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Landscape Institute Awards 2016

President’s introduction

An inspiring year - How good it would be to see the best schemes replicated across the country.
Daniel Cook, our new chief executive, and I had the opportunity to visit each of the judging panels for this year’s Landscape Institute Awards. For Daniel it was a terrific opportunity to see the impressive array of submissions from the landscape profession, giving him a unique view of the depth and breadth of influence the profession is having on society, and on the landscape of both town and country.

Once again we were inundated with exemplary examples of the profession at its very best, from master planning to management planning, from detailed exquisite designs to effective delivery. It was so good to see the public sector still driving the commissioning of new design ideas and schemes for regeneration. We were also impressed by the numerous examples of collaboration and of partnership working across so many related disciplines.

However, what struck us most forcefully was the number of projects and great ideas that could be replicated all over the country, benefitting so many different communities. In a way it would be rather irresponsible to ignore an opportunity to market these ideas more widely to benefit both the applicant and the wider public we all serve. Of course nothing can be done without the relevant authority of all involved but this is something the Landscape Institute must explore. We must make as much use as possible of such talent and the investment made by the applicant, their client and the Institute itself in running the awards.

May I take this opportunity to thank the judges who took time away from their busy schedules to take part in identifying the winners and the highly commended schemes. To all those who put in submissions, investing time and money, and standing up to be counted – I admire you all. Thanks also to the awards committee for all it does to make this event so successful and to our staff colleagues for all the effort and thought they put in to make the whole event run like clockwork.

President’s award

Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators, south east Wales

Every year, the President makes an award, selecting from the best of the best. Usually the award goes to a category winner, but this year Merrick Denton-Thompson, president of the Landscape Institute, chose a project that had been highly commended in the strategic landscape planning category.

He said, ‘I am sure I speak for all past Presidents when I say that trying to select the President’s Award from a list of outstanding winners is a real challenge and truly humbling bearing in mind the quality of best practice on display. However this year I have broken the mould in making my award by adding another winner to the list already determined by the judges. 

‘The project is the Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators in south east Wales – it does what it says on the tin, it sets out to transform the number of pollinating insects, looking at the whole lifecycle, across numerous landscape types – from schools to roadside verges, from public parks to private gardens. There is a strong commitment to monitoring success by both landscape scientists and unqualified citizen scientists. The project has produced a range of advisory booklets to help the public participate in the programme, covering numerous different landscape settings. Here is an outstanding example of best practice that could so easily be replicated across the country and I will do my best to give it the publicity it fully deserves.’

The Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators in south-east Wales is part of the wider Pollinators for Life project which is funded through the Welsh Government’s Nature Fund. This fund was established to try to address the decline in Welsh biodiversity through landscape-scale projects, recognising the interdependency of maintaining biodiversity with socio-economic factors.

The study area comprises Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire and Torfaen Local Authority areas. However, the action plan has been developed with the intention of being applicable to other local authority areas as well.

The action plan seeks to address the decline of pollinators throughout the study area by measuring the baseline conditions, identifying measures to benefit pollinators and drawing up a series of management action plans.

These action plans are focused towards implementation on publicly owned areas of green infrastructure in order to encourage the spread of and raise awareness of the importance of pollinators for health and wellbeing.

Stakeholders from within local authorities, housing associations, statutory and non-statutory bodies were consulted during the process of producing the action plan and a review of good practice was carried out.

An action plan needs to be a workable document and this one was designed as an easy-to-use set of management actions with two primary approaches; a bottom-up and a top-down approach. 
The top-down approach is most useful for those wishing to develop resources for pollinators at a strategic level; it allows for the identification of a suitable site or series of sites which could add most value to the pollinator resource without any prior bias as to site location.

The bottom-up approach is more suited to those who are already managing one or more specific parcels or areas of land and who wish to identify what actions would bring about a site-based increase in resources for pollinators.

The step-by-step process reduces the number of management actions to those that are most suitable to a given combination of green infrastructure and land type. This means that the action plan is highly scalable, with the capacity to be relevant to the whole of Wales yet still being applicable on a site-specific level.

Information is collected on a GIS database which contains approximately 120 relevant baseline and derived datasets. It is used throughout the action plan to:
- facilitate the initial identification of a site for further investigation (when taking a strategic approach);
- confirm land ownership;
- identify the land classification and green infrastructure type; and,
outline the likely constraints to pollinator planting and identify the physical conditions that can be expected.

The database is not intended to be a replacement for the knowledge and experience of those working in the area and nor is it intended to replace site visits. Rather, it is intended to bridge the gap between the baseline data and the Green Infrastructure Action Plans, providing a data-driven point-of-entry into them and an evidence base to support selected actions.

