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Landscape Architecture Australia - May 2018

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LANDSCAPE
ISSUE
158
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE AUSTRALIA
A GARDEN FOR WILD PLAY
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ISSUE 158
006 — Perspective
040 — Bridging the divide
Editor Emily Wong introduces
this issue of Landscape
Architecture Australia.
The Jock Marshall Reserve
Nature Walk on Monash’s
Clayton campus draws a
biodiverse green space into
the heart of the campus.
Review by Ricky Ray Ricardo.
009 — Noticeboard
News and events.
016 — Finding a sense
of place
046 — Teresa Gali-Izard: The
language of landscape
The principal of Barcelonabased studio Arquitectura
Agronomia chats about her
approach to designing with
living systems. Interview
by Liam Mouritz.
Perth’s new Optus Stadium
and surrounding parklands
celebrate Aboriginal
connections to the land.
Review by Tinka Sack.
026 — Home of the Arts
The design for the Gold Coast’s
new HOTA amphitheatre
blends architecture and
landscape. Review by
Alexandra Brown.
052 — Nawarla Gabarnmang
An ancient rock-shelter in
Arnhem Land challenges
prevailing ideas about design
and Aboriginal landscapes.
Essay by Bruno David,
Jean-Jacques Delannoy,
Margaret Katherine, Ray Whear
and Jean-Michel Geneste,
Photos by John Gollings.
034 — Wild Senses
Nature, free play and stories
abound at the Ian Potter
Children’s Wild Play Garden in
Sydney’s Centennial Parklands.
Review by David Welsh.
061 — Vintage valour
Brisbane-based landscape
designer Steven Clegg crafts
verdant gardens with a palette
of old-fashioned plants. Profile
by Margie Fraser.
068 — Call of the
Reed Warbler
A review of Charles
Massy’s recent book, Call
of the Reed Warbler: A new
agriculture, a new earth.
Review by Jock Gilbert.
070 — Kelly Shannon:
Fluid states
The co-founder of OSA
(Research Urbanism and
Architecture) talks about
the agency of landscape.
Interview by Janina Gosseye.
075 — Minister’s Awards
for Urban Design in
Queensland
Presenting the winners and
commendations from the
state’s premier awards for
excellence and innovation
in urban design.
078 — Colony: Frontier Wars
Colony: Australia
1770–1861
A review of two ongoing
exhibitions that explore
Australia’s complex
colonial history and its
accompanying art. Review
by Cassandra Chilton.
Cover image: The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden. Photo: Brett Boardman.
Oicial Magazine Partner
Endorsed by
Strategic International Partners
Landscape Architecture Europe foundation
(LAE), Barcelona International Biennial
of Landscape Architecture, Landscape
Review journal
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 002 — 003
CONTRIBUTORS
Alexandra Brown
Janina Gosseye
Alexandra Brown is an architect
and a senior lecturer within the
Department of Architecture at
Monash University Art, Design
and Architecture.
Janina Gosseye is a postdoctoral
research fellow of the Architecture
Theory Criticism History Research
Centre at the University of
Queensland’s School
of Architecture.
Cassandra Chilton
Cassandra Chilton is a principal at
Rush Wright Associates. She is also a
founding member of the art
collective Hotham Street Ladies.
Bruno David
Bruno David is associate professor at
Monash University and the ARC
Centre of Excellence for Australian
Biodiversity and Heritage. As an
archaeologist he has worked
extensively with Aboriginal groups
especially in northern Australia.
Margie Fraser
Margie Fraser is the Brisbane editor
of Vogue Living, and a writer
specializing in design, art and
architecture. She also promotes
emerging designers through
consultancies and publicity work.
Jock Gilbert
Jock Gilbert is a landscape architect
and an academic in the landscape
architecture program at RMIT
University, where he coordinates the
Design Research Seminar Stream in
the Master of Landscape
Architecture program.
Liam Mouritz
Liam Mouritz is a landscape
architect and graduate of the
Architectural Association’s
Landscape Urbanism program. He
practises at Hassell, collaborates
with Groundlab in London and
teaches at the University of
Western Australia.
Ricky Ray Ricardo
Ricky Ricardo is a writer and
communications manager at TCL in
Melbourne. He is a former editor of
Landscape Architecture Australia
and previously worked as an
editorial assistant at Topos.
Jean-Michel Geneste
Jean-Michel Geneste is a professor
and Conservateur Général du
Patrimoine for the French Ministry
of Culture. He has been curator of
Lascaux for more than twenty years
and led the Chauvet Cave research
team in France.
Tinka Sack
Tinka Sack is director of Tinka Sack
and Associates, Landscape
Architects, and practises in
Western Australia.
Jean-Jacques Delannoy
Jean-Jacques Delannoy is a
professor and geomorphologist with
the ARC Centre of Excellence for
Australian Biodiversity and
Heritage. He is founding director of
EDYTEM, a research organization at
Université Savoie Mont Blanc.
David Welsh
David Welsh is an architect, writer
and co-founder of Welsh and Major,
a Modern-ish architecture, interiors
and masterplanning practice he
established with Chris Major.
Margaret Katherine
Ray Whear
Ray Whear is a consultant to
Aboriginal organizations and has
worked with traditional owners for
over thirty years.
Margaret Katherine is senior
Buyhmi clan Elder and traditional
owner of Nawarla Gabarnmang and
surrounding lands.
EDITOR
EMILY WONG
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FUTURE PATHS
From urban to rural, local to global, this
issue of Landscape Architecture Australia
spans the breadth of the country and
beyond to unearth ideas and projects that
take on twenty-first century conditions. As
incoming editor, I maintain a strong belief
in Landscape Architecture Australia as a
springboard for new and progressive ideas
as well as a forum for engaging with issues of
critical collective importance. I hope the
articles in my first issue demonstrate the
ever-expanding knowledge and deep sense
of stewardship nurtured by those who work
in the landscape profession.
The sharing of knowledge across contexts is
vital to learning and this issue uncovers the
perspectives of several international
practitioners. Liam Mouritz speaks to
Spanish landscape architect Teresa GaliIzard about how context influences our
understanding of landscape mechanics.
Gali-Izard’s firm, Arquitectura Agronomia,
has completed a number of urban-scale
projects across Spain that focus on the
integration of living systems through an
understanding of landscape dynamics and
management (page 46). In addition,
American academic Kelly Shannon shares
her thoughts with Janina Gosseye on the
agency of landscape in tackling pressing
contemporary issues (page 70).
In the context of rising populations, new
technologies and an increasing need for
more green space, we include a review of the
Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden by
Aspect in Sydney’s Centennial Parklands.
David Welsh writes about this garden’s
condensed experiences of nature that set
the stage for all kinds of unstructured play
(page 34). Ricky Ricardo also visits Monash
University’s new Jock Marshall Reserve
Nature Walk by Urban Initiatives, which
bridges physical and mental worlds to
draw an area of ecological value into
fresh focus (page 40).
In this issue, we also visit two more recent
design projects that engage with notions of
collective experience and cultural identity
– Perth’s newly opened Optus Stadium by
Hassell, Cox Architecture and HKS (page
16), and the Home of the Arts Outdoor Stage
by ARM, Topotek 1 and Cusp in Surfers
Paradise (page 26). While different in their
respective approaches, both celebrate their
unique contexts and enrich their urban
locales through increased tourism and
the deepening of cultural identity. The
design of Optus Stadium’s parklands gives
prominence to Indigenous narratives, laying
the foundations for a richer, more complex
understanding of place.
From recent designs to landscapes many
thousands of years in the making, this
issue’s ‘Fieldtrip’ ventures out to the
sublime Arnhem Land site of Nawarla
Gabarnmang. This ancient rock-shelter
prompts a rethinking not only of Western
understandings of the history of the built
environment and Indigenous design, but
also the temporal dimensions of how we
invent and reinvent our surrounds (page 52).
While Australian landscape architects are
less often involved in developing land
management strategies for agricultural
properties, agricultural scientist and farmer
Charles Massy’s book, Call of the Reed
Warbler, presents ideas that can inform a
broader understanding of the land. Massy’s
book calls for an approach to agriculture
Visit us
that reframes production and regeneration
as the one integrated practice. Jock
Gilbert reviews his book on page 68. And
in Melbourne, the arts provides a lens
through which to grapple with past and
present tensions. Cassandra Chilton reflects
on two Colony exhibitions at the NGV that
together explore the fraught and entangled
history of the European presence
in Australia (page 78).
The role of the residential garden and the
atmospheric qualities of tropical foliage are
also considered in a profile on Brisbanebased designer Steven Clegg, whose practice
revives the garden as retreat (page 61).
This issue abounds with interviews, profiles,
essays and reviews that reflect the
complexity and diversity of our evolving
relationship with the land. At a time when
debates around what makes a meaningful
public space are in full swing, we hope this
issue reflects our intention to remain a
platform for critical discourse, expanding
and provoking reflection on how our
practices shape our surrounds, and divining
new and deeper connections to place.
– Emily Wong, Editor
Correction:
The Changing Demographics of Australian Universities
diagram in issue 157 of Landscape Architecture Australia
incorrectly represented the Queensland University of
Technology (QUT) as having offered a Bachelor’s degree
in landscape architecture continuously since 1967.
QUT has offered a Graduate Diploma in Landscape
Architecture from 1967–2009, a Bachelor’s degree
from 1973 to the present, and a Master of Landscape
Architecture from 1990–2009.
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NOTICEBOARD
CASCADES FEMALE FACTORY
COMPETITON WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA)
has launched a gender equity project that will investigate the
participation of women in landscape architecture. The project
has been in development since June 2017 and is being led by
AILA’s board and CEO in collaboration with Parlour and Monash
XYX Lab. The 2017 AILA salary survey found that while there
was equal participation in the profession, men were
overrepresented in high-income roles and there was a full-time
gender pay gap of about $253 per week. The first stage of
the project, to be completed by September 2018, will provide a
research base to inform longer-term action and decision-making.
Photo: Glass Garden by Janet Laurence, Benjamin Huey
—
aila.org.au
DAN PEARSON STUDIO DESIGNS
SHANGHAI PARK AND HOTEL GARDENS
UK landscape designer Dan Pearson, working with
Australia and Asia-based practice Kerry Hill Architects, has
designed the gardens and landscape for the new
Amanyangyun hotel in Shanghai, and an adjoining park.
Featuring more than a thousand heritage camphor trees
recovered from a site marked for flooding near Jiangxi, the
park and hotel gardens form a connected green space amidst
a rising wave of urban development. Each of the buildings in
the Amanyangyun complex has its own garden in addition to
the communal areas.
Photo: courtesy Amanyangyun
—
danpearsonstudio.com / kerryhillarchitects.com
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 008 — 009
NOTICEBOARD
AILA JOINS FIGHT FOR GENDER EQUITY
IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Rush Wright Associates, Liminal Studio and Snøhetta have
won the competition to design the new History and
Interpretation Centre at the Cascades Female Factory Historic
Site in South Hobart. The World Heritage-listed south Hobart
site was built as a distillery in 1823 before being transformed
into a prison for women in 1828. Through contained form,
spatial design and landscape the winning proposal explores
the plight of the more than 6,000 convict women who were
imprisoned there over the nearly thirty year period the prison
was in operation. The winning concept sets up a dialogue
between building and landscape that aims to express the
dichotomous nature of the site’s history.
Image: Brick Visual
—
rushwright.com / liminalstudio.com.au / snohetta.com
NOTICEBOARD
INFRASTRUCTURE AUSTRALIA CALLS
FOR GREATER GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE
IN DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE CITIES
MCGREGOR COXALL’S SHIPWRECK
COAST MASTERPLAN SAILS ONWARDS
A new report by Infrastructure Australia recommends
the Commonwealth Government establish a framework
of incentives to improve the productivity, liveability and
affordability of our largest cities. Based on analysis of a number
of future growth scenarios for Melbourne and Sydney, the Future
Cities: Planning for our growing population paper recommends
the government maintain and enhance green infrastructure
through a combination of taxation, planning incentives and
policy and regulatory reforms. The report has been welcomed by
both the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) and
the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA).
Image: Seb Zurcher
—
infrastructureaustralia.gov.au
The Victorian government has appointed McGregor Coxall
as part of a team to design the first stage of a masterplan to
revitalize a 28-kilometre stretch of Victoria’s world-famous
Great Ocean Road. The project team, led by architects Denton
Corker Marshall, and including McGregor Coxall and Arup,
will design three new facilities along the iconic Shipwreck
Coast: two lookouts – one located at the Twelve Apostles and
another at Loch Ard Gorge – and a pedestrian bridge over Port
Campbell Creek. The “angular and artificial” lookout at the
Twelve Apostles will form a bold counterpoint to the natural
environment while other features will tread lightly on
the landscape.
