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Reviews

Valley Lake Lookout is set within a new residential estate built on the site of the former Niddrie Quarry in Melbourne’s north-west.

The poetics of place: Valley Lake Lookout

8 May 2019, Kate Gamble

McGregor Coxall’s design for a new lookout in north-western Melbourne frames the area’s unique geology, encouraging reflection on the site’s past, present and future.

Review
Nic Monisse performs Urban Jungle, a quirky comedy show around landscape architecture and urban design at the 2019 Perth Fringe World festival.

Landscape architecture, laughter, community: Urban Jungle

2 Apr 2019, Tilly Caddy

A recent comedy show at Perth’s Fringe World festival brought together built environment practitioners and members of the public alike for a series of light-hearted reflections on city design.

Review
Twin rivers: the renaturalized Aire river in Switzerland runs alongside the existing canal, which has been transformed into a series of linear gardens.

Framing process: Aire – The River and its Double

1 Apr 2019, Kate Gamble

A recent book on the transformation of the Aire River in Switzerland by Swiss studio Superpositions offers layered perspectives on the river’s transformation.

Review
At the Bahia Azul Garden in Chile, plants were selected for their suitability to the tough coastal soil and weather conditions

A sublime elegance: Juan Grimm

20 Mar 2019, Howard Tanner

Exploring a recent book on the work of Chilean landscape designer Juan Grimm.

Review
The colonial garden at Cox’s Cottage, at Mulgoa, west of Sydney, at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

Thoughtful garden-making

21 Feb 2019, Howard Tanner

A new book by Australian garden writer Christine Reid explores hardy gardens in some of the country’s most challenging landscapes.

Review
The land on which Yagan Square sits once formed part of an extensive wetland system that was an important meeting and food-gathering place for Aboriginal people.

An everyday civic: Yagan Square

17 Jan 2019, Jillian Walliss

At Perth’s new urban square, Yagan Square, flexibility and history provide a platform for engaging with changing notions of national identity, Reconciliation and civic life.

Review
The 2018 Smart City World Expo took place in Barcelona in November.

Changing landscapes: The design of cities in the age of digital transformation

16 Jan 2019, Sigrid Ehrmann

The 2018 Smart City Expo World Congress offered a chance to reflect on the opportunities and challenges that come with the increasing digitalization of city infrastructure, from increased energy efficiency and urban mobility to issues of data protection and privacy.

Review
The 2018 International Festival of Landscape Architecture opened with a performance by musicians Simone Slattery and Anthony Albrecht.

Expanding practice: The 2018 International Festival of Landscape Architecture

6 Dec 2018, Katrina Simon

Katrina Simon reflects on the recent 2018 AILA International Festival of Landscape Architecture: The Expanding Field, held on the Gold Coast in October.

Review
Brief Garden

Brief Garden

9 Nov 2018, Jock Gilbert

Just south of Colombo, an exquisite garden by Sri Lankan landscape architect Bevis Bawa provides a platform for an evolving design practice.

Review
The reimagining of Railway Square in the Perth suburb of Midland is part of a larger plan for the social and economic regeneration of an area rich with industrial history.

New heritage: Railway Square

1 Nov 2018, Zoe Myers

Railway Square transforms an area of former rail workshops in Perth’s north-east into a new civic space that evokes a strong sense of history.

Review
The core of the Home of the Arts (HOTA) stage and theatre spaces reside beneath a “mountain” landscape made up of succulents, rainforest species and grasses from the wider Gold Coast region.

Voronoi verve: Home of the Arts Outdoor Stage

10 Oct 2018, Alexandra Brown

The Gold Coast’s new outdoor stage cleverly melds landscape and architecture to provide a flexible, functional and surprising space for future gatherings.

Review
Aerial view of Taylor Cullity Lethlean’s garden Cultivated by Fire, Australia’s contribution to the 2017 International Horticultural Exhibition (Internationale Gartenausstellung) in Berlin.

An Australian garden in Berlin

5 Oct 2018, Dianne Firth

TCL’s Cultivated by Fire garden for the 2017 International Horticultural Exhibition in Berlin fosters an understanding of Australia’s rich cultural and environmental history.

Review
Saxhóll Crater Stairway in Iceland by Icelandic studio Landslag ehf was announced as the winner of the 2018 Rosa Barba International Landscape Prize.

10th International Biennial of Landscape Architecture of Barcelona: Performative Nature

4 Oct 2018, Sigrid Ehrmann

10th International Biennial of Landscape Architecture of Barcelona: Performative Nature

Review
Optus Stadium’s bronze facade references Western Australia’s unique geology.

