Winners of the 2021 Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards were announced at a virtual event on Wednesday, coinciding with the state entering another difficult seven days of lockdown.
Despite Victoria being the state most affected by COVID-19, competition officials said what innovative landscaping offered the community was more important than ever, in supporting public life and the revitalisation and recovery of Victoria.
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects named seven Awards of Excellence winners for the most significant and industry leading projects.
The Excellence Award winners across seven categories were:
-Health and Education Landscape – Albert Park Senior College Campus, Site Office
-Civic Landscape – Station Street Mall Frankston, Site Office and City of Frankston
-Infrastructure – REALMstudios with Alluvium Consulting and E2DesignLab for their Reimagining Your Creek project
-Urban Design – the Brunswick Street Streetscape Plan by RushWright and Associates
-Research, Policy and Communications – LXRP Indigenous Design Guidelines, the Level Crossing Removal Project
-Small Projects – Albert Park Office and Depot by Openwork and Christina Silk Office For Planting
-Gardens – Coastal Woodland Garden by Robyn Barlow Design
A further 11 architecture awards were given for those who delivered projects above and beyond their initial purpose, championing beauty, placemaking and community benefit.
Jury Chair Naomi Barun said the past year had seen a change in the way public places were valued, as they became the much-needed backdrop for social exchange, exercise and mental reprieve.
“The demand for locally accessible outdoor areas saw privately managed open space repositioned. Private landscapes were used as venues for organised gatherings and work meetings and communities relied on public spaces for economic recovery of our cities.”
Across Civic Landscape and Urban Design categories, judging factored in connecting people as well as recognising elements required for success in a post COVID-world.
Entrants in the the Parks and Open Space and Gardens categories, were required to build on these elements with the added importance of green space and the vital role it plays in community wellbeing.
AILA Victoria President Heath Gledhill said the awards were an opportunity to reflect on the way industry was responding to public need in the face of COVID-19 and their interpretation of the importance of place and human connection.
“Collectively, this year’s recipients stood out as exceptional places that connect communities, bring comfort by adapting micro-climates, and reveal the beauty of our State and our relationship with it,” Mr Gledhill said.
“The range of diverse projects awarded set an inspiring benchmark for landscape architecture and give the industry inspiration to continue to think bigger and broader into the future.”