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Landscape Institute Awards 2014

By Noel Farrer

Image ©: Ralph Hodgson

Setting the standard for the profession
The schemes submitted to me from which to choose the President’s Award were all category winners that the judges thought worthy of high praise.  To this end I have taken the idea that the President’s Award should go to an entry which has an impact beyond the boundaries of the category itself. On writing this I am also preparing for the Landscape Institute Board away day. I have selected a scheme that chimes with and in some way informs how we meet the future challenges for the profession.
I have been delighted by just how good the entries are.  Employing the criteria set out above, I was able to narrow my choice to three deserving candidates. The first was the winning student dissertation.  Jacqueline Jobbins chose to explore 'A new ethical design process'. This is a subject close to my heart. It is without doubt an emerging necessity that our profession must meet standards that reflect human values and the relationship between man and the environment. These ethical targets are difficult to define and more difficult to capture in a way that allows objective judgements to be made. But the study attempts to address vast issues and does so in a way that enables the debate for the whole profession to start in earnest.
I next considered the brilliant submission for the South Pennines Watershed Landscape project in the Communications & Presentation category. It addresses the simplest stratagem for all our landscapes, urban or rural, which is to successfully engage the hearts and minds of everyone. This piece of work was wide ranging but it started by re-acquainting people with their landscape and, through developing interest and desire, has woken people up to the role that landscape can play in their lives.  If we can achieve this for our body of work, and crawl out into the light, we will have moved our entire society closer to landscape and therefore all of us closer to achieving the important goals and recognition we need.
And finally, to my winner. If I am a little hesitant it is because I have chosen a big project by a big practice. This may cause some rolling of the eyes in the many small practices who dream (just as I do) of what they could do if only they had that gig! But that is why I have given so much thought and praise to the two entries mentioned above. The winner, LDA Design with its design for the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, winner of the Strategic Landscape Planning category, has acted in a way that we all need to follow. The landscape architects have truly led from the front. In their role as client advisor they have briefed the architects and engineers on what they need to do.  
Our profession needs to promote and take the reins of complex project leadership and that has been done here. The landscape architects have also addressed a key issue which as a society we need to address responsibly.  Rather than pretending, as infrastructure so often does, to hide, the scheme says, look at me and what I do and what I can contribute. This is truly landscape coming out into the open. LDA Design is a truly deserving winner of the President’s Award for 2014.

President's Award - Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon takes top prize

Image ©: LDA Design

Any project that wins the President’s Award has to be special, but this year’s winner is genuinely unique. The award goes to the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, which will be the world’s first man-made tidal lagoon, the first in a series that the client intends to deliver throughout the UK. The project will harness the 8.5m tidal range of Swansea Bay (average Spring tides) to generate renewable electricity for 14 hours per day, for 120 years, with a net annual output in excess of 500GWh (equivalent to about 90% of Swansea Bay’s annual domestic electricity use, or 11% of Wales’). 
Alongside this, it will provide a major sports, tourism and leisure destination, contributing to local regeneration. This is not a prototype to be rolled out in other places, but is firmly grounded (if that is the right word for an aquatic structure) in place. It will deliver the regeneration of 2.5km of redundant dockside on Swansea Bay, opening up the seafront  for public use for the first time in over a century. In addition, it will be a major tourist destination and a regional/national venue for watersports.
LDA Design’s involvement is crucial. Its strategic landscape planning and masterplanning work drew together the complex environmental, socio-economic, political, legal and landownership context with technical on- and off-shore design requirements to create a coherent and compelling vision and design narrative for the project. Its roles include:
• lead masterplanner designing and delivering the vision, strategy and masterplan
• public realm design
• design team coordinator
• DCO application plans and document production and coordination
• contribution to land negotiation
• consultation with Design commission for Wales; production of consultation, marketing and branding material
• architectural brief coordination and workshops
• expert advisors for LVIA, transport and sustainability 
Subject to approval of the 
DCO application, construction is expected to start in 2015.

Landscape architect and masterplanner: LDA Design Consulting; client: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay); legal: DLA Piper UK; design engineer: Atkins; architects: Juice Architects, Faulkner Browns Architects; lighting consultant: Michael Grubb Studio; onshore transport, hydrology, flooding, socio-economic, air quality, land quality and terrestrial archaeology expertise: URS Corporation Onshore Transport; coastal processes, benthic ecology, marine mammals expertise: ABP Marine Environmental Research; navigation expertise: Anatec UK; water quality expertise: Intertek; expertise in fish: Turnpenny Horsfield Associates; expertise in terrestrial ecology: MP Ecology; expertise in fish, birds, seascape, landscape and visual impact and advice in relation to lighting impacts: Soltys Brewster; marine archaeology: Cotswold Archaeology; arts consultant: Cape Farewell; construction management: Costain Group

