Civic Landscape: Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Conrad Gargett Image Christopher Frederick Jones

2016 Institute of Landscape Architecture National Awards

FESTIVAL LIVE: Australian landscape architecture projects embracing ‘uncomplicated design’

A ‘smaller-scale, lighter touch’ approach to design is evident in many of the winners of the 2016 Institute of Landscape Architecture National Awards, the president of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects has said, with several in particular embracing ‘uncomplicated design’.

One of these ‘lighter touch’ projects was identified by the awards jury as the MacKenzie Falls Gorge Trail in Victoria’s Halls Gap, which they described as ‘a satisfyingly simple project’.  Hansen Partnership took home the top award for parks and open space for its work on the trail, with the project credited for the subtlety of its design and materials. These were chosen to coexist with the natural setting, emphasizing the uneven wilderness of the Grampians National Park.

The jury noted: ‘what could have easily been a “free-for-all” across a stream has become a chance to take in a snapshot of something spectacular – a coming together of wild nature and designed infrastructure, in a way that is harmonious to both. This is a project that all landscape architects will aspire to visit.’

The top tourism prize went to a newly refurbished boardwalk on the coastline of Phillip Island’s Summerland Peninsula, Penguins Plus by Tract Consultants with Wood Marsh Architecture. Penguins Plus allows for an improved viewing experience for visitors to the popular Phillip Island fairy penguin colony, with a contoured structure, curved boardwalk, and stepped outdoor viewing area. A special underground space also provides a ‘beach level’ perspective on the birds as they come home to roost each evening. The jury commented, ‘the work is beautifully detailed and provides a replicable prototype for the development of other components of this fragile landscape into the future’. The Award of Excellence for Infrastructure was presented to Bowen Place Crossing pedestrian and cyclist route in Canberra. The project, by Spackman Mossop Michaels with Lahznimmo Architects, was acknowledged for the way it demonstrates the benefits well integrated and contextual infrastructure, designed from a landscape approach, can provide cities. Located within the national capital, and within the Parliamentary Zone, the project improves access to Lake Burley Griffin and reinforces the civic nature of Canberra’s Burley Griffin Plan.

Looking forward, in the Urban Design category the Award of Excellence was presented to McGregor Coxall’s Parramatta City River Strategy. The project sets out to rediscover Sydney’s second CBD by pulling together transport frameworks, multi-use architectural spaces and infrastructure. Parramatta’s previous Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd noted it is a plan that ‘recognises the importance of the river to the city, improving the city’s connections while protecting and activating the river for people to enjoy.’

In addition to Bennett, members of the jury included New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects President Shannon Bray, Parlour founding editor and architecture critic Justine Clark, Chief Executive of the National Capital Authority Malcolm Snow, and Head of School, Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle, SueAnne Ware.

Of this year’s award-winning designs, Bennett stated, ‘these projects represent the best we have in understanding what is possible, and in appreciating the ‘unknowable world’ we live in.’

The full list of winners can be found below.

A ‘smaller-scale, lighter touch’ approach to design is evident in many of the 2016 AILA National Award winners.




Award of Excellence: Bowen Place Crossing, ACT – Spackman Mossop Michaels Pty Ltd

Landscape Architecture Award: Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project Stage 2, NSW – Turf Design Studio + Environmental Partnership (TDEP)

Landscape Architecture Award: John Whitton Bridge Open Space, NSW – OCCULUS

Landscape Architecture Award: Victorian Desalination Plant and Ecological Reserve, VIC – ASPECT Studios


Cultural Heritage

Award of Excellence: Port Adelaide Renewal, Hart’s Mills Surrounds, SA – ASPECT Studios

Landscape Architecture Award: Shrine of Remembrance Courtyards, Stage 2, Completion, VIC – rush/wright associates



Award of Excellence: Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum, China – HASSELL

Landscape Architecture Award: Surabaya Urban Corridor Development Program, Indonesia – Hansen Partnership



Award of Excellence: Afghan Bazaar Cultural Precinct, VIC – HASSELL / Sinatra Murphy

Landscape Architecture Award: Green Space Strategy, QLD – John Mongard, Gavin Hardy, Alvin Kirby, Michelle Kirby-Brown

Landscape Architecture Award: Get Sunflowered, VIC – OUTR Research Lab, RMIT University


Research Policy and Communication

Award of Excellence: The Urban Forest Strategy and Precinct Plans, VIC. Architect – City of Melbourne

Landscape Architecture Award: Sydney Green Grid, NSW – NSW Government Architects office

Landscape Architecture Award: Urban Green Cover in NSW Technical Guidelines, NSW – NSW Government Architects Office

Landscape Architecture Award: The Adelaide Design Manual, SA. – Design and Strategy, Adelaide City Council

Parks and Open Space

Award of Excellence: MacKenzie Falls Gorge Trail, VIC – Hansen Partnership

Landscape Architecture Award: Barangaroo Reserve, NSW – Johnson Pilton Walker in association with PWP

Landscape Architecture Award: McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk, VIC – Site Office

Landscape Architecture Award: Braithwaite Park Nature Play, WA – Emerge Associates

Landscape Architecture Award: Return to Royal Park, VIC – City of Melbourne, City Design Studio

Landscape Architecture Award: Adelaide Botanic Garden – First Creek Wetland, SA – TCL


Land Conservation

Award of Excellence: Gum Scrub Creek, Officer, VIC – Outlines Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture Award: Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, VIC – McGregor Coxall

Landscape Architecture Award: West Belconnen Landscape & Open Space Strategy, ACT – McGregor Coxall



Award of Excellence: Forest Edge Garden, NSW – Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture

Landscape Architecture Award: Garangula Gallery, NSW – Tract Consultants

Landscape Architecture Award: North Shore Estate, NSW – CALDESIGN



Award of Excellence: Penguins Plus viewing area, VIC – Tract Consultants with Wood Marsh Architecture

Landscape Architecture Award: Jetty to Jetty Trail, WA – UDLA

Landscape Architecture Award: The Gap and Natural Bridge, WA – Department of Parks and Wildlife


Civic Landscape

Award of Excellence: Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, QLD – Conrad Gargett

Landscape Architecture Award: One Central Park, NSW – ASPECT Studios and OCULUS

Landscape Architecture Award: UTS Alumni Green, NSW – ASPECT Studios

Landscape Architecture Award: Rundle Mall, SA – HASSELL

Landscape Architecture Award: Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) Stage 2, TAS – McGregor Coxall

Landscape Architecture Award: The Goods Line, NSW – ASPECT Studios

Landscape Architecture Award: Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA – HASSELL


Urban Design

Award of Excellence: Parramatta City River Strategy McGregor Coxall

Landscape Architecture Award: Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga Urban Regeneration Project, SA – TCL

Landscape Architecture Award: Elizabeth Quay, WA – ARM + TCL