Finding a sense of place: Optus Stadium parklands

24 Sep 2018, Tinka Sack

A new stadium and expansive parklands along the shores of Perth’s Swan River distil the essence of their Western Australian surrounds, offering multiple opportunities to engage with narratives of place.

Review
Visitors clamber through the fantastically twisty timber treehouse at the Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden.

Wild Senses: The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden

13 Sep 2018, David Welsh

A new garden in Sydney’s Centennial Parklands celebrates learning through nature play, immersing children in habitats with a roguish sense of adventure.

Review
Marlene Gilson, Wathaurong, born 1944, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner, 2015. City of Melbourne Arts and Culture Collection. © Marlene Gilson.

Colony: Frontier Wars, Colony: Australia: 1770-1861

5 Sep 2018, Cassandra Chilton

Two concurrent exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria explored the tensions between European and Indigenous perspectives on Australia’s colonization.

Review
The muted earthy tones and winding form of the walk soften both its visual and physical presence within the ecologically significant Jock Marshall Reserve.

Bridging the divide: Jock Marshall Reserve Nature Walk

28 Aug 2018, Ricky Ray Ricardo

A new elevated walk at Monash University’s Clayton campus draws biodiversity into the heart of student life, offering plentiful opportunities for research and repose.

Review
The Australian exhibition at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale curated by Baracco and Wright Architects with artist Linda Tegg explores the concept of “repair”.

Repair: The Australian Exhibition at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale

22 Aug 2018, Dermot Foley

‘Repair’, the Australian exhibition at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale calls us to reflect upon environment, habitat and the cultural history within which we work as designers.

Review
Hi-Lights by Lot-ek.

Lampposts of progress: Hi-Lights

12 Jun 2018, Annette Condello

These new additions to the Gold Coast landscape by Lot-ek, Office Feuerman and Urban Art Projects engage with notions of sustainable luxury.

Review
University of Melbourne academic Jillian Walliss in a panel discussion with Jungyoon Kim and Mike Hewson.

2018 Landscape Australia Conference: Sharing Local Knowledge for a Global Future

23 May 2018, Louisa King

Louisa King reflects on the 2018 Landscape Australia Conference.

Review
Wootten Road Reserve sits on Melbourne’s western fringe; however, it will soon be surrounded by new suburbs.

Grassland: A provocation

16 Apr 2018, Ricky Ray Ricardo

A new reserve on Melbourne’s western fringe celebrates one of Victoria’s most threatened ecologies by immersing users in the subtle beauty of native grasslands.

Review
Due to their elevated nature, the High Line gardens must endure tough conditions, freezing more quickly and heating up more rapidly than other New York gardens.

Gardens of the High Line: Elevating the Nature of Modern Landscapes

9 Apr 2018, Claire Martin

A recent book on the design of Manhattan’s elevated railway park offers a insight into the project’s plantings and celebrates the sensuous and dynamic qualities of living systems.

Review
Three Capes Track

Three Capes Track

19 Feb 2018, Johnny Ellice-Flint

In the south-east of Tasmania a new forty-six-kilometre hiking trail charts spectacular sea cliffs and dramatic gullies. The trail is one of the largest nature tourism projects in Australian history and its design will no doubt inform others in development.

Review
Garden Wall by Retallack Thompson and Other Architects.

Tracing a ‘revelatory path’: 2017 NGV Architecture Commission

24 Jan 2018, Cassandra Chilton

Cassandra Chilton of Rush Wright Associates reviews the 2017 NGV Architecture Commission by Retallack Thompson and Other Architects and finds, among other things, the “best place in Melbourne this summer for a warm afternoon snooze.”

Review
Charles Massy's farm is on the Monaro plateau to the east of Mount Kosciuszko.

Call of the Reed Warbler: A manifesto for regeneration

19 Jan 2018, Jock Gilbert

Agricultural scientist and farmer Charles Massy has published a book that calls for a deeper understanding of human effects upon the landscape and for practice that is by its nature regenerative.

Review
The entry courtyard is a mix of shades of grey and green that highlights various foliage textures, with a ground layer of travertine pavers over sandstone river pebbles.

Foliage fervour: Bungalow Garden Rooms

17 Jan 2018, Ricky Ray Ricardo

A series of diverse, textural and dynamic “garden rooms” are the result of a close collaboration between architect and landscape architect and celebrate a life lived outdoors.

Project
The shallow pool is part of the original plaza design by Harry Seidler & Associates.

Riverside Centre, Brisbane: Reviving a Seidler icon

21 Dec 2017, Ricky Ray Ricardo

As development pressures intensify in Australian cities, the renovation of the Riverside Centre plaza illustrates how an urban space can be revitalized without the need to sacrifice heritage or cultural identity.

Review
A fire pit designed by Michael Bates in the Snowy Mountains.