Adding Value through Landscape - Maida Hill Place, London

Image ©: Kate Beard/ Kerb Food

Maida Hill Place came into being following a City of Westminster initiative to review and rejuvenate its seven district shopping centres. Gillespies authored the Civic Street Report (2005), outlining strategic opportunities to enhance the prosperity and public realm character of these districts.
Prince of Wales Junction, at the convergence of five roads, presented a great opportunity for improvement from its status as one of the top three per cent of areas in inner London for crime. 
Gillespies transformed the area into Maida Hill Place, providing a meeting point for the diverse community that is welcoming to all including the vulnerable and previously excluded. Crime has fallen by 85 per cent and there are markets six days a week. Gillespies has created a robust granite ground plane, a paved shared space and an urban grove, as well as bespoke seating and a monument to local musician Joe Strummer.

The judges said it was clear that the scheme created a robust and usable space for commercial activity and had a positive impact upon the feasibility of businesses in surrounding buildings. The markets and thriving local businesses will provide opportunities for training and employment and will help to provide essential services for the local  community.

Landscape architect: Gillespies; client: Westminster City Council; main contractor, landscape contractor and engineer: West One

Image ©: Sunderland City Council

Columbia Grange School, Discovery Park, Sunderland

Highly commended
This project was in two phases. In the first phase, the school asked the landscape team to prepare a masterplan to guide future redevelopment, which it did following consultation with staff and parents. The second phase was the design of a sensory garden for two-to-eleven-year-olds with severe learning difficulties and / or autism. The design, based on the idea of a maze, maximises the use of the space and creates a series of flexible pocket spaces radiating from a roundhouse.

The judges said The scheme added significant value to a challenging learning environment through the delivery of an inspiring and stimulating space which users confirmed provided opportunities for students that were not possible indoors.  

Landscape architect: Sunderland City Council, Design Services; client: Columbia Grange School; design and build of Phase 2 structures: Handspring Design phase 1 construction of adventure play area: Brambledown; phase 3 construction of maze garden and learning space: Trevor Atkinson and Co 

Image ©: Hampshire County Council

Landscape Strategy team at Hampshire County Council

Highly commended
Hampshire County Council’s landscape strategy team was established to enable schools to develop their grounds as vital spaces for teaching and learning, play, recreation and immediate contact with the natural environment. The team developed the whole-site planning process which has informed the Learning through Landscapes philosophy now taken forward on a national basis by the charity Learning through Landscapes. In many cases the team has been a catalyst within schools for their development of teaching practices and school leadership. 

The judges said the simple strategies increased awareness of the importance of landscape architecture and provided a basis for participating schools to secure investment and deliver many interventions that cumulatively have added significant value to the learning environment across the area.

Landscape architect: Landscape strategy team at Hampshire County Council; clients: Individual Hampshire schools & HCC Children’s Services

Communications and Presentation - South Pennines Watershed Landscape Project: communications and interpretation strategy

Image ©: Steve Morgan/ Pennine Prospects

Initiated in 2010, the Watershed Landscape Project was a Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Programme managed by Pennine Prospects, the regeneration company for the South Pennines. The Watershed Landscape Project focused on encouraging people to think differently about their landscape. The project improved understanding about how moorlands have provided resources for our society in the past, and  in particular the pivotal part this landscape can play in rising to the modern challenge of climate-change issues such as flood management and carbon sequestration. This is a project devised, formed and managed by landscape architects and delivered by a team that included designers, archaeologists, artists and interpretation professionals. 
Evaluation shows that the Watershed Landscape project has helped a wide range of people engage with the landscape, using innovative techniques in the creative arts and writing. The project has also helped people to engage deeper, whether they are new to the landscape or existing visitors and audiences.

The judges said This is a pioneering project designed to develop the idea of South Pennines Watershed as a place on the map. Although this is a lightly populated area, this did not affect the team’s ambition to attract the million potential visitors within striking distance. There are many other similar “Cinderella” places across the UK and we felt that there was much that could be taken from this project to assure them a happier future.

Landscape architect: Pennine Prospects; client: Pennine Prospects managing the South Pennines Watershed Landscape Project with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund , South Pennine LEADER and project partners; project partners: City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Kirklees Metropolitan District Council (West Yorkshire); Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council (Greater Manchester) and Lancashire County Council: Natural England, United Utilities and Yorkshire Water, RSPB and Groundwork; interpretation consultants: Tell Tale Associates, FDA Design, Blue Design, Dan Boys, audiotrails; website designer: Bigger Boat Company: sign fabricator; Shelley Signs; artists and writers in residence: Andrew McMillan [poet], Char March [poet], Simon Warner [photographer], Sally Barker [artist], Angie Rogers [artist], Anna Chilvers [writer]; graphic designers: Mike Barrett, Frog Design, Hebden Bridge; Den Stubbs; copywriter: Nicola Carroll.