Image: Denton Corker Marshall, McGregor Coxall and Arup
—
mcgregorcoxall.com
TCL’S DESIGN FOR POINT NEPEAN
NATIONAL PARK UNVEILED
TCL has unveiled a masterplan for Point Nepean National
Park that aims to provide a clear vision for the future of the
site. Situated at the tip of Mornington Peninsula, Point
Nepean holds deep cultural significance as a sacred place to
its traditional owners, a landmark for European settlers,
a gateway for the Australian military and defence, and
most recently in its designation as a national park. TCL’s
masterplan aims to draw attention to the multiplicity of site
narratives, including the stories of its traditional custodians.
Image: John Gollings
—
tcl.net.au
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NOTICEBOARD
Graduate landscape architect
Antonia Besa Lehmann.
01
A perspective of Villa 8 de
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deck in a context of muddy
roads and floods that expands
the notion of public space,
from Lehmann’s thesis.
01
2018 HASSELL TRAVELLING
SCHOLARSHIP WINNER
ANNOUNCED
Antonia Besa Lehmann from the University of Melbourne has
been announced as the winner of the 2018 Hassell Travelling
Scholarship – Robin Edmond Award. The award recognizes
graduating landscape architecture students who show
outstanding potential for future contribution to the
profession. The winner is given the opportunity to expand
their education through travel to a destination undergoing
significant development or renewal.
Lehmann’s thesis, titled Waste Dynamics, explores the agency
of public space design to effect change in the highly-polluted
informal settlements of San Martin, along the Reconquista
River in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the context of UN-Habitat
research that suggests almost a third of the world’s urban
population in developing countries resides in informal
settlements, Lehmann’s thesis proposes a replicable design
methodology, informed by the unseen local behaviours and
movements of these settlements, to build missing connections
with the more formal city.
Antonia’s thesis mapped waste dynamics and services scarcity
in two of San Martin’s informal settlements to develop a series
of practical multi-purpose public space designs that seek to
improve the environmental awareness of these sites, their
political identity within the city, and their relationship to the
greater economic context. Her design proposals aim to expand
the programmatic possibilities of public space, from a
recreation-focused to a more service-oriented and productive
design model – one that responds to the urgent local needs
of waste management and flooding in San Martin, while also
drawing collective problem solving into these shared
community spaces. “Antonia’s design proposal shows how
public space has the capacity to supply the tools and training
for a settlement’s own upgrading process, and provide a vision
for better quality open spaces in vulnerable areas that
normally miss out on public investment,” said Angus Bruce,
principal and head of landscape architecture at Hassell, in
a statement.
Antonia plans to travel to Berlin, Germany, and Barcelona and
Girona in Spain through the scholarship, investigating the
landscape architecture of different contexts that, over time,
have experienced various economic recessions. “My challenge
is to approach design critically, confronting contexts of
scarcity and social inequality,” Antonia says. “I believe that
through an application of the creative process, landscape
architecture can embrace a public role to improve the
conditions of built environments. This means understanding
its socio-political dimension and responding to people’s needs
rather than regulating their behaviour.”
—
hassellstudio.com
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FINDING A
SENSE OF PLACE
A new stadium and expansive parklands along the shores
of Perth’s Swan River distil the essence of their Western
Australian surrounds, ofering multiple opportunities to
engage with narratives of place.
Text Tinka Sack
Photography Peter Bennetts
01
01
Optus Stadium’s bronze
facade references Western
Australia’s unique geology.
PROJECT
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 016 — 017
02
Optus Stadium
Burswood, Western Australia
Hassell, Cox Architecture, HKS
W
hen the Graham Farmer freeway opened in 2000,
it revealed to the citizens of Perth an elevated view
of the Swan River and the river’s edge. The freeway
and its tunnel (colloquially known as the Polly Pipe, after
footy legend Graham “Polly” Farmer) expedited the masses
from the northern suburbs to the south by tunnelling under
the city’s north, crossing over the Swan and landing on a
spongy, open expanse of an oxbow peninsula. The view from
the road revealed to the east the glorious architectural carcass
of the massive East Perth Power Station and to the south,
across the peninsula, an underdeveloped neighbourhood
of leisure – horses, golfers, paddlers, its primary residents.
Despite its proximity to the CBD, the Burswood peninsula,
this low-lying landscape of soft soil and reliable flooding,
had for the most part escaped development.
In 2011, the Barnett government announced the Burswood
Peninsula to be the site of Perth’s long-awaited Stadium. As
early as 2005, a taskforce was established by the then Labor
government to review Perth’s existing three arenas and
confer with major sports codes to define and locate a stadium
for the diverse sporting and entertainment requirements
02
An airy 400-metre tunnel of
white arches follows the curve
of the stadium, guiding visitors
from the bridge landing to the
precinct’s main gate.
of Perth’s future. The recommendation was for one multipurpose stadium with, three possible sites – an area adjacent
to the East Perth Power Station, the existing Subiaco Oval
site, and, almost a footnote in its announcement, the
Burswood peninsula. Burswood was considered the costliest
and most undesirable of the sites for several reasons – its
geotechnical challenges compounded with no existing public
transportation infrastructure, there were few vehicular
access points and the immediate area surrounding lacked
restaurants and bars for both pre and post-game conviviality.
However, with the government’s recognition of the site’s
potential to integrate with future planning, and momentarily
cashed-up through revenue from the resource boom,
Barnett managed to secure the site with a serious financial
commitment to create a purpose-built public transport hub.
This became a crucial obligation with a later decision to axe
game day parking facilities – a concept very foreign to Perth’s
car-loving sensibilities.
Unlike the development at Perth’s other foreshore, Elizabeth
Quay, this landscape move was relatively uncontentious
and greeted with optimism. Notwithstanding any potential
03
A network of walking and
cycling trails weaves through
the site, providing connections
to the river and CBD.
release of toxins and/or acid-sulphates through construction
on this former rubbish tip site, it made good sense to build
at Burswood. Whereas much of Perth’s awakened desire for
density in the last ten years has been about filling in and
going up – we are becoming accustomed to having views
narrowed, ever-present shadows and a newly contained sky –
the largness of this highly modified peninsula accommodated
the scale of a stadium well. Ecologically the development and
subsequent rehabilitation of this well-worn river’s edge is an
environmental win strongly contrasting the mass destruction
of the increasingly rare Kwongan habitat on Perth’s fringe.
As the stadium grew from the Swan River’s banks, the
resource boom subsided, and a Labor government came back
to power. For a much-needed revenue injection, naming rights
were sold, and the newly branded Optus Stadium is now open
for business, hosting the first cricket Bash in January and Ed
Sheeran’s Australian tour debut as the inaugural concert. As
a venue, the stadium building is being tested and reviewed
via social media and, with each subsequent event, the logic
of building Perth’s largest venue without allowing for event
parking comes under greater scrutiny. In this the design of the
forty-one-hectare landscape surrounding the stadium
is the critical link to connecting and servicing the stadium
and helping to modify Perth’s car-centric attitude.
Hassell was the landscape architect for the project from
masterplan to implementation. Even for Perth, the overall
landscape is big and, except for the massive doughnut in
the middle, unencumbered in views with lines of site across
its expanse as well as to the CBD beyond. To the south and
east, the landscape is very much designed to move people
expediently. Unfussy and welcoming, a large forecourt area
is designed to slow and calmly manoeuvre fans between
the site’s two train stations to the main entry gates. This
gentle aesthetic continues along to the southern bus hub and
the newly opened Camfield pub. A pedestrian bridge across
the Swan River, the Matagarup Bridge, is, at the time of
writing, still under construction, but when completed will
provide necessary access to East Perth. A 400-metre arbour
of hyperbolic white ribs flows alongside the stadium, visually
and physically leading fans from the bridge landing, around
the stadium to the main gate’s forecourt on the east. At a
distance the highly reflective arches seem pure folly.
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 018 — 019
PROJECT
03
04
Aboriginal artist Sharyn
Egan’s Waabiny Mia – Play
House (partial view) is a
woven rope structure based
on a numbat tunnel that
encourages free play.
05
The precinct includes a
number of public artworks:
Aboriginal artist Jade
Dolman’s Weitj Noorook –
Discovery Emu Eggs artwork
tells the story of the hatching
of an emu egg.
06
An aim of the design was to
rehabilitate the site (a former
landfill) and address erosion
issues along the river’s edge.
04
Moving through the arches, however, the arbour reveals
an appealing space that is nuanced and refined. Perforated
metal shapes suspended from the well-positioned arches seem
to have taken flight, like pieces of folded paper having caught
a breeze. At the right time of day, this shadow play delightfully
compels one to come along and follow the flock.
The entire site abounds with public art, mostly engaging with
a bit of banal. Sitting within a landscape where the currency
of identity has been pragmatically utilized to help fund
some of the site’s larger landscape components, the greatest
cultural imprint belongs to the Noongar people. While too
often the didactic imperatives in public art and landscape
architecture can be apologetic and trivialized, within this
landscape the Noongar peoples’ narrative is ever present and
proud. Kaya, Kim Scott’s multi-lingual poem etched into
panels on the stadium’s facade, establishes the generous spirit
of the engagement.
Along the river’s softer edge, a parkland with subtle
contours has been created around an existing river-fed
lake, nestling the three-hectare Chevron Parkland. The six
Noongar seasons provide the spiritual scaffolding for the
terrific playground with stories and learning opportunities
embedded sculpturally throughout. The contours create a
rolling landscape of discovery with hundreds of salvaged logs
casually defining spaces and play. In the brief time since its
opening, children have taken full advantage of the lighter
sticks left behind, assembling and reassembling the numerous
lean-tos and mia-mias (temporary shelters) that now dot the
landscape. Whadjuk artist Sharyn Egan’s Waabiny Mia, a
playhouse based on a numbat tunnel, is fantastic as both a
work of art and play structure. This area is dotted with simple
well-designed picnic shelters and barbecues. Here Laurel
Nannup’s modest yet beautiful art pieces, When I Lived In The
Bush and Kulbardi, are inscribed by perforation onto metal
screens that form part of the shelters. This will soon be a wellused and much-loved landscape.
As this visitor has now learnt, it is currently the Noongar
season of Bunuru, described as Perth’s second summer. With
hot easterly winds and sultry nights, one deficiency in the
stadium landscape is made evident. For all its functionality,
the landscape, particularly the more urbane precincts, simply
needs more trees. It is unlikely that the stadium will ever feel
nestled within a landscape, but twelve-metre expanses from
tree to tree alongside paving is too great in Perth’s sun-soaked
world. This aside, Hassell, having actively and successfully
engaged with the stakeholders in a hugely extensive and
complex consultation process necessary in creating public
infrastructure, has delivered a highly useable and often
engaging landscape. The stadium’s siting is good for Perth, with
the river’s re-imagined edge once again becoming a landscape
of connection and exploration.
PROJECT
Optus Stadium
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Hassell
Project team: Anthony Brookfield, Sarah
Gaikhorst, Hannah Galloway, Douglas Pott,
Aysen Jenkins, Hannah Pannell, Nicholas
Pearson, Jill Turpin
ARCHITECTURE
Cox Architecture
HKS
CLIENT
Government of Western Australia
STRUCTURAL AND CIVIL ENGINEERING
BG&E
WA Y F I N D I N G C O N S U LTA N T
Büro North
P U B L I C A R T C O N S U LTA N T
Form
05
TRAFFIC ENGINEER
Arup
ELECTRICAL ENGINEER
Wood and Grieves Engineers
WA S T E C O N S U LTA N T
Encycle
WIND ENGINEER
CPP
L I G H T I N G C O N S U LTA N T
Philips Lighting
BCA / UNIVERSAL ACCES S
C O N S U LTA N T
John Massey Group
HYDRAULIC ENGINEER
SPP Group
TIME SCHEDULE
Design, documentation: 40 months
Construction: 36 months
06
P L A N T L I S T ( PA R T I A L )
Banksia attenuate (candlestick banksia),
Banksia littoralis (swamp banksia),
Casuarina obesa (swamp oak), Eucalyptus
gomphocephala (tuart), Eucalyptus rudis
(flooded gum), Melaleuca preissiana (stout
paperbark), Acacia lasiocarpa (wattle)
Anigozanthos hybrids (kangaroo paw), Atriplex
cinerea (coast saltbush), Banksia nivea
(honeypot dryandra), Beaufortia elegans
(elegant beaufortia), Calothamnus quadrifidus
(one-sided bottlebrush), Eremea pauciflora,
Eremophila glabra (tar bush), Hemiandra
pungens (snakebush), Juncus kraussii (salt
marsh rush), Macrozamia riedlei (zamia palm),
Meeboldina scariosa, Verticordia plumosa
(plumed featherflower), Xanthorrhoea
preissii (balga)
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 020 — 021
PROJECT
A C C E S S / M A I N T E N A N C E C O N S U LTA N T
Altura
BREAKING GROUND
Landscape Architecture Australia spoke with two key members of the
Hassell project team that worked on the Optus Stadium precinct
– Anthony Brookfield (principal landscape architect) and Hannah
Galloway (design and documentation team lead) – about process,
collaboration and collective experience.
