MacKenzie Falls Gorge Trail by Hansen Partnership
Parks and Open Space: Award of Excellence
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
When you’re in the great outdoors, it’s easy to succumb to the beauty and scale of the landscape around you. But every now and then, you need some guidance – a light touch on the shoulder to point out something spectacular, or a gentle deviation in a trail to focus your attention on something that could have easily passed you by.
The MacKenzie Falls Trail achieves this experiential quality in a way that is so subtle, it’s likely most people won’t realize they’ve been led astray. The standout quality is the focus on preserving the landscape qualities of the site the trail traverses, using materials that reflect its natural setting and quietly emphasizing the craggy features of wilderness it passes through. 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.
For more coverage, read Ricky Ray Ricardo’s review from Landscape Architecture Australia 144, November 2014