Design Small Scale Public - Tumbling Bay playground, Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park, London

Image ©: LUC

The brief was to deliver ‘a play, leisure and learning experience of international renown’. LUC has delivered a range of exciting and stimulating play experiences in an inclusive, high-quality landscape. Its design has been created around a strong concept of ecological processes and plant life cycles, entwined in a riverine landscape flowing around the Timber Lodge café and community hub. Bespoke detailing features heavily throughout the project to create a place that is memorable and encourages return visits for both local residents and visitors from across the globe. Tumbling Bay predates the housing that is planned around it, so the success of the park was key to the success of the surrounding development in drawing people in and creating a desirable location to live.

The judges said This was an excellent solution, innovative, engaging and responsive to its setting.

Landscape architect and masterplanner: LUC; client: London Legacy Development Corporation; architecture, lead consultant and design of Scots Pine play structure: erect architecture; art and engagement strategy: Ashley McCormick; structural engineering: Tall; services engineering: Max Fordham; catering design: Russell Partnership; main contractor: BAM Nuttall. landscape sub-contractor: Frost; Scots pine play structure subcontractor: Adventure Playground Engineers; sand and water play subcontractors: Mel Chantrey and The Fountain Workshop; willow dens subcontractor: Jim Buchanan; artists: Heather and Ivan Morison (Cross and Cave), Public Works (Experiments in Household Knowledge), Ashley McCormick (Coleridge School engagement), Discover (2013 Children’s Legacy Poetry competition), Lucy Harrison (A Club Collective), Fieldwork Facility (Cloud observatory); local craftsmen and artists involved in construction: Adventure Playground Engineers, Mel Chantrey, Jim Buchanan.

Image ©: Austin-Smith: Lord

Liverpool Central Library

Highly commended
The design concept for the public realm at Liverpool Central Library was developed as part of the competitive bid to secure the work. The Literary Carpet leads visitors to the new entrance door, and features the names of many books, films and music titles that can be found in the library, all chosen by the public in a city-wide competition. The granite wall provides strong visual signage and connection to the street frontage, while the existing stone balustrade was opened 
up to give the new entrance more emphasis. 

The judges said This was a clear concept, cleverly realised, addressing site constraints to create a positive and welcoming place which reinvigorated Liverpool Central Library. Stakeholder consultation was both imaginative and effective.

Landscape architect and architect: Austin-Smith:Lord; client: Liverpool Central Library; joint venture between Amber Infrastructure & Shepherd Construction: Inspire Partnership; main contractor: Shepherd Construction; civil and structural engineer: RoC Consulting.

Design Medium Scale Public - Eastside City Park, Birmingham

Image ©: Peter Cook

Patel Taylor and Alain Provost won an international competition to design Birmingham’s first new park for more than 130 years. The brief demanded an innovative, inviting and inspirational place that set the standard for surrounding developments. The park needed to be able to stand alone, or at least with limited company, for the first stage of its life, but allow for integration of future developments. One of five regeneration areas in BCC’s Big City Plan, the park has already attracted £375 million of investment, bringing with it  jobs, training and long-term employment opportunities.  It will also make a significant contribution to the future setting for the HS2 station. The park has been used extensively throughout the seasons by all members of the public, especially students and families with young children playing in the water features. Local residents, businesses and students have set up a ‘friends of the park’ group to work alongside the City Council to manage the park and organise events. 

The judges said With a strong landscape design strategy, the scheme successfully stitches together dislocated parts of the city and stretches it eastwards.

Lead architect & landscape architect: Patel Taylor; landscape consultant: Allain Provost; client: Birmingham City Council (BCC); landscape technical consultant: Applied Landscape Design; civil/structural/electrical engineer: Arup; project manager: Acivico (BCC); quantity surveyor: Acivico (BCC); main contractor: Wates Construction.

Image ©: HDD

Lon Gwyrfai, Multi Use Path, Snowdonia National Park

Highly commended
The purpose of the project was to create a brand-new 6.5km long multi-use path for walkers, cyclists and horse riders between Beddgelert and Rhydd Ddu in Snowdonia National Park. 
The attention to detail in the design drawings, and specification of high quality materials (along with the build quality of a good-quality contractor) has led to a high level of finish to all of the built elements of the scheme which work with, and complement, the outstanding existing landscape. 

The judges said The sensitivity of the landscape design ensures the path makes a great contribution to the Park, and enhances the experience of the people who will use it.

Lead designer and landscape architect: Harrison Design Development; client: Snowdonia National Park; structural engineer: Optimum Consulting; construction contractor: GH James.

Image ©: Tim Green (Flickr)

City Park, Bradford

Highly commended
City Park has remodelled previously incoherent spaces to become the ‘great meeting place’ for those who live in Bradford and a bold starting point for the city’s renewal. At the heart of the park is a 76m by 58m shallow pool with 100 fountains, mist and geysers. As the day unfolds the water rises and falls, revealing causeways, allowing people to walk through the pool. The water can drain fully to provide a dry plaza for events and 10,000 people.