Landscape Australia — Could you tell us about the design
concept for the precinct?
LA — Collaboration and consultation has been a significant
part of this project. Who else was involved?
Anthony Brookfield — We wanted to establish a precinctwide approach to the design. It’s very much a city-making
project and we really wanted to emphasize the Western
Australianness of it, and to establish a strong sense of place
and a connection to the natural environment. We also wanted
to embed the scheme with a meaningful Indigenous layer – it
was very important for us to acknowledge that this is Whadjuk
land and a significant site that was used for ceremonies
and burials. We wanted to tell those stories, and convey the
importance of flora, fauna and landscape to Whadjuk culture.
HG — Unusually for a project of this size, Hassell was the lead
consultant within the actual landscape precinct area, which
was nice for a change because then it was a design-driven
process rather than an engineer-driven process. We worked
very collaboratively with the other engineers and specialists,
particularly the civil engineers at BG&E, and Arup, which did
the pedestrian modelling and traffic and access. Geotechnic
was also very important because the site was so degenerated.
There were a lot of user groups as well, who talked about what
they wanted to see from a stadium with a precinct.
LA — How did you approach translating Indigenous
narratives into physical design elements?
LA — It sounds like a lot of effort went into the design process.
AB — Four years.
Hannah Galloway — We worked really closely and
collaboratively with the Whadjuk Working Party – we talked
through every aspect of the design with them. When we were
designing the Chevron Parkland, we wanted to make it clear
to the group that we wanted to represent their culture within
that space. Working with [the party], we selected the six
seasons as a way to express [aspects of] that culture. We looked
at what traditionally in the Whadjuk culture, people would
have been doing at certain times of the year in those seasons,
and we [tried to] create a sense of that space or that element
within the playground, using materiality and planting from
that season. Each season is represented by a play zone.
AB — Elements within the play zone were developed either by
ourselves or in collaboration with Form, which managed the
involvement of the local Indigenous artists.
LA — What are some of the narratives one might experience
on a journey through the site?
AB — [We hope visitors will] start to get a sense of the
Indigenous narrative entering the precinct, not just in the
Chevron Parkland but also passing through the arbour on the
south side of the stadium. There’s also that sense of landscape,
which comes from being in a place that has extreme
infrastructural demands placed on it, in terms of funnelling
60,000 people in and out. We’ve tried to integrate that aspect
of the precinct as much as possible, with as many trees and
as much planting as possible and create lots of respite spaces
from the big stretches of openness – [contrasting] areas of
scale and intimacy. Even in the design of the corrals in the
eastern plaza through which people leave and enter – we
07
A subtly contoured parkland
and three-hectare playground
have been created to the east
of the stadium, around an
existing river-fed lake.
08
The playground references the
six Noongar seasons through
materiality and planting,
with stories and learning
opportunities embedded
throughout.
07
PROJECT
08
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 022 — 023
09
10
09
Noogar artist Tjyllyungoo’s
Kwooyar Boorongur –
Morphing Frog sculptures join
an abundance of public art on
the site.
11
10
The stadium and its
surrounding precinct sit to the
east of Perth’s CBD and are
flanked on three sides by the
Swan River.
didn’t want that to be experienced as if you were just
funnelling sheep. There are lots of different “feels” to the
landscape too – the northern landscape area, which is
about rehabilitation and re-establishing habitat, feels quite
natural, and is very different from the western lake and river,
which is different again from the south side. We’ve tried to
create a sense of richness in [the overall design] as well
as seamlessness.
LA — Were there other narratives you wanted to reference?
HG — The curatorial theme was that we had the sport, the
people and the land. The precinct and parklands became the
land, the podium that the stadium sits upon, which is almost
like a plinth, is the people, and the stadium itself is the sport.
We didn’t necessarily want to move away from those. [We
11
Perforated metal shapes
suspended from the arbour
spine appear as if in flight, like
folded paper swept away
in a breeze.
wanted to make the precinct] about the land and the original
people, the Whadjuk people and the Whadjuk land.
LA — The stadium is a contemporary piece of
infrastructure: Is the use of technology continued
in the design of the landscape?
HG — There is a degree of [technology] in terms of how the
operator wishes to run the stadium. We’ve given them the
structure and ability to do so. There are wayfinding totems
across the site, each of which has wifi, and a large digital
screen. We’ve got service bollards, with communications
and electricity and water, so the operator can run any event
they choose to imagine. We’ve tried to create an adaptable
space for the entire community.
HOME OF
THE ARTS
The Gold Coast’s new outdoor stage cleverly
melds landscape and architecture to provide
a flexible, functional and surprising space
for future gatherings.
—
Text Alexandra Brown
Photography John Gollings
01
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.
PROJECT
01
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 026 — 027
02
Home of the Arts Outdoor Stage
Surfers Paradise, Queensland
ARM Architecture with Topotek 1 and CUSP
I
n February 2018, the Arts Centre Gold Coast became
Home of the Arts (HOTA), launching an ambitious
program for its recently completed amphitheatre project,
the Versatile Outdoor Space (VOS). As the first phase of
the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct masterplan led by ARM
Architecture and Berlin-based Topotek 1, this outdoor
stage underscores the landscape-led ambitions for the
redevelopment of the larger Evandale site. Working with
Brisbane-based landscape practice CUSP, ARM and Topotek
1 have designed a highly adaptable and multi-layered set of
spaces that seeks to draw visitors to the precinct for both
scheduled events and informal gatherings.
Evandale Park is a 17-hectare pocket of parkland that tucks
into the Nerang River on the southern side of Chevron Island.
Until the completion of the proposed green bridge, planned
for 2019, the site remains accessible only from Bundall Road
along its western edge. For now, this makes for a beautifully
drawn-out reveal of the Surfers Paradise skyline that provides
the backdrop for views at the river’s edge – but we’ll return to
this in a moment.
Approaching the stage and concert lawn from the current
gallery and performing arts centre, Voronoi patterns – a
signature ARM design element – dominate the VOS and
its surrounding hard landscaping elements. This cell-like
tessellation is featured throughout the stage’s external and
internal surfaces, as well as in the fabric canopy above. As a
conceptual strategy, the use of Voronoi patterns was a central
component of the 2013 competition-wining precinct concept
designed by ARM and Topotek 1.
In line with this overarching idea, the outdoor stage has
always been shown at the centre of complex cellular landscape
elements stretching between the future art museum and
new performing arts complex. Despite the consistency of
this idea within the broader landscape, the stage structure
itself has moved through a series of major revisions over the
course of the project – most notably in 2015, when the outdoor
performance venue was referred to as “Splash.”
Catching a first glimpse of the project’s carefully crafted
concrete steps and flattened geometric forms from the concert
lawn, I must admit to feeling somewhat relieved to find no
trace of the literal “splash” of water in suspended animation
that had defined the stage’s penultimate form. The realized
VOS retains something of the playfulness of that earlier
iteration, but it also demands to be taken much more seriously
as a live performance venue and as an element within the
landscape.
At a conceptual level, the decision to deploy the Voronoi
cells throughout concrete pathways and along the main
stage walls allows the pattern to be read much more
convincingly as a form of growth emerging from the
site. Rather than succumbing to the Voronoi’s viral-like
02
The flattened geometry of the
amphitheatre and its angular
concrete steps are shaded by
the distinctive fabric canopy
above.
03
The tessellating structure
of the Voronoi pattern that
defines the stage’s surfaces
extends outward into the
broader landscape.
03
The lawn is already inviting as a potential picnic spot as the
weather begins to cool. A selection of cabbage tree palms,
Queensland kauri pines and jacarandas planted around
its perimeter appear well-positioned to provide some more
protected areas on site as they mature. In addition to the
jacarandas, colour is also provided by the pink bougainvillea
already creeping along the outer edges of the stage wall.
Behind this wall, and precisely where one might expect the
stage to completely give way to back-of-house functions, the
project reveals itself as a building and landscape in the round.
As more sweeping views of the towers of Surfers Paradise
come into view toward the river, it also becomes clear that
the core of the stage and theatre spaces have been buried
underneath a landscape comprised of floristic vignettes from
the broader Gold Coast region.
This careful selection of local flora – another aspect of the
project that capitalizes on the collaboration between ARM,
Topotek 1 and CUSP – has been designed to be experienced
not just from surrounding spaces, but also as a mountain
trail. Its northern and southern edges offer entry points via
natural stone steps and paving (unfortunately, the grade here
makes a fully accessible path impossible). While small pockets
of seating have been created along the short climb, the best
views are, of course, reserved for the top of the trail at the
centre of the project.
The terrain moves from more formalized planting and
welcome gardens at its base (succulents to the north, coastal
rainforest species to the south), through to a summit garden of
mountain heath grasses and grass trees. The level of planting
over the theatre is impressive, and has been achieved with the
help of geofoam packing to limit the amount of soil used in
areas where shallow planting depth is required.
The outdoor stage at HOTA is undoubtedly impactful,
reflecting its status as a venue with the capacity to host any
number of ambitious productions and live performances. As a
larger landscape proposition, though, the project also makes
an attempt to operate as a series of adaptable outdoor spaces
that consider and facilitate more casual forms of occupation
and use. The decision to create a permanent landscape over
the main structure is effective as a way of quite literally
grounding the forms of the stage walls. While providing muchneeded protection to the west-facing stage area, the canopy
is perhaps the only element of the design that resolutely
challenges the narrative of the Voronoi pattern as a form of
organic growth. At the moment, it reads as something added,
but I am tempted to wait and see what the establishment of
the hillside landscape might add to the connection between
canopy and stage in the years to come.
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 028 — 029
PROJECT
properties, or registering as a forceful overlay to the existing
landscape, the resultant structure appears more as an
outcrop. In this respect, the project also does a remarkable
job of concealing (or at least downplaying) the significant
pieces of infrastructure and technology that allow it to host
performances for an audience of up to five thousand, a black
box theatre and fully equipped function room while these
spaces are not in use. During these times, the concert lawn
and the river elevation of the outdoor stage are allowed to
claim the spotlight as welcoming – perhaps even surprising –
spaces to sit, walk or explore.
Welcome succulent mix
Welcome tropical mix
Rainforest high mix
Rainforest low mix
Adventure high mix
Adventure low mix
Summit garden mix
Swale mix
Feature plant
Site plan 1:2000
0
20 m
04
To minimize weight on the
dome structure, geofoam
packing was used to replace
soil where only shallow soil
depths were needed. Photo:
Aaron Poupard
05
Vines scale the walls of the
stage structure, using the
outline of the Voronoi pattern
as a frame. Photo: Aaron
Poupard
04
PROJECT
Home of the Arts (HOTA) Outdoor Stage
DESIGN PRACTICE
ARM Architecture with Topotek 1 and CUSP
PROJECT TEAM
ARM Architecture: Aaron Poupard, Conor Todd, Davina
Wilson, Jesse Judd, Kate McKenzie-McHarg, Lachlan
McEwan, Lee Lambrou, Howard Raggatt
Topotek 1: Francesca Venier, Toni Ofenberger, Janka
Paulovics
CUSP: Stephen Pate, Christoph Pester, Luke Lawn,
Reece Wenzel
CLIENT
City of Gold Coast
WAT E R A N D E N V I R O N M E N TA L C O N S U LTA N T S
Biome – Brad Cromley
I R R I G AT I O N D E S I G N
IDA – Rick Freeman, Darren Rowlatt
H O R T I C U LT U R A L C O N S U LTA N T S
Asset – Russ Higginbotham
ENGINEERING
Arup
LIGHTING
Electrolight
PROJECT
T H E AT R E P L A N N I N G
Schuler Shook
ACOUSTICS
Marshall Day Acoustics
TOWN PLANNING
Place Design Group
MANAGING CONTRACTOR
Adco
05
COMPLIANCE
McKenzie Group Consulting
TIME SCHEDULE
Design, documentation: 18 months
Construction: 12 months
P L A N T L I S T ( PA R T I A L )
Succulent Welcome Gardens:
Dracaena draco (dragon blood tree), Aloe species,
Furcraea foetida (false agave), Senecio mandraliscae
(blue chalk sticks)
Subtropical Welcome Gardens:
Heliconia species, Alcantarea species, Strelizia nicolai
(giant white bird of paradise)
Rainforest Garden:
Molineria capitulata (palm grass), Doryanthes palmerii
(giant spear lily), Cordyline species
Adventure Garden:
Xanthorrhoea johnsonii (Johnson’s grass tree),
Casuarina glauca ‘Cousin It,’ Grevillea ‘Golden Lyre,’
Westringia species
Summit Garden:
Xanthorrhoea glauca (grass tree), Themeda species (low
grass), Dianella species (low grass), Lomandra fluviatilis
‘Shara’ (low shrub), Leptospermum ‘Pink cascade’ (low
shrub), Babingtonia virgata (heath myrtle), Banksia
spinulosa ‘Birthday Candles’
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 030 — 031
CONCRETE: THE FOUNDATION
FOR BEAUTIFUL PUBLIC SPACES
Exploring two Queensland projects that demonstrate the
flexibility, durability and permanence of concrete.
