Awards are always wonderful to receive, but the real honour comes from enabling the visions of our clients come to life – especially when they are a long time in the making. Our Melbourne Studio was recently recognised with three major awards at the 2016 Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Victorian Chapter Awards. We know these awards are as much for our clients as they are for ASPECT. Each winning project has had a long gestation period but the best results are well worth the wait. ASPECT Studios enables visions to come to life through landscape architecture – and this takes time to achieve. A true collaborative process ensures that our designs make a difference to the lives of people and to natural systems in enduring ways. We also believe that community and stakeholder engagement contributes to the best design outcomes. We take time to understand the needs of our clients and the broader community to ensure that the places we design express the essential qualities of the landscape, its history, social rituals and cultural significance. We were recognised for three separate projects at the AILA Victoria Awards on 28 July and each is testament to the fact that the finest outcomes take time. Our first win was for the Civic Landscape Award for Excellence, which was awarded to Junction Place, Wodonga. As one of regional Australia’s largest urban renewal projects, the 10-hectare Junction Place was designed to breathe new life into central Wodonga. This new precinct was driven by Places Victoria and the City of Wodonga over many years and the master plan was developed by Paul Katsieris of Katsieris Origami. The project was initiated when the railway line was removed from the centre of the town, leaving a large area of train heritage and infrastructure. Junction Place will progressively transform the site into a vibrant mix of public spaces along with residential, retail and commercial precincts to service its surrounding communities. It speaks to the future of the city and its evolving community. This project is still only halfway there and we are riding on the shoulders of many landscape architects who worked on this project. We would also like to thank our client Places Victoria and to congratulate City of Wodonga, which was also awarded for this project. We were also recognised with the Infrastructure Award for Excellence, which was given to the Victorian Desalination Plant & Ecological Reserve. This is critical infrastructure for climate adaption and one of the largest such investments in Australia’s history. The 225ha Ecological Reserve camouflages the Plant through a 26000m2 green roof and a dune system. A key consideration has been ensuring the ambition of this project is fulfilled on the ground over a 9-year period. Our work transformed degraded land into mosaics of coastal and swampy woodlands, wetlands and dune ecologies and provides rich visitor experience. The project included large-scale revegetation using best practice techniques. Seeds for the plants first needed to be collected, then grown and planted and it will take more than 20 years for them to mature. ASPECT Studios led the development of the site plan, which embraced and negotiated significant infrastructure components and constraints to ensure that ecological resilience, public accessibility and sustainability will be the prime legacies of the project. Central to the design and collaboration process was the creation of a 3D master-model of the entire site to assist in moulding spaces and enhancing the site's experiential qualities. This technology allowed the design team to test ideas and manipulate structures, earthforms and plantings to ensure project objectives are met. The modelling process became a key collaboration tool across disciplines and allowed us to incorporate highly technical architectural and engineering models to create a fully integrated outcome. By leading and delivering such an ambitious site plan and detailed design, ASPECT Studios has demonstrated the new roles and capabilities of the landscape architecture profession. We would like to thank our client AquaSure (who was also the developer), as well as the Architecture team at peckvonhartel/ARM Architecture, the engineering team at Parsons Brinckerhoff/Beca, Fytogreen Australia for delivering the green roof and Practical Ecology for their ecological consulting on the project. We also received the Civic Landscape Architecture Award for the Windsor Plaza project, which involved the creation of two key public spaces - a new “village square” reclaimed from the realignment of roads, and a shared street and urban plaza, which was created through the narrowing of an existing roadway. This project was the end result of a 10-year masterplan (Chapel Vision Master plan by MGS and Jones and Whitehead, which was reiterated thorough the Stonington Public Realm Strategy) and other landscape architects were involved along the way. ASPECT Studios was lucky enough to work on the final stage and we would like to thank our client, the City of Stonington. While these awards are a reflection our work, we also believe they are recognition of the way we think and the strong professional relationships were forge along the way. The results are always worth the time and effort.
ASPECT Studios Melbourne wins 3 prestigious AILA Awards