The judges said The scheme has transformed Bradford city centre. It is a fantastic place to meet.

Landscape architect: Gillespies; client: Bradford Council; project manager and QS: EC Harris; main contractor: Birse Civils; structural, civil & M&E engineer: Arup; fountain design: The Fountain Workshop; architect: Sturgeon North Architects; landscape contractor: Ashlea; public art procurement: Atoll; artists: W. Buttress. Haque Design & Research.

Image ©: Southwark Council

Burgess Park Regeneration Project, London

Highly commended
Southwark Council’s vision was for Burgess Park to be a 21st Century park that would provide a high-quality and safe green space worthy of its central location. This safe park is well connected with an improved footpath network and open sightlines. The entrances and horticultural displays create a bold identity. Redundant roads have been removed and the hardstanding converted to parkland, which has unified the park and improved its appearance and quality. 
The judges said This is a wonderful regeneration project, changing the nature and identity of a space, involving local people and delighting the client. It is a fantastic expression of landscape design.

Lead landscape architect: LDA Design, client: London Borough of Southwark;  civil and structural engineer: Alan Conisbee Engineers; ecologist: LDA Design Ecology; horticulture: University of Sheffield.

Image ©: Jim Stephenson

Wandle Park, London Borough of Croydon

Highly commended
After being buried for 40 years, the thinking behind river catchments and flood alleviation began to change and the idea of restoring the River Wandle  in Wandle Park gained an increasing level of local support. Wandle Park exemplifies not only a sensitive and successful river restoration for flood alleviation, but also a project which combined funding and resources to provide a comprehensive regeneration of an historic urban park, creating a beautiful and vibrant open space which reconnects a community with its river.

The judges said In addition to the visual transformation, the improvements to river capacity and potential for flood alleviation were impressive. The project’s impact in terms of the wider regeneration of the town centre and as part of a connected series of spaces is commendable.

Landscape architect: Croydon Council, LDA Design, & Annabel Downs with Robinson Landscape Design; client: Croydon Council; river restoration: Environment Agency; structural engineer: Royal Haskoning DHV / Jacobs; project manager/cost consultant: Croydon Council / Sense Cost Consultants / William Dick & Partners; contractor: J. Breheny Contractors / Freestyle Skateparks / ETC Sports Surfacing; architect: Erect Architecture / Geraghty Taylor; CDMC: Pierce Hill Project Services; M&E/sustainability engineer: Chris Evans Consulting.

Image ©: B. Cannon Ivers

Battersea Power Station pavilion and pop-up park

Highly commended
The brief for the pavilion and pop-up park was to provide a marketing facility to showcase the Phase 1 development of the wider Power Station site. The pop-up park was to provide a flexible hard and soft landscape, which could be used by the client to host events, annual parties and community events. It was to have the appearance of an established landscape from the day of the pavilion opening to the public, with a seasonal landscape that looked attractive throughout the year.

The judges said: This design goes further than an average temporary scheme for a sales-centre. The planting design has been well thought through, and the events lawn is functional, as it should be

Lead landscape architect: LDA Design; Client: Battersea Power Station Development Company; architect: Ian Simpson Architects; building services engineer: Hoare Lea; civil and structural engineer: Buro Happold.  

Image ©: Tim Crocker

London South Bank University public realm

Highly commended
The project represented the first ‘anchor’ within London South Bank University’s strategy to revitalise its campus with enhanced public realm, improving connections and legibility. Drawing inspiration from history, most notably artist David Bomberg, who taught at the University in the 1940s and 50s, the aim for the rejuvenated public realm gateway was for a dynamic ‘carpet’ of quality granite setts that draws the strong geometry of the undercroft structure out into the landscape.

The judges said The design makes positive use of previously underused and fragmented land on the site, and is a highly commendable transformation of urban space

Landscape architect: B|D Landscape Architects; client: London South Bank University; architect: HawkinsBrown; structural engineers: Conisbee & Associates; lighting engineer: TGA Consulting Engineers; quantity surveyor: Gardiner & Theobald; main contractor: Mansell Construction Services; landscape contractor: Baylis Landscape Contractors. 

Image ©: Tim Crocker

Vermilion, Rathbone Market, London

Highly commended
Rathbone Market is a high-density mixed urban regeneration scheme which consists of  three plots developed individually to form a ribbon of development around a new marketplace and library. 
Working closely with the architect and client, Churchman developed a concept to harness water shed from the building, via a series of bio-diverse and productive roofs to create a large water feature 
at the heart of the scheme. This was complemented by a living acoustic barrier to attenuate noise at podium level.

The judges said This was an ambitious concept and design addressing site constraints such as acoustics, to develop a comprehensive design solution that addresses the environmental and social benefits 
to the residential community.