01
C
oncrete has many attributes that
make it ideal for use in urban
landscapes – and for projects
outside the city limits. It is strong, durable,
economical and sustainable. But concrete
is more than just functional. It’s a material
that can be shaped and sculpted to express
ideas, to create and define beautiful public
spaces, and to add layers of texture to
urban environments.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs
Australian Age of Dinosaurs is a small
museum designed by Cox Architecture
that sits atop a large mesa outside of
Winton in north-west Queensland.
It houses dinosaur skeletons excavated
from the surrounding plains.
The ochre-toned building is constructed
entirely of tilt-up concrete panels and rusted
iron screens. The concrete walls are
imprinted with the texture and colour of the
mesa, known as The Jump Up, on which it
is built. Concrete was chosen for its thermal
performance, plasticity and ability to
be fabricated on site.
Some of the concrete panels act as
freestanding cantilevers cast into solid mesa
rock. Rock bolts were used to connect these
walls to the base to resist wind pressures.
Through the adoption of these heavy mass
features, the building gives the appearance
of growing out of the earth, both in form, in
which it reads as a fissure, and material (the
red, earth-based concrete).
A state winner of the CCAA Public
Domain Awards, the building was
described by the judges as “an elegant
yet powerful building [that] rises from
the terrain with great subtlety, drawing
upon the landscape qualities from which
the ancient fossils emerge to provide the
purpose for this community-driven
regional museum.
02
01
Designed by Cox Architecture,
the Australian Age of
Dinosaurs museum appears as
a fissure growing out of the
earth. Photo: Christopher
Frederick Jones
02
The concrete walls are
imprinted with the texture and
colour of the mesa the building
sits on – known as The Jump
Up. Photo: Christopher
Frederick Jones
03
The tiered concrete elements
at River Quay read as an
abstraction of tidelines. Photo:
John Gollings
04
04
At Brisbane’s River Quay,
designed by Cardno S.P.L.A.T.
in collaboration with
Arkhefield, the robustness of
the concrete gives the space
strong, defined edges. Photo:
John Gollings
03
“The highly successful use of coloured
and textured concrete panels not only
expresses the plasticity of the material
to emulate natural features and forms,
but also provides the possibility of building
on a remote site with minimal technology
and services.”
River Quay
River Quay is Brisbane’s premier waterfront
dining and recreational precinct, located
in South Bank Parklands. When the site’s
previous amenity – the Boardwalk –
became due for refurbishment, South
Bank Corporation took the opportunity
to completely transform the site.
The result is an innovative, meaningful
space, designed by Cardno S.P.L.A.T. in
collaboration with Arkhefield, that has
reduced the site’s building footprint and
reclaimed prime riverfront space for
public use.
Concrete, in a variety of colours and
textures, is a core component of this
re-energized space. It was cast in situ
for footpaths, retaining walls and tiered
seating while the “river lounge” revetment
ledging was constructed from precast
elements. The robustness of the concrete
gives the space strong, defined edges
and allows visitors to choose from a
variety of seating and viewing levels.
It also provides the ideal forum
for a range of social and cultural
activities. River Quay’s concrete design
elements have also allowed it to fit
seamlessly into the existing landscape,
respecting the site’s history and
improving connectivity.
05
the tiers is effective, creating a special
evening experience that is both welcoming
and relaxing.
For more information:
E info@ccaa.com.au
W www.ccaa.com.au
The project uses concrete efficiently and
with well-resolved details such as the
revetment edge and the tiered elements.
The integration of LED lighting within
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 032 — 033
INSIGHTS
05
River Quay’s concrete design
elements are designed to fit
seamlessly into the existing
landscape. Photo: John
Gollings
01
01
Visitors clamber through the
fantastically twisty timber
treehouse at the Ian Potter
Children’s Wild Play Garden.
02
A balancing bridge entices
children through a series of
imaginative play experiences.
WILD SENSES
A new garden in Sydney’s Centennial Parklands celebrates
learning through nature play, immersing children in habitats
with a roguish sense of adventure.
—
Text David Welsh
Photography Brett Boardman
The Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play Garden
Centennial Parklands, New South Wales
Aspect Studios
“That very night in Max’s room a forest grew and grew and grew
until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world
all around …”
T
he text and illustrations of Maurice Sendak’s Where
the Wild Things Are conjure up pure joy and scariness,
rolled into one messy, muddy ball of delight. Many of
us would like our kids to have more opportunities to safely
enjoy dirt and trees; however, the pressures of city-living are
making it increasingly difficult for children to engage with
nature.
“Nature deficit disorder” has become a genuine issue for our
inner-city and suburban kids. In its 2016 report card, Active
Healthy Kids Australia identified that only 19 percent of
Australian children and young people aged five to seventeen
years met the national daily physical activity guidelines – a
troubling statistic that reinforces what many already know,
that it is becoming harder to get the younger generation
outside and off the screen, let alone out into nature for
unstructured play.
Centennial Parklands was in a great position to make a
real difference to this modern conundrum. It already had a
strong education program to build from, accommodating
12,000 student visits and 20,000 community-based visits
per year. When the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust
started discussions with the Ian Potter Foundation about
the possibility of establishing a purpose-designed children’s
garden in Centennial Park, the circumstances were put in
place for the project’s success. At the time there were no such
facilities anywhere in New South Wales. The Foundation had
already had great success with the Ian Potter Foundation
Children’s Garden in Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens,
where kids are encouraged to learn through active play.
The main idea behind the Ian Potter Children’s Wild Play
Garden is to create opportunities for children to reconnect
with nature at a time when many have rapidly decreasing
access to the outdoors. The Centennial Park Master Plan 2040
established a 6,500-square-metre site for a children’s garden
as part of an education precinct just north of the Parklands’
Fly Casting Pond. An ideas competition was held and was won
by Aspect Studios. Director of Aspect’s Sydney office Sacha
Coles describes the garden as a landscape of water, with a
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 034 — 035
PROJECT
02
03
particular focus on how water moves. Centennial Park,
where water rises to the surface from artesian sources below,
seemed a perfect place to explore this idea.
The water theme provides a narrative spine for the garden as it
runs a topographical line down the natural slope. Around this
the designers have created a series of characters that inhabit
the garden. An endangered ecological community of Eastern
Suburbs Banksia Scrub, the bamboo forest, the turtle mounds,
the dry creek bed, and the swamp are all characters in a story
to discover and explore – as are the structures within. 12,000
plants were deployed in the initial making of the garden, the
success of the its composition comes from the design team’s
care in setting out the placement of each individual plant,
rather than simply applying a series of planting matrices
across the plan.
As you enter the garden via its main eastern gate, the sound of
water soon becomes apparent. At one of the highest locations
the designers have created a “water point”, using large basalt
boulders sourced from quarries at Wee Jasper north of
Canberra. These Frederick Law Olmsted-like stone markers
create a centrepiece for the water narrative, a grotto of sorts
from which water bubbles and flows down through the site.
In discussion Coles fondly recalls the Rocket Park that was
located near the park’s Paddington Gates, named after a
climbable red steel rocket ship that once graced the grounds,
but is now gone. These Cold War playground features once
dotted the world; while loved by many, they have pretty much
all disappeared, at least in urban Australia. That idea of a
strong feature element of play has been reinterpreted in this
garden, with a winding timber treehouse that twists up
through the bamboo forest.Eventually the bamboo will be
higher than the structure itself, transforming the forest into a
three-dimensional maze for scaling, adventuring and
racing through.
Another narrative that weaves its way into the design of the
garden is that of the longfin eel, which lives in the ponds of
Centennial Park. Its shape has been used as inspiration for the
low-level serpentine timber sculptural element that might be
seats or balance beams depending on age and inclination.
The garden has been designed at child scale, and as soon
as you enter the gate there are multiple options to explore.
Tunnels through the bamboo, the watercourse bubbling out
of the rocks or the fig tree that looks like an old man – you can
imagine racing excitedly from one feature to the next, with
another two or three appearing in your field of view. Coles
explains that the way a child might move through the garden
has been prioritized, with every footfall a consideration in
arranging the garden’s composition. So too the sounds that
come with play – the squish of mud underfoot, the rustle of
the leaves or the echo in an underground tunnel – play here
is a multi-sensory experience and the spaces of the Wild Play
garden are geared to amplify sight, sound, texture and smell.
With so much going on in the garden, and so much to learn,
it might have been tempting to overload the garden with
interpretive signage. Thankfully the project team deliberately
looked to the visceral experience of the garden itself to provide
the learning, rather than posts with text and pictures. With
the spaces refreshingly signage-free, the idea of the garden as
a choose-your-own narrative is reinforced.
As the water bubbles away and the kids rumble around, it’s
easy to imagine the benevolent, mischievous spirit of Maurice
Sendak looking smilingly over the rolling hills of Centennial
Park. In the words of King Max: “Let the wild rumpus start!”
03
A bamboo forest replete
with tunnels invites children
to explore, the sounds of
the wind through the leaves
creating an immersive,
multi-sensory experience.
04
Tactile, organic materials and
a “natural” aesethetic provide
a setting for free play.
0
20 m
Site plan 1:1500
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 036 — 037
PROJECT
04
PROJECT
The Ian Potter Children’s Wild
Play Garden
DESIGN PRACTICE
Aspect Studios
PROJECT TEAM
Sacha Coles, Kate Luckraft,
Louise Pearson, Jane Nalder,
Kajsa Bjorne, Thea Harris,
Lachlan Bellach
CLIENT
Botanic Gardens and Centennial
Parklands
ARCHITECTURE
Sam Crawford Architects
CIVIL AND STRUCTURAL
ENGINEERING
Lindsay Dynan Consulting
Engineers
Q UANTIT Y S U RVE YOR
WT Partnership
LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
Design Landscapes
ARTIST
Cave Urban
TREEHOUSE SUPPLIER
Fleetwood Urban
PLAY CERTIFIER
Play DMC
PROJ ECT MANAGER
RPS Group
TIME SCHEDULE
Design, documentation:
26 months
Construction: 12 months
05
05
A “water point” surrounded by
large basalt boulders creates
a centrepiece for the water
narrative of the site.
06
Refreshingly free of signage,
the garden encourages
children to choose their own
narrative as they engage with
the natural environment.
06
P L A N T L I S T ( PA R T I A L )
Dracaena draco (dragon
tree), Aloe plicatilis (fan aloe),
Beaucarnea recurvata (ponytail
palm), Flindersia schottiana
(silver ash), Cyathea cooperi
(tree fern), Banksia integrifolia
(coastal banksia), Banksia
serrata (old man banksia),
Bambusa oldhamii (giant timber
bamboo), Howea forsteriana
(kentia palm), Miscanthus
sinensis (silver grass), Buddleja
davidii (butterfly bush),
Origanum vulgare (oregano),
Rosmarinus officinalis
(rosemary), Juncus usitatus
(common rush), Goodenia humilis
(swamp goodenia), Tristaniopsis
laurina (water gum), Ficus lyrata
(fiddle-leaf fig), Rhapis excelsa
(lady palm), Neoregelia spp.
(bromeliads)
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BRIDGING
THE DIVIDE
A new elevated walk at Monash University’s Clayton
campus draws biodiversity into the heart of student life,
ofering diverse opportunities for research and repose.
