on road infrastructure projects.

The citation praised the projects for “introducing an integrated urban design response for the entire road corridor. The solution is fundamentally sustainable, demonstrating that brown infrastructure can be transformed to green.The retrofitting of active transport facilities into a global city is challenging and controversial. The finished facility is an elegant solution that delivers multiple benefits and respects the urban context. “

The NSW Minister for Planning & Infrastructure’s Sydney Greenspace award was presented to Warringah Council and ASPECT Studios for the Narrabeen Lagoon Multi-Use Trail Stage 1.