Landscape architect: Churchman Landscape Architects; client: English Cities Fund; architect: CZWG; structural engineer: Ramboll; mechanical & electrical engineer: Hilson Moran; cost consultant: Rider Levett Bucknall; project manager: Buro Four; planning consultant: Longboard Consulting; water feature engineer; :Kingcombe Aquacare; contractor: John Sisk & Son

Image ©: LUC

The restoration of Brockwell Park, London

Highly commended
Brockwell Park had become severely rundown and was not fulfilling anywhere close to its full potential for the people of south London or for the environment in terms of green infrastructure services or biodiversity. The purpose of this project was to revive these neglected and run-down 52 hectares bordered by Brixton, Herne Hill and Tulse Hill using the rich 18th and 19th century heritage as the touchstone of the scheme.

The judges said Brockwell Park stood out for its quality of restoration, community involvement, and most importantly the investment in ensuring a long-term community commitment to the upkeep
of the park. The project showcases the breadth and depth of the role of the landscape architects.

Lead consultant and landscape architect: LUC; client: London Borough of Lambeth; quantity surveyor and cost consultant: Heritage Cost Consultants; conservation architect: Richard Griffiths Architects; CDM co-ordinator: Planning Supervisors Management; principal contractor: Blakedown; M&E consultant: Eng. Design; water feature designer: The Fountain Workshop; hydrological engineer: Peter Brett Associates; architectural metalwork: Metalcraft; architectural signs: Browse Bion; bat specialist: ASW Ecology; structural engineer: Ralph Mills Associates; building contractor: Telson Construction.
Highly commended

Landscape Policy and Research - A Comprehensive Street Tree Management Plan for Hong Kong

Image ©: awaiting

The purpose of the project was to define future management of street trees in Hong Kong to achieve a sustainable, high-quality tree stock maximising environmental, social and economic benefits, promoting public safety and minimising risks associated with trees. Principal challenges included the volume of research required, selective analysis, formulation of relevant local strategies and presentation in an easily understood and engaging format. Illustrations were used throughout to support and convey information and engage the reader’s interest. Examples of the positive contributions street trees make within Hong Kong were emphasized to underline the importance of ongoing management. The format was carefully  considered in order to be user-friendly, flexible, prescriptive but practical in terms of the prevailing context.

The judges said The comprehensive coverage of the key issues, and the rigour applied to the assessment, was exemplary. The methodology is not specific to the management of trees in Hong Kong, but could be adapted to such a programme anywhere.

Landscape architect: Urbis; client: Development Bureau, Works Branch, HKSAR Government; GIS special advisor: NGIS China; urban forestry specialist advisors: Dr Billy Hau, Matthew Pryor.

Environmental stewardship and historic parklands

Highly commended
The purpose of the project was to undertake a national study of historic parklands to inform the future direction of funding through Natural England’s Environmental Stewardship (ES) scheme following CAP reform. It highlights the importance of historic parkland landscapes, which are a finite resource, and the need for their conservation. Ultimately the report provides recommendations for Natural England and DEFRA at a national scale, as well as being an accessible and comprehensive ‘handbook’. 

The judges said This provides a ground-breaking assessment of the role that the main funding body for the conservation of historic parklands plays. The application of qualitative and quantitative analysis has produced a report that is clear and comprehensive and which will be of great value to decision makers

Landscape architect: Cookson and Tickner; client: Natural England.

Image ©: Heritage Lottery Fund

State of UK Public Parks 2014

Highly commended
The primary purpose of the study is to provide a clear evidence base to influence national and local policy on the importance of investing in public parks and urban green spaces. It describes the current condition of public parks and highlights the challenges presently being faced by local authority parks services. It identifies particular trends in the condition, use, funding, staff resources and community participation involved in managing and maintaining parks.

The judges said We were impressed by the clarity of the material presented and its accessibility to a wide audience.

Landscape consultant: Peter Neal Consulting in partnership with Community First Partnership; client: Heritage Lottery Fund; public opinion poll: Ipsos MORI; parks advisor: Peter Harnik, Centre for City Park Excellence, Trust for Public Land, USA; research advisor: Dr Edward Hobson; communications strategy: Ben Hurley Communications

Image ©: Cookson and Tickner

Landscape impacts of Environmental Stewardship

Highly commended
The two linked projects covered by this entry were required to provide objective evidence and analysis of the scheme’s impacts on landscape character and quality in England. They form an essential part of the Government’s ongoing analysis and evaluation of England’s primary agri-environment scheme, Environmental Stewardship. They are influencing national policy and programmes in ways that should significantly enhance England’s landscape, for the widest public benefit. 

The judges said This work has played an important role in setting consideration of landscape character and condition on the same footing as other environmental objectives.

Lead consultant and landscape architect: LUC; client: Natural England on behalf of Defra, part funded by EU; supporting consultants: Fabis Consulting, Countryscape, Julie Martin Associates and Sheffield University.