—
Text Ricky Ray Ricardo
Photography Drew Echberg
01
PROJECT
01
The muted earthy tones and
winding form of the walk
soften both its visual and
physical presence within the
ecologically significant Jock
Marshall Reserve. Image:
Vantage Drones
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 040 — 041
Jock Marshall Reserve
Nature Walk
Clayton, Victoria
Urban Initiatives
02
I
f you are a close follower of landscape architectural
and architectural media in this country, you may have
noticed that Monash University has been popping up as
client quite a bit in recent years. On the back of an awardwinning masterplan prepared by MGS Architects in 2011, the
university has wasted no time in implementing key projects
in its ambition to transform itself and climb the global
university rankings. Led by registered architect, landscape
architect and urban designer Jocelyn Chiew, Monash’s
manager of Campus Design, Quality and Planning, the
university has been commissioning significant public realm
projects across its two Melbourne campuses, Clayton and
Caulfield, at a phenomenal rate.
Monash University is Australia’s largest university in
terms of student enrolments. Its main campus at Clayton,
in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs, is also relatively
isolated from public transport – students have to bus to the
nearest train station and there are no trams in the vicinity.
Its location makes it difficult to pop home for lunch or to
study between classes, so having an attractive campus
full of amenity is essential in order to attract students in
Australia’s increasingly competitive tertiary education
sector. Cultivating a “sticky campus” (one at which students
dwell between classes) is exactly what universities desire, no
matter their urban or suburban location.
The design brief for the Jock Marshall project came out of a
line drawn on the Clayton Campus Landscape Masterplan
(part of the Clayton Campus Masterplan 2011–2030 by MGS
Architects with Aspect Studios) that connected Blackburn
Road to the campus spine around Jock Marshall Reserve.
Prior to the construction of the bridge, the two sides were
only connected by a goat track down a steep drop from the
road. There was an increasing need for the university to
better connect to the road as a number of new buildings,
including student accommodation, had been developed
on the other side.
“There was actually no project until we did a mid-level plan,”
explains Tim Hart, director at Urban Initiatives. “The midlevel plan identified a whole lot of improvements and the one
that we thought was the most expensive and would never get
up, at least for a long time, was the one that the university
jumped at and somebody said, ‘Yeah, let’s do that.’”
Creating a pedestrian link through Jock Marshall Reserve
was not a simple proposition, as the reserve functions as a
kind of laboratory for the university’s School of Biological
Sciences and has controlled access, with a tall chainmesh
fence circling its perimeter. Established in 1961 by the
Foundation Chair of Zoology and Comparative Physiology,
Professor Alan John “Jock” Marshall (1911–1967), the reserve
is described by the university as “an important resource
for environmental research, education and outreach,”
though it’s clear that it’s in need of some improvements.
Urban Initiatives saw an opportunity to go over the reserve,
02
Crafted from sturdy materials,
including spotted gum and
Corten steel, the bridge
is supported by Y-shaped
steel columns that minimize
disturbance of the ground
plane beneath.
03
The walk hovers above the
reserve, providing visual
access to the habitat
beneath, while connecting
the university campus to
nearby Blackburn Road.
03
In order to minimize disturbance to established trees,
Urban Initiatives used drone surveying to identify the most
appropriate route across the site. It also used drones to locate
suitable dwell points, where people could sit down and enjoy
the view over the reserve’s pond and remnant vegetation.
Robust materials such as spotted gum and Corten steel make
up the material essence of the bridge, which is supported by
Y-shaped steel columns to minimize ground disturbance.
Inspired by the description of the reserve as the “lungs”
of the campus, Urban Initiatives developed a pattern from
human lungs that was then laser-cut into the Corten steel
panels that define the edges of the walkway. While somewhat
macabre in concept – thankfully, you’d never know if you
hadn’t been told – the subtle organic pattern lends texture to
the walk’s surface, creating an interesting play of light.
had to cross, which resulted in a large span being engineered
in such a way that it could be unbolted and lifted away if and
when necessary.
Two breakout points along the walk feature custom-designed
hardwood furniture and provide opportunities for people
to sit and enjoy the reserve’s bushland setting. Clever
consideration of students’ needs has resulted in the design
of handrails on the seating that allow for the resting of
notebooks or iPads – a handy feature for students conducting
field research on the reserve’s ecology. An unexpected
benefit to come out of the project was that researchers could
install infra-red equipment on the underside of the bridge
to monitor nocturnal animal life in the reserve.
While the walk feels incredibly sturdy when you pass over it,
its materiality and winding form soften its presence among
the trees.
The Jock Marshall Reserve Nature Walk is another wellintegrated and considered addition to Monash’s Clayton
Campus landscape portfolio, one that works to bring the
previously tucked away Jock Marshall Reserve into the
everyday life of Monash Clayton, for the benefit of students,
staff and the general public alike.
Due to its proximity to the university’s residential colleges,
much of the walk had to be prefabricated offsite and craned
in for assemblage. A further complication that had to be
overcome was a Melbourne Water easement that the walk
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 042 — 043
PROJECT
as the levels on both sides of what they needed to connect
were essentially the same. Given these site conditions,
an elevated structure made sense. There was some initial
resistance to the concept from the School of Biological
Sciences, but according to Hart, everyone eventually came to
the table on the elevated boardwalk idea.
PROJECT
Jock Marshall Reserve Nature
Walk
DESIGN PRACTICE
Urban Initiatives
PROJECT TEAM
Tim Hart, Dylan Dodds, Wai Kin
Tsui, Kate Heron, Jack Healy
CLIENT
Monash University
STRUCTURAL AND CIVIL
ENGINEERING
John Mullen and Partners
SERVICES ENGINEERING
BCS Building Consulting Services
Aust
PROJ ECT MANAGEMENT
Turner and Townsend Thinc
Site plan 1:1500
0
BUILDER
Ace Contractors
20 m
B U ILDING S U RVE YOR
Red Textas
Q UANTIT Y S U RVE YOR
Currie and Brown
DRONE PHOTOGRAPHY
Vantage Drones
A R B O R I C U LT U R E
Treelogic
SIGNAGE
Arterial Design
D D A C O N S U LTA N T
Architecture and Access
TIME SCHEDULE
Design, documentation:
15 months
Construction: 8 months
04
04
Custom-designed hardwood
seating at key points along
the walk provides vantage
points for visitors to observe
the area’s unique habitat.
05
Abstracted tree trunk fence
panels subtly reference the
biological sciences while
helping to protect the sensitive
ecology of the reserve.
05
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01
TERESA GALI-IZARD:
THE LANGUAGE
OF LANDSCAPE
Teresa Gali-Izard, associate professor at the University of Virginia and
principal of Barcelona-based studio Arquitectura Agronomia, creates work
that seeks to enact the hidden potential of places through the integration
of living systems and an understanding of beauty as process.
—
Interview Liam Mouritz
02
01
The Sant Joan Landfill
Regeneration project,
designed in collaboration
with Batlle i Roig Architects,
created a series of terraces
to facilitate landfill gas
extraction and remediate the
soil through plantings. Photo:
Jordi Surroca
02
Parc de los primeros pasos in
Caracas, Venezuela, designed
in collaboration with Arup,
RSHP and Carolina Acevedo
and Héctor Rangel from FPHC,
is a parking lot transformed
into a park. Photo: Carolina
Acevedo and Héctor Rangel
Teresa Gali-Izard, associate
professor at the University
of Virginia and principal of
Arquitectura Agronomia
INTERVIEW
T
he work of Teresa Gali-Izard embraces the messiness
of landscapes, allowing them to evolve over time
according to environmental and managerial
dynamics. Here, the verb “gardening” and its suggestion of a
gradual tending to a place takes precedence over “landscape
design.” The work of the designer is left simply to the
establishment of a structure of choreographed interventions
from which something resembling a landscape eventually
emerges. Liam Mouritz spoke with Gali-Izard about design as
maintenance and landscape across contexts.
Liam Mouritz — Your projects could be described as
being generated out of conditions of scarcity, both in an
environmental and economic sense. This idea seems very
relevant to Australia, where we are often faced with a dry
climate and less-fertile soils. However, I think we carry with
us the baggage of our colonial past; an attraction toward the
English picturesque and water-intensive landscapes.
Teresa Gali-Izard — In my opinion, there are many histories
of landscape architecture. I come from the Mediterranean
vernacular culture of landscape. This is a landscape system
made up of terraces that can harvest the water and control
the soil – is this landscape or is it landscape architecture?
It is important to understand that my personal context
has nothing to do with the Anglo-Saxon understanding of
landscape. I think we need to start being a bit more precise in
order to send the right message – that landscape architecture
is not about the picturesque. In Thinking Through Landscape
Augustin Berque talks about landscape as either a “gift,”
or as a “product of labour.” I understand landscape as the
latter. In the Mediterranean we are creative people, we lack
resources, which forces us to build something from nothing.
So, in each place, I try to visualize what the potential for
such a place might be, even for places that have no soil or no
water. Right now, I am interested in focusing on these kinds
of landscapes.
LM — Your work showcases roughness, which is refreshing
when compared to many of today’s landscape projects.
I suspect many contemporary landscape projects are
designed specifically around how best to spread an
image across social media. Can you share your own
aesthetic approach?
TGI — My goal is to find a new kind of built environment and
an aesthetic that is able to include the logic of living systems.
I am obsessed with erasing the line. With breaking the line.
With making everything continuous. The way that living
systems work is not through [clear] lines but through
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 046 — 047
03
a continuous transition. I am trying to break the
traditional way that people see nature in cities. This can be
a challenge with my clients. Each time I present a project,
my client doesn’t understand what I am doing, they ask me,
“Why don’t you talk about people?” Instead, I talk about
roots, the conditions of the trees and the shrubs. Our office
is the voice of the other in this built environment. And of
course, this gives me a lot of trouble. Clients don’t want to
know about this complexity in many cases.
Of course, I don’t want to be isolated from the world of
landscape architecture, but I am critical of my peers in this
regard. I hate the idea that we are using living creatures
as objects. Often [such ideas] are the products of the
images [that we produce]. So instead I [prefer to] draw the
architecture of trees.
To convince clients of the value of living systems is a big
challenge. Perhaps the solution is to have amazing gardeners.
To redefine the figure of the gardener. I am very interested
in management and maintenance. The problem with some
projects is that there is no gardener. My entry for the Valencia
Central Park competition presents my ideal scenario for
this. This is a park that has no form. It has some rules that
are related to maintenance and would be implemented by a
group of gardeners. I would love to be the director of a park
like this, to implement an adaptive management practice
over a period of twenty years – managing all the machines
and resources in a creative way.
My approach follows rule-based systems, which gives rise
to many possible forms. I think that parametric systems of
design are the next step in our field. Parametric design is for
landscape architecture, not for architecture. It is not about
the creation of form, but about relationships. It’s a diagram
that helps us to balance and manage the resources or lack of
resources. It’s like a game. I am more interested in designing
games, relationships and management of resources than
I am in designing places. This is the direction that I think
landscape architecture should go. But this implies a totally
new way of understanding the profession. It is far away from
architecture and closer to ecology, resource management
or agriculture.
LM — How do you see the role of collaboration in your work?
TGI — Collaboration can be very powerful if a real
conversation is had. I think you need a leader who is
03
Working with architect Lola
Domènech, Arquitectura
Agronomia transformed a
sidewalk in Barcelona with a
permeable paving of concrete
and grass. Photo: José Hevia
04
04
Felipe VI Park, designed in
collaboration with Ábalos
and Sentkiewicz Architects,
is a park on the rooftop of a
train station in Logrono. The
density of the shrub plantings
increases relative to the slope
gradient, acting as a form
of erosion control. Photo:
José Hevia
05
A formless park: Arquitectura
Agronomia’s entry for the
Valencia Central Park design
competition, held in 2010,
was conceived as a series of
rules and relationships. Image:
Arquitectura Agronomia
INTERVIEW
05
generous, curious, will take risks and has an open vision.
The problem with architects as project leaders is that often
they will fix onto an image very quickly, which will stay there
forever. We work in a totally different way. We give space
to the logics of the living; the ecological dynamics and as a
result, you never know where you are going to end up.
LM — Can you tell us about some of your influences?
TGI — Jacques Simon has been my mentor. He was a hyperproductive person, always drawing and coming up with
ideas. He is not very well known, but has influenced many
European landscape architects including Michel Corajoud
and Alexandre Chemetoff. He was very provocative,
working with farmers and students, playing with the snow
and the wind. He was deeply involved in this very intense
relationship with the living. He has been a big inspiration for
me, but was much more of an artist whereas I am more of an
engineer. I try to be a bit more rigorous, bring a bit more of a
scientific approach to my projects. I have also been inspired
by Francis Hallé, a French biologist. He has a book, In Praise
of Plants, which features amazing drawings of plants.