The New Australian Garden: Landscapes for living

14 Dec 2017, Howard Tanner

Howard Tanner reviews Michael Bates’ book The New Australian Garden: Landscapes for living.

Review
This photograph at Deepwater in the Northern Tablelands shows a sign that lures tired motorists with the promise of a rest area ahead.

City Limits: The vernacular of welcome signs in regional Australia

1 Dec 2017, Naomi Stead

Anyone who has travelled through regional Australia would understand the importance many towns place on their welcome signs – not just to communicate useful information, but also to establish and project an identity of place.

Review
Robust local timbers will silver over time to reflect the hues of the surrounding eucalypts.

Ebb and flow: Koondrook Wharf

17 Nov 2017, Danielle Jewson

Community engagement, Aboriginal artwork, locally sourced timber and a piece of history have been brought together to create this new wharf in northern Victoria.

Review
The green roof of the Prince Alfred Park Pool, by Neeson Murcutt Architects and Sue Barnsley Design, introduced an endemic planting scheme to this Victorian-period park.

Do not mow: Planting a subtle argument

12 Oct 2017, David Whitworth

The humble native meadow in Sydney’s historic Prince Alfred Park demonstrates that planting design has more to offer than decoration or ecology – it can engage with culture in a powerful way.

Review
Thévenot after Blaeu, 1659, from Abel Tasman, 1642-4. According to Jillian Wallliss, OMA's Australian lecture echoed colonial framings of terra nullius.

The Antipodean limits of a manifesto: OMA and the Australian countryside

10 Oct 2017, Jillian Walliss

Rem Koolhaas and David Gianotten from the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) recently spoke to an audience of more than 700 people at the Melbourne School of Design about their new research direction – the countryside.

Review
The Terrace Courtyard is intended to be jungly, overgrown and not maintained too strongly.

The Shrine courtyards: Provoking imagination

3 Oct 2017, Anne Latreille

Planting design for the courtyards at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne subtly evokes Pacific and South-East Asian theatres of service, sacrifice and peacekeeping.

Review
The Woody Meadow’s structure and character is defined by three layers: base, bump and emergent.

Rambunctious research: Planning the life cycle city

13 Sep 2017, Claire Martin

The Woody Meadow Project seeks to create urban plantings that are diverse and attractive yet require minimal maintenance.

Review
How green is my vision?

How green is my vision?

1 Sep 2017, Michael Wright

The 202020 Vision is an initiative to create “20 percent more green space in Australia’s urban areas by the year 2020.” But the ambitions of the vision, and its claims to success, deserve some serious scrutiny.

Review
At Golden Rock Inn, Dioon edule, Encephalartos and Cycus spp. are planted above a broad expanse of Spartina bakeri.

The Cultivated Wild: Gardens and landscapes by Raymond Jungles

11 Aug 2017, Michael Wright

The Cultivated Wild, published by The Monacelli Press, showcases Jungles’ recent projects, revealing remarkable approaches to design thinking with plants.

Review
Western view from the big house.

Horse Island: A garden of grandeur

25 Jul 2017, Howard Tanner

Trevor and Christina Kennedy have created a significant and substantial garden on their own private island near Bodalla on the South Coast of New South Wales.

Review
Houston Memorial Park occupies the former site of Camp Logan, a WWI training camp.

Responding to the (un)real: Practising in the age of post-truths

28 Jun 2017, Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams reviews the 2017 Landscape Australia Conference, unpacking a subtext that pervaded the day which spoke to the realities of practising in a world where scientific fact, moral standards and due process seemingly carry little weight.

Review
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon stream, designed by SeoAhn Total Landscape.

Restoring calm: Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon stream

5 Jun 2017, Ricky Ray Ricardo

Opened in 2005, the Cheonggyecheon Stream Restoration Project “daylighted” a neglected watercourse in the centre of Seoul that was previously covered over by an elevated highway, and prior to that, was basically an open sewer.

Review
The Jeremy Vine Texture Garden by Matt Keightley with its geometric concrete forms in views framed by dwarf Pinus mugo.

Spring bloom: A postcard from the 2017 Chelsea Garden Show

1 Jun 2017, Howard Tanner

Howard Tanner visits the oldest and most distinguished garden trade show in the world and finds a breathtaking range of design ideas and plant material.

Review
Dutch studio MVRDV has converted a former overpass into a plant-covered walkway in Seoul, South Korea.

Going around in circles: Seoullo 7017

30 May 2017, Ricky Ray Ricardo

MVRDV has converted a former overpass into a plant-covered walkway in Seoul, South Korea. Landscape Australia editor Ricky Ray Ricardo visited the project and penned this postcard.

Review