Neighbourhood Planning - Church Street and Paddington Green Infrastructure and Public Realm Plan, London

Image ©: Grant Associates

This project is highly innovative in the way that it unlocks the potential of the neighbourhood. The vision is to bring under-used spaces, which are in Westminster City Council ownership, into the public realm in order to bring social, environmental and economic benefits to the community. Sensitive reworking of on-street car parking and the introduction of shared surfaces enabled the team to develop a new north-south linear park. This combines informal play spaces, productive gardens, rain gardens and tree planting.

It links many of the individual estates, delivering a new green community space that complements the redeveloped Church Street and vibrant market. The plan has been warmly received by the local community and wider stakeholders. An active programme of engagement with residents helped foster a sense of ownership, reflected in overwhelming support for the area renewal plan in a residents’ vote.

The judges said The proposal represents a strong vision for a sustainable and liveable future, promoting public health and social cohesion through thoughtful and intelligent new public spaces and connections that are designed to integrate the best in modern technologies that look to address water, waste and energy management.

Landscape architect and design team leader: Grant Associates; client: Westminster City Council; architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios; engineer: Buro Happold; ecologist: Biodiversity by Design; artist: Ackroyd and Harvey; cost consultant: Davis Langdon; financial modelling: Thomas Lister.

Strategic Landscape Planning - Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

Image ©: Juice Architects

Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon will be the world’s first man-made tidal lagoon, the first in a series that the client intends to deliver throughout the UK. It will harness the 8.5m tidal range of Swansea Bay (average Spring tides) to generate renewable electricity for 14 hours per day, for 120 years, with a net annual output in excess of 500GWh (equivalent to about 90% of Swansea Bay’s annual domestic electricity use, or 11% of Wales’). Alongside this, it will provide a major sports, tourism and leisure destination, contributing to local regeneration. LDA Design drew together the complex environmental, socio-economic, political, legal and land-ownership context with technical on and off-shore design requirements to create a coherent and compelling vision and design narrative for the project. 

The judges said This is a landmark scheme for Swansea Bay and potentially the whole UK – a landscape-led piece of nationally important infrastructure. The sense of ambition is hugely impressive and the range of amenities provided alongside the core build is exemplary. If the build and delivery come close to the concept and visualisations, this will be a very worthy winner indeed.

Landscape architect and masterplanner: LDA Design Consulting; client: Tidal Lagoon (Swansea Bay); legal: DLA Piper UK; design engineer: Atkins; architects:  Juice Architects, Faulkner Browns Architects; lighting consultant: Michael Grubb Studio; onshore transport, hydrology, flooding, socio-economic, air quality, land quality and terrestrial archaeology expertise: URS Corporation; coastal processes, benthic ecology, marine mammals expertise: ABP Marine Environmental Research; navigation expertise: Anatec UK; water quality expertise: Intertek; expertise in fish: Turnpenny Horsfield Associates; expertise in fish, birds, seascape, landscape and visual impact and advice in relation to lighting impacts: Soltys Brewster; marine archaeology: Cotswold Archaeology; arts consultant: Cape Farewell; construction management: Costain Group Terrestrial Ecology expertise: MP Ecology

Image ©: LUC

Seascape Assessment for the South Marine Plan areas, south coast

Highly commended
This is the first seascape assessment in England to include a character study and visual resource mapping. It piloted a method of objectively assessing the visual resource that the sea provides. The resultant VRM (visual resource mapping) approach developed for the South will be used by the Marine Management Organisation in future marine plan areas as marine planning is rolled out across England.

The judges said This is an impressive and important piece of work. Bringing together character study and visual resource mapping, the assessment also includes creative and novel elements such as integrating the earth’s curvature and climate into visual impact mapping.

Landscape architect: LUC; client: Marine Management Organisation.

Student Dissertation - ‘A New Ethical Design Process’ by Jacqueline Jobbins, Writtle College

Image ©: JJ Jobbins (base map Edina digimap, 2013)

Inspiration for Jacqueline Jobbins’ dissertation came from an interest in the nexus between philosophy and practical situations. Her research led her to the work of philosopher Warwick Fox and his ‘Theory
of General Ethics’, and then to Anthony Radford, Professor Emeritus in the School of Architecture and Urban Design, University of Adelaide who has applied Fox’s theories to architecture, and has used the theory in a book on sustainable architecture. Jobbins developed a prototype framework which could be used in the design process at many scales. 
Its focus, first on the natural, then on the social and then on the built environment, provides a systematic approach which, although not dissimilar to current approaches to the design process, codifies it in a way which may help to address the challenges we face, as professionals working in landscape and as members of wider society.

The judges said The dissertation subject has clear relevance to current issues and provides a very ambitious and sophisticated ethical approach to the subject. It is well-written with an excellent clarity of purpose.