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 048 — 049
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25 October, The Mint,
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NAWARLA
GABARNMANG
A spectacular rock-shelter in Arnhem Land, in
Australia’s far north, questions assumptions about
the nature of design, provoking reflection on the
boundaries between the natural and the built.
—
Text Bruno David, Jean-Jacques Delannoy,
Margaret Katherine, Ray Whear, Jean-Michel Geneste
Photography John Gollings
FIELD TRIP
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 052 — 053
FIELD TRIP
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 054 — 055
E
arly on the morning of 7 July 2006, at the height of
the northern Australian dry season, helicopter pilot
Chris Morgan and former cultural and environment
manager of the Jawoyn Association Ray Whear were on a
routine aerial survey of the western Arnhem Land plateau
for the Jawoyn people in the Northern Territory’s Top End
when they flew across a dark shadow along a long quartzite
outcrop just east of the border with Kakadu National Park.
They turned the helicopter around and landed nearby to
investigate, walking into an incredible art gallery under
a horizontal rock roof perched two metres above the
surrounding plains. Unlike the more familiar rock-shelters
that litter Arnhem Land’s “stone country,” this cathedrallike edifice had its roof held aloft by dozens of vertical rock
pillars. How did the site, presumably a geological feature in
which people once lived and painted, come about and how
are we to think of such a rock structure richly decorated with
Aboriginal works of art?
Whear immediately reported the site to the Aboriginal
community for whom he worked and notified Margaret
Katherine, a senior Elder of the Buyhmi clan and traditional
owner of the area that houses the site. Within a few weeks,
Whear and Morgan flew to the remote western Arnhem
Land community of Kabulwarnamo to report the finding
to highly regarded artist and culture man the late Bardayal
Nadjamerrek (“Lofty”), also respectfully known as Wamud
Namok. They flew him to the site, where he recalled having
camped as a young boy with his father back in the 1930s, as
they traversed the plateau on foot from the north to Jawoyn
Country in the south. Both then and now, the floor of the
site was littered with slabs of quartzite rock, each some
forty centimetres long by twenty centimetres wide and ten
centimetres thick. Those rocks had originally come from
the ceiling and had been shaped by flaking the edges; they
were “pillows” that the old people had put there to rest upon,
remembered Lofty. The old people had called this place
Nawarla Gabarnmang, he said, meaning “hole” or more
precisely “cleft in the rock.”
It would be easy to think of Nawarla Gabarnmang as a natural
double-ended cave where people lived, a geological stage on
which cultural activities took place. But there is another, more
appropriate way to approach the site.
Let us begin by stepping back deep in geological time. Some
1,700 million years ago, sands were laid down in what was
then a shallow marine environment. The sand became deeply
buried in accumulated sediments and over time the seas
receded. Over millions of years, strong forces of compaction
bound the sand particles and surrounding finer sediments
together, forming sandstone and in due course harder
quartzites. But the weight of the thick rock mantle created
hairline fractures through which water slowly ate away at
the rock. Along those fissure lines, still buried underground
below the water table, the soft, weathered sediments grew
as the millions of years unfolded. Eventually the rock rose
above ground, allowing flowing water to slowly wash away
the weathered quartzite that had turned back to sandstone
and then to sand. Vertical cavities were left behind where the
fissure lines once ran, separated by the remnant rock that
now featured as pillars. The largely untouched ceiling is made
up of the exposed rock layers that lay above the once-buried
weathered horizon.
Originally the rock pillars were not widely spaced. They were
typically about one metre apart. We know this because this
is how they are found in other parts of the site that people
did not frequent. We can also see where missing pillars once
stood, for their very tops remain adhered to the ceiling and
their bases have survived on the floor in those parts of the site
where the pillars are now more widely spaced. In some areas,
pillars are now eight metres apart where once they stood side
by side.
This is where Nawarla Gabarnmang’s story takes an
unexpected turn, causing archaeologists to rethink how we
have come to view caves and rock-shelters, along with the
broader landscapes in which they sit.
Fifty thousand years ago, Aboriginal people started to camp
at the site, first at the edge and then gradually further within.
Living amid the pillars was not possible at first, for they were
too closely spaced. But sometime between 35,000 and 23,000
About 11,000 years ago the toppling of pillars ceased. We know
this through the archaeological excavations that revealed
parts of collapsed and dismantled pillars. Carbon dates on
charcoal near the buried pillar fragments enabled us to date
individual events, relating both to the shaping of the site
and to the making of artworks. Sometimes paint drops had
fallen from the ceiling as wet paint was applied to the rock,
those paint drops having dried on the old, sandy ground
FIELD TRIP
years ago – the exact timing is uncertain as more research
is required – individual pillars began to be toppled. This
required planned, structured dismantling, for the weight of
the roof would not allow the rock pillars to be simply pushed
aside. First, the pillars’ top layer was flaked away or, in some
cases, vertically sectioned and removed as a block, all with
stone tools, creating a space between pillar and ceiling.
That space then allowed the pillars to be pushed aside and
dismantled piece by piece. The overlying ceiling now lacked
local support, so individual layers of ceiling rock began to
collapse. Where pillars had gone, the ceiling level was now
higher than in surrounding areas. The individual toppled
pillar fragments and ceiling slabs were flaked into typically
forty-centimetre-long pieces and carried away to the shelter’s
outer edges, so that today hundreds if not thousands of
regularly shaped tabular blocks abound at the rock-shelter’s
northern and southern entrances. A few of those tabular
pieces were left on the shelter floor and moved around. They
each show signs of use, sometimes from the grinding of ochre
to make paints in shades of white, red, pink, yellow and black.
Others were used as anvils to rest higher-quality stone for
the flaking of stone tools. It is these tabular pieces remaining
on the shelter floor that local Aboriginal Elders refer to as
“pillows,” demarcating where in the past people rested.
The extant pillar walls and ceiling rock surfaces are heavily
decorated with paintings, so much so that in some places more
than thirty layers of paint have been identified, motif over
motif in a time sequence that represents centuries of changing
styles. And how are we to think of the accumulated slabs at
the shelter’s northern and southern entrances: rejected debris
to clear the site or a cache of useable tools and furniture? In
some cases, slabs were overlaid in multiple tiers to make stools
for artists to stand on when painting the ceiling.
surface that was then covered with accumulating windblown
sediments and ash and charcoal from nearby fireplaces. That
charcoal again enabled us to carbon date the painting events
now marked underground by the drops of paint that fell as the
artists plied their trade.
Nawarla Gabarnmang is a spectacular site, one of the world’s
great archaeological rock-shelters. Yet it is more than this. The
stone workings – the systematic dismantling of the pillars, the
removal of blocks to create more open spaces, their strategic
disposal at both site entrances and the decoration of the
remaining pillar walls and ceiling – all speak not of a natural
cave but of an engineered and furnished architectural space.
People engaged with the site as a built landscape. Nawarla
Gabarnmang has been culturally designed and redesigned
through some two thousand generations of social and cultural
engagement with both the rock matrix and the spaces in
between; people shaped the rock as they lived and engaged
with it. Only here it concerns a deep rock-shelter, a structure
that has traditionally been thought of more as a natural
feature of the environment than as culturally built. We don’t
tend to think of such Indigenous landscapes as engineered
or architectural or even as furnished. Nawarla Gabarnmang
challenges us to rethink these supposed natural dimensions
of the lived world.
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 056 — 057
DELIVERING
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plus comment on the issues of the day.
landscapeaustralia.com
Endorsed by:
Image:
Monash University Earth Sciences Garden
by Rush\Wright Associates.
Photo: Michael Wright.
01
PROFILE
VINTAGE VALOUR
Over the past two decades of his practice, Brisbane-based
landscape designer Steven Clegg has evolved a suite of
gardens that evoke a sense of the eternal and reflect his
unwavering fascination with the flora of times past.
—
Text Margie Fraser
01
Native shrubs, grasses and
sculptural forms coalesce
in the richly textured rear
garden at Bligh Graham
Architects’ Chelmer House.
Photo: Scott Burrows
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 060 — 061
Landscape designer Steven
Clegg, principal of Steven
Clegg Design. Photo courtesy
Steven Clegg Design.
L
ike any true gardener, Steven Clegg’s knowledge
and love of plants is deeply rooted in the soils and
landscapes of his childhood. He recalls with fondness
tinkering in his grandmother’s garden in the countryside
of south-east Queensland as a young boy, digging around
the flowers and fruits, the roses and hydrangeas, and
purchasing seedlings wrapped in damp newspaper.
A vegetable patch was par for the course for him as a
teenager, and at home he took over the family garden
and became an industrious potter of plants, seeking his
goods at far-flung nurseries and garden shows.
“You can’t be a landscape designer unless you get your hands
dirty,” he says, as he is about to celebrate the twenty-sixth
anniversary of his successful design practice. He has had a
predilection for “old-fashioned plants” since the days of his
grandmother’s garden, and there are regular escapades to
nurseries that stock “old-fashioned gems” rather than fashiondriven stock.
After studying horticulture, Clegg supervised a large
production nursery before spending a decade in retail. His
own business, Gardenesque, became a darling of the Brisbane
design set, providing a cornucopia of furnishings, sculptures
and pot plants in deliciously styled outdoor settings. “The
shop developed a lovely client base,” says Clegg, “and from
there I decided to concentrate on residential design rather
than retail.”
Commercial work has never appealed, lacking the intense
personal interaction he values so much with clients and
the direct contact with architects and architecture. “I love
working with architects from early on in a project,” he says.
“The earlier a client brings you in the better it is. The
buildings and the garden are evolving things – nothing
is ever static with a garden.”
Clegg collaborated closely with both architect and client
in Donovan Hill’s Z House in riverside Teneriffe. Timothy
Hill, director of Donovan Hill at the time, shared his vision
of a house lost in and engulfed by verdant foliage. The idea
merged well with Clegg’s philosophy of creating gardens that
“feel as if they were always there,” and the exterior form now
disintegrates beneath native wisteria, orange trumpet vines
and thunbergia. The front entry tracks under a thatch of
wildly crisscrossing Timor black bamboo.
“Timothy wanted to emulate the large hoop and kauri pines
that stand sentinel on hills around Brisbane’s older suburbs.”
Thus a tall kauri pine (Agathis australis) announces the
presence of the building on the street corner, an appropriate
rival to the tall roof frame of the entry. An interior courtyard is
the home’s soul-enriching hero piece, in which lipstick plants
burst from hanging baskets and a quirky pineapple or two
protrude from a riot of rainforest creepers. Light is reflected
and bounced around the space through carefully placed
clerestories and tiled walls. Above, a roof garden is an everchanging landscape of sculpted cairns.
“We love revisiting our work and watching things grow
and change,” says Clegg. Many clients enjoy the process
of maintenance and further discussion and design
modifications. “Not everything always works – a garden is
unpredictable and we love to be able to change things as
needed.”
02
A thickly vegetated interior
courtyard featuring rainforest
creepers, hanging baskets
and pineapples forms the
central focus of Z House.
Photo: Colin Hockey
03
Collaborating with architect
Donovan Hill, Clegg engulfed
the spaces of Z House in lush
foliage, creating a garden
with an immediate sense
of establishment. Photo:
Colin Hockey
03
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 062 — 063
PROFILE
02
04
Tussock-like mounds of zoysia
mix with clumps of walking iris
and lomandra where Chelmer
House’s rear deck opens onto
the landscape. Photo: Scott
Burrows
05
Clegg’s design “blurs the
boundaries” of the perimeter
at Melissa and Jayson Blight’s
Aperture House, reinforcing
the rambling nature of the
garden. Photo: Colin Hockey
06
Behind its more traditional
facade, Aperture House
unfolds into an inviting garden
that opens to a generous
expanse of sky. Photo: Colin
Hockey
04
In Chelmer House, a historic Queenslander has a
beautifully modulated extension at the rear that meets the
garden and brings it inside. Bligh Graham Architects has
provided peel-away apertures and low-level decks at the site’s
perimeter. While the front garden is a formal arrangement of
box hedges, flowering shrubs and aged camphor laurels, the
client requested much less predictability in the rear garden,
which spills directly from the new, open spaces. Here a mix
of native shrubs, grasses and spiky old favourites expresses
Clegg’s delight in and understanding of textures. Tussocklike mounds of zoysia mix with clumps of walking iris and
lomandra, punctuated by an unruly bottlebrush and a swathe
of mother-in-law’s tongues.
Aperture House similarly boasts a prim historic frontispiece
that explodes into vaulting light wells and indoor/outdoor
spaces beyond. Jayson and Melissa Blight (of Blight Rayner
and Twofold Studio respectively) designed their own home
with much attention to the gardens and materials of the local
neighbourhood. With ledges and plinths already shaped from
historic bricks in the garden, Clegg went about “blurring the
boundaries” of the perimeter and reinforcing the rambling
nature of a garden that would have once existed there. “We
enjoyed pulling out the lovely colours of the bricks in the
foliage, and rethinking plants like crucifix orchids and crepe
myrtles.” The eye is immediately drawn to the garden from
within, an inviting destination that continues the broadening
horizon from a compressed entry to a generous expanse of sky.
Considering the exterior view from within is a starting point
for most of Clegg’s work. Increasingly, small lots require deft
borrowings of landscapes and carefully composed vistas
from interiors. Studio for Indigo Jungle sits in a surprisingly
suburban context, given that it appears to be surrounded
by dense rainforest. The vista from the main house to the
neighbouring studio (designed by Marc and Co for interior
stylist Indigo Jungle) is alluring. A winding garden staircase
of long concrete slabs meanders through the forest towards
the giant A-frame aperture, only partly revealing it at any one
point. Concrete pipes are used as oversized planters along the
way and the palm forest is densely underplanted so that the
white studio is striking within an essay of green-on-green.
Creating a meandering entry path where none existed before
was a ploy in the garden of Little Cove House in Noosa by
Teeland Architects. A giant paperbark, a winding path
underneath and a seat for resting and discarding shoes
mitigated the severity of a flat front yard with a front door
directly exposed to the street. The bromeliads that populate
the space beneath the paperbark evoke the gardens of the
local streetscapes that were first established in the 1960s.
“The bromeliads truly come to life when the paperbark starts
shedding,” says Clegg. “The dappled colours are so vibrant.”
A central courtyard within the house is sprinkled with large
rusting spun steel balls filled with orchids.
While Clegg is looking forward to expanding the design
team and collaborating more with architects in the future,
the journey to revive and celebrate old-fashioned plants
continues. “There are so many proven tough plants that
the industry has forgotten,” he says, listing, among others,
the enduring qualities of walking iris (Neomarcia) and the
groundcover Peperomia. His grandmother would be proud.
06
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 064 — 065
PROFILE
05
07
A winding staircase of
concrete slabs meanders
up through a garden forest
to Studio for Indigo Jungle.
Photo: Colin Hockey
07
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 066 — 067
Call of the Reed Warbler:
A new agriculture, a new earth
—
Text Jock Gilbert
REVIEW
… nature is our creation and we shall
dominate and subjugate it, for that is our
divine destiny. We relinquished integration
when we found consciousness and in
rejection we move to disintegration.1
The relationship between humanity and
the external world is examined and found
wanting in Charles Massy’s Call of the
Reed Warbler, a powerful book examining
Australian landscape conditions.
Exhaustive, scholarly, eminently readable
and deeply personal, the book positions
the concept of landscape inextricably
within that relationship. An agricultural
scientist and farmer, Massy also situates
the discipline of landscape architecture
within this relationship, in part through an
examination of the work and influence of
pioneering landscape architect and writer
Ian McHarg.
The title, Call of the Reed Warbler, refers
to the return of a native bird species to a
portion of regenerated farmland on the
property of a neighbour. It is a beautiful
metaphor for what is made possible by
innovative thinking.
There are too many conceptual threads
coursing through this book to be able to
do justice to all in a review such as this –
suffice perhaps to say that the threads are
adroitly handled to construct a subversive
narrative that weaves the Anthropocene,
industrial agriculture, neoliberal
capitalism and landscape concerns
together through the idea of regeneration.
Regeneration, then, is the central concern
of the book. Massy acknowledges the
damage perpetrated in the name of
capitalist approaches to food production
and landscape management and accepts as
almost inevitable the fact that our capitalist
system of agricultural production has
resulted in this damage. As an insider to
the system he is well qualified to do so and
this acknowledgement does not become
nostalgic in any way.
Rather than call for an abandonment
of the system (of grazing agriculture),
however, he posits that the answer lies
in finding innovative (and subversive)
approaches to working within the system.
The book offers a critique of sustainability
discourse and other approaches, which
Massy rightly suggests merely contribute
to the maintenance of the status quo. It
lays out instead a manifesto for change
through the “instrumentalization” of
the system of production, an approach
that seeks to remake the connections
between landscape and people, primarily
through the soil/food relationship. For
Massy, regeneration springs from an
alternative approach to the system of
production – one in which production
is afforded (and assumes) the status
of (landscape) management. Through
this conceptualization, an alternative
approach is offered. Regeneration frames
the approach, so that notions of repair and
sustainability are correctly positioned
as being external, ameliorative gestures
doomed to inconsequence.
Massy argues passionately that the postEnlightenment “Mechanical mind” and
its inherent assumption of dominion, have
underpinned agricultural practices (and
hence landscape management practices)
in Australia since colonization. In arguing
for a shift away from this thinking and
towards what he terms the “post-ancient
Organic mind – the Emergent mind,”
Massy makes a cogent argument for a
relational approach to landscape through
truly innovative thinking. Innovation,
he argues, is precipitated through the
necessity produced by dire circumstances
and he provides a vivid and disturbing
vision of the Australian landscape in such
circumstances. Examples of innovative
thinking are drawn from landscape
architects such as Ian McHarg as well as
from poets, nature writers, ecologists,
nutritionists, farmers, scientists,
consultants, population health experts
and Indigenous knowledge holders – none
of whom have accepted or followed the
orthodoxies of industrial agriculture or
nature/humanity landscape binaries and
all of whom have allowed imagination to
direct their thinking. Largely underpinned
by stories of personal transformation
(including that of the author), each is
implicated in a sensuous individual
landscape experience.
The book can be seen as continuing a
lineage of recent Australian landscape
writing and thinking which has most
recently included the work of Bruce
Pascoe2 and Bill Gammage3. Indeed, this
book might be seen as an active manifesto
in the light of Gammage and Pascoe’s
portrayal of what has been lost since 1788
– a loss that for Gammage signified “A
majestic achievement ended … [which]
for the people of 1788 … was stupefying.”
Gammage concludes his book, The Biggest
Estate on Earth: How Aborigines made
Australia, with the injunction: “We have
a continent to learn. If we are to survive,
let alone feel at home, we must begin to
understand our country. If we succeed, one
day we might become Australian.”4
Charles Massy too has provided us with a
call to action – a manifesto that reinforces
both the necessity of understanding
this country on its own terms and the
disturbing extent to which so much
remains unknown. The tools for this
understanding lie, for Massy, in an
approach to practice – an approach that
must itself be regenerative. It is a book that
demands to be read by landscape architects
on these terms.
Call of the Reed Warbler: A new agriculture,
a new earth. Charles Massy, UQP, 2017, RRP
AUD $39.95.
1. Ian Mcharg, Design with Nature, 1971. Quoted by Charles
Massy
2. Bruce Pascoe, Dark Emu: Black Seeds: Agriculture or
Accident? 2014. Pascoe argues cogently and readably that
Indigenous people developed reliable and ongoing food
production systems in Australia and have practised these
for thousands of years
3. Bill Gammage, The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines
made Australia, 2012.
4. Bill Gammage, The Biggest Estate on Earth4
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ON LANDSCAPE
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 068 — 069
01
KELLY SHANNON:
FLUID STATES
Kelly Shannon’s work is concerned with the evolving
relationship between landscape, infrastructure and
urbanization. Prior to her visit to Brisbane in March to speak
at the Asia Pacific Architecture Forum, Shannon spoke with
Janina Gosseye about cross-cultural practice, climate
change and the recovery of the public realm.
—
Interview Janina Gosseye
01
The Mekong Delta Region
Plan 2030, Vision to 2050,
prepared by RUA, M. Waibel,
E. Heikkila and T. Collier,
in collaboration with the
Southern Institute of Strategic
Planning, proposes a strategy
for the Mekong Delta region
that includes combining
solar energy with intensive
agriculture. Image: OSA
Kelly Shannon, part of the
academic-based research
oice OSA, based at the
University of Leuven, Belgium.
INTERVIEW
elly Shannon is an academic currently based at the
University of Leuven in Belgium, where she is part
of the OSA (Research Urbanism and Architecture)
research group. In her work, Shannon tackles contemporary
design challenges at both urban and territorial scales. Her
projects include the masterplan revision for Cantho and
(most recently) a comprehensive plan outlining a future
vision for the Mekong Delta Region – both plans have been
formally approved by the Vietnamese prime minister.
Shannon was the editor of the Journal of Landscape
Architecture (JoLA) from 2010 to 2015.
K
By the end of the 1980s, when I left the United States having
completed my architecture education, the city was merely
a playground for private developers, and architects were
destined to design envelopes for mediocre real estate. The
hallmarks of what Richard Marshall (the Australian urbanist)
decades later would label “absent urbanism” were there
already: the deliberate construction of city form without
coherent morphology and with no attempt to foster a social
sphere or public realm. Meanwhile in Europe, strategic
projects emerged that involved urbanists and landscape
architects from the get-go.
Janina Gosseye — You were trained as an architect and
have practised in some of the most renowned architectural
offices worldwide, including Mitchell Giurgola Architects
in New York and Renzo Piano in Genoa. Over the years,
however, your focus has shifted away from architecture
toward urbanism and landscape architecture. This shift
was paralleled by a move into academia. What informed
this reorientation of your career?
As the European welfare state endeavoured to enhance the
interplay of infrastructure, landscape and urbanism, engaged
designers coupled with political will created a paradigm shift
in the development of the built environment. New strategies
emerged where sites themselves – not financing or program –
became the controlling instrument of the interface between
culture and nature. The reorientation toward urbanism and
landscape was thus clear and inevitable for me. In relation
to my “shift” into academia, I should note that I continue to
champion the involvement of nationally and internationally
acclaimed design practices in my research, as I seek to break
the more conventional academic modes of design research in
architecture schools.
Kelly Shannon — In today’s urban world, urbanism and
landscape architecture are the most effective tools to
intervene in the territory and public realm – this is why I
engaged with these disciplines.
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 070 — 071
04
02
02
The Mekong Delta Region
Plan proposes incorporating
medium-rise high-density
settlements with areas of
intensive agriculture.
Image: OSA
03
Aquaculture, mangroves, and
floating typologies depicted in
the Mekong Delta Region Plan.
Image: OSA
03
JG — You are an American living in Europe whose work
(mainly) focuses on Asia. How do these three contexts
compare, and how do they inform your work?
KS — The European welfare state fosters, more than
anywhere else, investment in the public realm. Of course,
degrees of investment fluctuate with politics, and the current
populist wave is worrying. Nonetheless, there have been
millennia of political will to create a truly civic society,
and urbanism and landscape architecture have thrived
in such conditions. For me personally, Europe is the most
inspiring environment to live in. At the same time, the scale,
speed and scope of development in Asia is mind-boggling.
Here, one can immediately recognize that urbanism and
landscape architecture can still have a tremendously
large and meaningful impact: with landscape serving as a
framework indicating where to urbanize and to not urbanize.
Furthermore, the determined social engineering in Asian
socialist/communist regimes assigns a very different role to
the contemporary urbanist. Once they become convinced
of projects, they possess significant power to impose
structuring elements on vast territories. Their traditions of
04
The Cantho Master Plan,
prepared by RUA, WIT and
Latitude in collaboration
with the Southern Institute of
Strategic Planning, (approved
2013) proposes high, dry safe
urban islands in a sea of rice
and orchards. Image: OSA/
WIT/Latitude
05
A series of images depicting
program hybridization from
the Hiep Phuoc Urban Port
Competition entry by OSA:
KU Leuven/WIT/PROAP
in collaboration with the
National Institute of Urban
and Rural Planning in Hanoi. Image: OSA/WIT/Proap
06
Cantho Master Plan: a “civic
spine” imbued with identity
through the design of microtopographies and planting.
Image: OSA/WIT/Latitude
urbanism have been founded upon an unequivocal belief in
planning, which resulted in radical spatial (re)configurations
of the territory – spanning centuries from the organized
development of irrigation systems to the present-day practice
of forming new industrial zones and export processing zones
on productive paddy land. Working in Asia allows one to
consider the most basic relationships of nature/culture and
built/unbuilt.