Image ©: David Hammett

‘Addressing open space pressures in urban centres: Assessing and planning for the recreational use of historic English urban cemeteries’ by David Hammett, University of Edinburgh

Highly commended
This study investigates the current recreational use of historic urban cemeteries in order to bring forward recommendations regarding such use. Three exemplar modern case studies of recreational cemeteries, two from England and one from Denmark, are evaluated and these insights are complemented by the practical considerations and opinions of current cemetery overseers in historic English urban cemeteries. The study concludes by highlighting the importance of recreation in existing cemeteries alongside the need for greater guidance, leadership and vision.

The judges said The Committee believes that this dissertation provides some publishable material and we would encourage the author to follow up this possibility.

Image ©: MIT JDW, 2012

‘Minami-sanriku Disaster Resilient Planning’ by Vanessa Powell, University of Gloucestershire

Highly commended
In post-disaster areas, can multifunctional landscape planning support both the medium and long-term needs for recovery? Can an holistic landscape-led approach stimulate greater long-term resilience for surviving communities, than a reconstruction focused strategy? Through an active and on-going case study of post-disaster planning in Japan, and a variety of global precedent case studies, this paper differentiates a landscape approach from a reconstruction approach, seeking to explore new perspectives and distinct viewpoints of landscape expression.

The judges said The conclusions are potentially valuable for decision-makers and landscape architects and thus should be disseminated widely.

Image ©: Laura Mikkola

‘Memory-Sensitive Landscape Architecture’ by Laura Mikkola, University of Edinburgh

Highly commended
This study looks into three recently built public places in the metropolitan area of Paris, in an attempt to map contemporary themes regarding landscape architecture with mnemonic and temporal ambitions. It coins and begins to define the concept of memory-sensitive landscape architecture as a philosophy of landscape design and provides an initial collection of contemporary approaches and topologies applicable to the creative process of a project. 

The judges said This dissertation has a clear narrative structure. It is beautifully written and well-considered.

Student Portfolio - Paloma Stott, University of Edinburgh

Image ©: Paloma Stott

In her supporting statement, Paloma Stott described her work as follows: ‘For me, designing is like entering a discussion with the landscape; naturally revealing what is there and what should be preserved or eventually removed. Understanding how the site and its vegetation change through time and throughout each season, is essential in securing a harmonious blend between project and landscape. I consider my work to be the direct and unique result of its environment. 
‘I enjoy the idea of starting a project with a structural base, certain geometry, often inspired by former agricultural patterns that provide order and meaning to the landscape, over which the design can then be integrated. This allows for living systems to interact freely with the space. My designs aim to unite nature and natural living systems, with architectural structures .My strategy is simple, work with what is there, add structure, lucidity and use the ecological richness of the site to provide new life to the area.’

The judges said The hybrid of hand, collage and digital creates very evocative, painterly, atmospheric scenes. These graphics are nicely balanced with text which has created a very strong narrative.

Image ©: Freddie Egan

Freddie Egan, University of Edinburgh

Highly commended
In his supporting statement,  Freddie Egan wrote: ‘I spent much of my final year of study researching the fundamentals of how it is that we actually experience these designed spaces. Through research I identified the importance of designing with a multi-sensorial outlook and that walking is a key factor in building up our understanding of the environment and gaining a sense of place.’

The judges said Graphics and design style are used to fantastic effect in delivering conceptual ideas and design output.

Image ©: J & L Gibbons

Canal Park Design Guide and Implementation Plan, London

Highly commended
Canal Park Guide satisfies one of the many planning requirements of the Legacy Community Scheme (LCS) of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The LCS condition for a Design Guide was intended to set standards, aspirations and a delivery strategy for parkland along the Lee Navigation, ahead of zonal masterplanning of adjacent development platforms. The intent is richly illustrated in a meaningful way that is evocative and accessible to both stakeholders and prospective developers in terms of authenticity of landscape articulation.

The judges said We especially liked the diagrams mapping stakeholder engagement and the evocative visualisations.

Landscape architects: J & L Gibbons with muf architecture/art, East, Meadowcroft Griffin; client: London Legacy Development Corporation; engineer: Stockley; cost consultant: Appleyards; ecology: Ecology Consultancy; accessibility: Shape; land management: Land Management Services; soil scientist: Tim O’Hare Associates; lighting consultant: Dekka.

Image ©: Broadway Malyan

Masterplan for East Village, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Highly commended
The team devised a mid-rise European-style urban development with mixed tenure and a range of building types with active frontages framing busy pedestrian routes, urban squares and links to the riverside. This has changed perceptions of East Village from a no-go area into one of North America’s most valuable real estate opportunities. Residents and businesses are opting for East Village’s convenient location, high quality contemporary features integrated, historic character pedigree, vibrant atmosphere and riverside parks and restaurants. 

The judges said This is an important project to revitalise a key inner-city area in need of regeneration. It has transcended the typical North American zoning system.