JG — You are a fan of Canadian author and social activist
Naomi Klein’s writing and see a role for urbanism and
landscape architecture in addressing climate change.
How effective do you think these disciplines can be in
addressing this problem if the political support does
not exist?
KS — In today’s era of the Anthropocene, humankind
is poised as heir to a triumphant age of apparent mastery
over nature. Yet, the opposite proves true as stratospheric ozone depletion, ocean acidification, and more
frequent and more severe environmental disasters
evince. Jedediah Purdy, an environmental lawyer,
05
06
INTERVIEW
has claimed that humanity has outstripped geology,
while numerous social and environmental activists
and scientists, including Naomi Klein, have argued
that the myths of international policy, money and
innovative technology as saviours must be debunked.
As humanity has transformed, dependence on nature
has been progressively minimalized, and we are
becoming increasingly aware that consequences can
be catastrophic. Surprisingly, urbanism and landscape
architecture have largely been absent from this climate
change discourse. These disciplines could, however,
adopt a central role in defining a new paradigm involving
the most fundamental principles of inhabiting the planet
through bold regionally scaled projects that address
natural, as well as human and political, ecosystems.
As climate change is now strongly influencing policy
matters worldwide, I am convinced that pressure for
such regional plans willmount as leaders seek solutions
to shift toward more efficient farming, reducing
extraction and developing renewables, increasing
forest cover and green in urban areas, and mitigating
pollution, the heat island effect and sea level rise.
JG — Of all the projects that you have worked on, which
one are you most fond/proud of and why?
KS — The Mekong Delta Region Plan 2030, Vision to 2050
was a three-year effort where my colleague Bruno De Meulder
and I led an international consulting team to work with the
Southern Institute of Strategic Planning (SISP) based in Ho Chi
Minh City. The plan was recently approved by the Vietnamese
prime minister and has been spoken of, together with an earlier
plan we also developed with SISP for Can Tho (approved in
2013), as radically conceiving a constructive interplay between
unavoidable landscape dynamics and the social, economic and
cultural dynamics of the region. Both plans seized the
opportunity of climate change to realign the development of
the landscape with the (evolving) geography of the territory. In
these Vietnamese projects, landscape becomes infrastructure
and resistance becomes resource. They create infrastructures
for the twenty-first century that purposefully re-engage
with the dynamics of nature and the notion of a thickened
deltaic coast; a new and self-renewing ecology that, from the
onset, supports a multitude of activities and simple technical
interventions that can induce a majestic and varied world.
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 072 — 073
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MINISTER’S AWARDS
FOR URBAN DESIGN IN
QUEENSLAND
Two awards and three commendations have been given to
projects that “challenge the status quo [and] demonstrate
leadership and design excellence.”
T
he Gold Coast’s largest ever urban
renewal project and a Melbourneinspired laneway adapted for a
subtropical setting have received gongs
at the 2018 Minister’s Awards for Urban
Design in Queensland.
01
Parklands by AAA (Arkhefield,
ARM and Archipelago) and
Lat27 with Grocon received a
2018 Minister’s Award for
Urban Design. Photo: John
Gollings
02
Fish Lane by Aria Property
Group with Brisbane City
Council received a 2018
Minister’s Award for Urban
Design. Photo: Peter Sexty
Parklands by AAA (Arkhefield, ARM
and Archipelago) and Lat27 with
Grocon received one of the two awards.
The project will accommodate 6,500
athletes as part of the Gold Coast 2018
Commonwealth Games before being
transitioned into an integrated, transitoriented community within the Gold Coast
Health and Knowledge Precinct. “More
than a commonwealth games village,
Parklands is a microcosm of sustainable
urban living,” the jury stated. “Critically,
the project creates a walkable pedestrian
friendly environment that supports future
affordable housing adjacent health and
educational facilities.”
AWAR D S
Nineteen nominations were received
for what is just the second iteration
of the program, with two projects
achieving awards and three receiving
commendations.
01
Fish Lane, by Aria Property Group with
Brisbane City Council, was the other awardwinning project, with the jury noting that
it was “a demonstration of what is possible
when once-forgotten city spaces are loved
and valued.”
Located in South Brisbane, the project
has transformed an unsafe and neglected
service lane into a “vibrant laneway
experience.”
02
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 074 — 075
04
03
Rockhampton Riverside and CBD
Redevelopment by Urbis with
Rockhampton City Council
received a commendation.
Photo: Urbis
03
05
04
Big Plans for Small Creek: Small
Creek Naturalization by
Landscapology and Bligh Tanner
with Ipswich City Council. Image:
Landscapology and Bligh Tanner
05
St Lucia Campus Masterplan by
Urbis with University of
Queensland received a
commendation. Image: Urbis
Receiving commendations were:
Big Plans for Small Creek: Small Creek
Naturalization by Landscapology
and Bligh Tanner with Ipswich City
Council; St Lucia Campus Masterplan
by Urbis with University of Queensland;
and Rockhampton Riverside and
CBD Redevelopment by Urbis with
Rockhampton City Council.
The jury noted that Big Plans for Small
Creek, a project that involves returning a
utilitarian and high-flow concrete drain
into a more natural creek system, “has
the potential to re-imagine storm water
infrastructure across the state.”
Praising the outwardly focused nature of
the St Lucia Campus Masterplan, the jury
said it was a “visionary” plan that would
provide “a strategic framework for the
development of the campus over the next
20 years.”
Finally, the jury commended the highquality material outcomes of the completed
first stage of the Rockhampton Riverside
and CBD Redevelopment and praised
the project’s economic potential. “By
emphasizing the important historic fabric
and riverside context, this project by Urbis
re-establishes Rockhampton’s river front
as a key economic, social and cultural
destination for the city,” stated the jury.
Awards and commendations are
bestowed on projects that “challenge the
status quo, demonstrate leadership and
design excellence and will leave lasting,
sustainable legacies for the broader
community.”
The awards are conducted in partnership
with the Australian Urban Design Awards.
Queensland Government Architect
Malcolm Middleton is chair of the judging
panel, which includes experienced
design professionals representing both
government and industry.
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LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 076 — 077
01
Colony: Frontier Wars
Colony: Australia 1770–1861
—
Text Cassandra Chilton
T
he opening weekend for Colony:
Australia 1770–1861 and Colony:
Frontier Wars begins with a
Welcome to Country in the foyer of the Ian
Potter Centre: NGV Australia in Federation
Square. Arweet Carolyn Briggs of the Boon
Wurrung Foundation stands at the lectern,
eucalyptus bough in hand, and tells the
audience that “Wominjeka” means notonly
welcome, but to come: “Ask to come and
what is your purpose in coming?” This is
a salient question to carry as a reminder
for those attendees encountering the
exhibition ahead.
Colony is an exhibition in two parts,
offering past and contemporary
perspectives on our shared and complex
history. The first part, Colony: Australia
1770–1861, charts European settlement
and the emergence of Australia’s colonies
through an impressive survey of paintings,
prints and decorative objects, displayed
in chronological sequence and interspersed
with Indigenous art of the colonial period.
Through this part of the exhibition
we witness how early settlers responded to
and recorded Australia’s landscape, flora
and fauna, and Indigenous people and
their customs.
The second part, Colony: Frontier Wars,
is both a lament and a call to action. This
selection of works by primarily Indigenous
artists is grouped not by time, but by
words: Terra Nullius, Stolen, Lament,
Absence, Desecration and Presence. These
powerful refrains offer an alternative
viewpoint, proclaiming both the
devastating effects of the colonial project
and the resilience of the First Peoples
in retaining culture and community. A
highlight of this section of the exhibition
is the extensive examples of William Barak
and Tommy McRae drawings. In Colony:
Frontier Wars, a redress of colonial erasure
is enacted. Historic objects previously
attributed in the museum convention as
“Unknown” become “Once Known.”
By presenting two exhibitions in
counterpoint the curators’ intention is
to remove the centrality of the European
view. This could be described through
the metaphor of a stereoscope, a device
that merges two viewpoints to create
another encompassing image. With
different images speaking together or
against one another at the same time, a
tension between opposing perspectives
is constructed. The dialogue provides
nuanced feedback that allows the viewer to
visit and revisit the meaning and nature of
the works.
Take, for instance, the recurring image
of the shield as a symbol of both resistance
and conflict. In the first powerful display
in the Colony: Australia 1770–1861
01
John Glover, The River Nile,
Van Diemen’s Land, from Mr
Glover’s farm, 1837. National
Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Felton Bequest, 1956.
02
Marlene Gilson, Wathaurong,
born 1944, Tunnerminnerwait
and Maulboyheenner, 2015.
City of Melbourne Arts and
Culture Collection. © Marlene
Gilson.
03
William Barak, Wurundjeri,
c. 1824–1903, Figures in
possum skin cloaks, 1898.
National Gallery of Victoria,
Melbourne. Purchased, 1962.
04
Brook Andrew, Australia, born
1970. The Island IV, 2008,
from The Island series.
National Gallery of Victoria,
Melbourne. Gift of Michael
Schwarz and David Clouston
through the Australian
Government’s Cultural Gifts
Program, 2017. © Brook
Andrew.
05
John Lewin, The gigantic lyllie
of New South Wales, 1810. Art
Gallery of New South Wales,
Sydney. Purchased, 1968.
02
REVIEW
03
04
05
LANDSCAPE ISSUE 158 078 — 079
06
Joseph Lycett, Inner view of
Newcastle, c. 1818. Newcastle
Art Gallery, Newcastle.
Purchased with assistance
from the National Art
Collections Fund, London,
UK, 1961.
Colony: Australia 1770–1861
15 March – 15 July
Colony: Frontier Wars
15 March – 2 September
06
exhibit, one encounters a mounted line
of nineteenth-century parrying and broad
shields, swirling with exquisite carvings
testament to the skills of the unrecorded
makers. However, in a subsequent display
that illustrates the new territories being
drawn into being through the evolution
of coastline mapping, one of the earliest
portrayals of Indigenous people shows
shields in another context. The Thomas
Chambers print, Two of the Natives of
New Holland, Advancing to Combat (1773),
shows first contact in Botany Bay on 28
April 1770, with two Indigenous men
depicted in classical poses brandishing
the same aforementioned shields. The
print’s inscription reads, “Our people
fired again and wounded one of them …
We endeavoured to pacify them, but to no
purpose … After looking about us a while
we left … taking with us their weapons.”
The viewer is compelled to reconsider that
mounted line of shields and speculate on
their provenance.
Shields are also present in Colony: Frontier
Wars, but in Steaphan Paton’s artwork
Cloaked combat and video Cloaked combat
# 2 (2013) they are under attack by modern
weaponry, exposing the role technology
plays in cultural collisions. A projection of
the artist dressed in camouflage fires arrow
after arrow with a high-tech crossbow –
each thwack of an arrow landing is
deeply unsettling.
The interweaving of two viewpoints is
again provided by the Natural History
display in the Colony: Frontier Wars exhibit:
a wondrous presentation of botanical
and natural illustrations, mounted
specimens and cases dedicated to tracing
how the poses of two of Australia’s most
recognizable animals, the kangaroo and
black swan, were first recorded and echoed
through the decorative arts for the next
century. But the inclusion of Sarah Stone’s
watercolour Perspective [interior] view of
Sir Ashton Lever’s Museum (1785) gives us
a glimpse of a different story, reminding
us where all these natural treasures were
ultimately bound. Another very subtle
and poignant juxtaposition is provided
by a case of colonial needlework samples
prepared by colonial women and Queen’s
Orphan School orphans placed adjacent
to a display of beautiful maireener shell
necklaces and a woven basket by Fanny
Cochrane Smith, a Tasmanian Aboriginal
woman, drawing cross-cultural parallels in
NGV Australia
Federation Square
the tradition of women passing down
crafts over generations.
In another feedback loop consider the
Dixson collector’s chest (1818–20) vis-a-vis
Brook Andrew’s Vox: Beyond Tasmania
(2013), both cabinets of curiosities that
say something about the nature of
collecting trophies. The first, an example
of nineteenth-century Enlightenment
interests with a superb display of
natural history specimens; the second,
a subversion of the type – a cabinet that
speaks to the ethnic stereotyping and
desecration of Aboriginal burial sites. Its
contents feature an array of disassembled
skeletons, scientific artefacts, repellent
anthropological literature and ethnic
images.
The spatial separation of the two
exhibitions, Colony: Australia 1770–1861 on
the first floor and Colony: Frontier Wars on
the third, perhaps works against a seamless
dialogue between the two narratives, but
the overall message remains powerful: that
to approach a new and inclusive idea of
Australian identity we must move forward
with both eyes open.
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