Masterplanner: Broadway Malyan; client: Calgary Municipal Land Corporation; market sector advice: Roland Berger Strategy Consultants; retail advice: Thomas Consultants; planning, civil engineering and riverwalk landscape: Stantec; transport: Bunt Consultants

College of Fellows Award - Adapting to Climate Change: launching the debate in the Lower Ouse Valley

Image ©: LDA Design

The team, led by landscape architects and working with leading climate-change, flood-risk and coastal-change specialists, worked with communities in Newhaven, Seaford and Lewes and surrounding rural areas on and near the south coast, to help them understand the risks and opportunities of long-term climate change and sea-level rise, and plan for the future. They developed communications materials, including landscape visualisations, for various uses: public exhibitions and events, workshops, an online consultation and a pub quiz. They used the outcomes to develop a vision and action plan for local adaptation, working with the Coastal Futures Group. To continue raising awareness beyond the project lifetime, the team was commissioned to design a climate trail with displays in five popular local destinations.
The project looked beyond traditional flood defences to consider alternative adaptation approaches over the next 150 years – well beyond regular planning horizons. This allowed the team members to think more creatively, but they also had to ensure that people could relate to issues arising beyond their lifetimes and the effects on future generations.

The judges said This clearly demonstrates a long-term vision (up to 2150) that has the “bones” to provide a practical solution to the adverse climatic changes that we face.

Landscape architect: LDA Design; client: Environment Agency; co-financing partner: EU Interreg IVA 2 Seas Programme; specialist advice on flood risk management and coastal change: Royal Haskoning DHV; photography: Neil A White; community representation: the Lower Ouse Valley Coastal Futures Group.

The Landscape Institute would like to thank all the judges of the awards who gave up their time to scrutinise the entries.
Adding Value through Landscape 
– Ross Ingham (chair) Ingham Pinnock
– Jon Berry CMLI Tyler Grange
– Hattie Hartman The Architects’ Journal
Communications and Presentation 
– Stella Bland (chair), AECOM 
– Tim Calnan CMLI CS Design Software 
– Jim Hudson
Small Scale Design categories 
– Clare Devine (chair) Design Council
– Claire Bennie, Peabody
– James Lord CMLI HTA Landscape Design
– Peter Massini Greater London Authority 
– Dianne Western CMLI The Landscape Partnership
Large Scale Design Categories 
– Robin Buckle (chair) Transport for London 
– Matt Bell, Berkeley Group 
– David Finch CMLI Grant Associates 
Medium Scale Design – Public 
– Kathy MacEwen (chair)
– Nicole Collomb CMLI
– Jose Rosa, MRG Studio
Medium Scale Design – Private 
– Diane Haigh (chair) Allies & Morrison 
– Tom Armour CMLI, Arup 
– Martin Hird CMLI Terra Firma Consultancy
Heritage & Conservation 
– Jenifer White CMLI (chair) English Heritage
– Neil Davidson, CMLI J & L Gibbons
– Dr Marion Harney University of Bath
Landscape Policy and Research 
– Ian Houlston CMLI (chair) LDA Design 
– Katherine Drayson, Policy Exchange 
– Mary O’Connor CMLI, WYG
Neighbourhood Planning 
– Katy Neaves CMLI (chair), Turley
– James Parkinson, RIBA 
– Henry Smith Greater London Authority
Strategic Landscape Planning 
– Jim Smyllie (chair) Natural England 
– Tim Johns CMLI TEP 
– Joe Wheelwright CMLI, Arup
Science Management and Stewardship 
– Hilary Ludlow CMLI (chair) Landscape Science Consultancy
– Krishanthi Carfrae CMLI G L Hearn
– Rosie Whicheloe The Ecology Consultancy Student Portfolio 
– Allan Mitchell CMLI (chair) University of Gloucestershire 
– Trudi Entwistle Leeds Metropolitan University 
– Bethany Gale Building Design Partnership 
Student Dissertation 
– Maggie Roe CMLI (chair) Newcastle University 
– Pat Brown CMLI Kingston University 
– Helen Neve CMLI Land Management Services 
– Carly Tinkler CMLI Carly Tinkler Environmental, Landscape and Colour Consultancy 
– Sophie Tombleson, OOBE 
Urban Design and Masterplanning 
– John Slaughter (chair) Home Builders Federation 
– Ian Barrett Sustrans 
– Felicity Steers CMLI, Erz
College of Fellows Award for Climate Change Adaptation 
– Paj Valley FLIAtkins
– Neil Williamson PPLI FLI New Forest District Council
Landscape Institute Awards Committee
– David Withycombe CMLI (chair) Land Management Services
– Rob Beswick CMLI B|D landscape architects
– Anne Evans CMLI Anne Evans Landscape Architects
– Nicola Hancock CMLI The Environment Partnership
– Paj Valley FLI, Atkins
– Jo Watkins PPLI CMLI

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