One of the strengths of this project lies in the simplicity of application. When planning green infrastructure projects for pollinators, it is important to assess the value of the existing resource for pollinators before making changes, so that poor resources can be targeted for improvement and good resources are not accidentally replaced with new infrastructure. Pollinators have a huge range of requirements and assessing the value of a habitat is complex. As it may not be practical to have an ecologist with knowledge of pollinators to assess each and every site before work is planned, some guidance is needed for non-specialists. To address this, the team drew up a simple grading system based on the general principles that structural diversity and floristic diversity will be good for pollinators; this is called the pollinator evaluation and grading system (PEGS).

Many actions presented in the action plan relate to changes to management regimes such as cutting grass to different heights and/or at different times of the year. Some actions require more extensive changes and include the development of wild flower meadows or formal planting areas. Where these are suggested, opportunities have been identified to attract additional funding.
The team has worked hard to make its work as easy to follow as possible. Action plans are linked throughout to other relevant action plans and management actions using hyperlinks and colour to guide the user and aid their navigation through the process.

Case studies underpin and explain the process with real examples of how it may be used, what changes could be made and the potential benefits these may bring about. These case studies are distributed across the four local authorities and cover heritage sites, schools, general amenity land and office grounds.

A series of guidebooks has been produced which are designed to be used as publicity and communication aids, and to inspire different groups or users to take action to improve pollinator provision. The guidebooks are focused and aimed at the following sectors/groups:

- Managing Green Spaces for Pollinators – an introduction for managers
- Managing Highway Verges for Pollinators – an introduction for highway managers
- Managing Residential Areas for Pollinators – an introduction for estates managers
- Managing School Grounds for Pollinators – an introduction for head teachers.

The guidebooks have been provided to the four local authorities in a format that can be edited in Microsoft Publisher in order that they can update and add to the series should they need to in the future.

Monitoring the delivery of the action plan is necessary to ensure its successful implementation and to enable changes and refinements to be made. Both scientifically recognised methods and citizen science approaches are proposed. Scientifically recognised methods are important to objectively rate the performance of the action plan, and developing citizen science is critical if the public is to be successfully engaged.

Adopting a citizen science approach would lead to better public perception of the actions implemented and further promote the benefits associated with reversing the decline in pollinators. This is important for attracting additional funding which in turn will lead to more robust science-based approaches being carried out.

Addressing issues of public perception is essential to the successful implementation of the action since publicly-owned land is a) just that, owned by the public and b) very much in the public eye. Where suitable, it is recommended that local communities are involved throughout the development of new, or improvement of, existing green infrastructure. With schools, sports pitches and play areas forming a significant component of publicly owned land, the action plan represents a great opportunity to engage with young people on this important issue.

Merrick Denton-Thompson said, ‘This submission touches a raw nerve with me, it tackles the appalling state of the biological quality of so many landscapes and it demonstrates that whatever we do as a profession we have to raise the biological health of every landscape we are commissioned to transform. 

‘For me what was so exciting about the project is that it took a national policy through to local delivery, through collaboration across a number of local authorities, through collaboration across a number of professional disciplines. At the same time as empowering the non-specialist, members of the public, to participate in delivery.

‘Many congratulations to all those involved, from the Ministerial commitment to effective legislation, from the local authority members and officers, from the landscape architects and ecologists working so effectively together.’

Landscape practice: TACP; clients: Monmouthshire County Council, Blaenau-Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Torfaen County Borough Council; project manager: Mackley Davies Associates

Adding value through landscape

Sidcup High Street revival programme, London

Sidcup’s town centre was suffering from market failure, causing economic and urban decline, and it needed multi-faceted investment to support regeneration. The solution took advantage of the fact that Sidcup’s curving high street follows a hill-top ridge, providing views over the Thames and Cray River valley landscapes. The high street’s hinterland includes key commercial, recreational and cultural attractions, which it needed to connect with and relate to better. The design strategy improves overall access, use and appearance across the high street and restores the civic and social fabric. It has driven regeneration, bringing confidence, enterprise and additional inward investment. 

The public benefits from a healthier, higher-quality setting with enhanced functionality and safety, renewed market confidence and increased employment. Environmentally, the scheme reduces the albedo effect and flood risk, improves air quality and micro-climate, and supports biodiversity.

The judges said:
A clear winner of best practice and an excellent case study.

Landscape practice: Untitled Practice; client: London Borough of Bexley; transport engineer: Urban Movement; graphic design: Studio April, Designed by Good People, Polimekanos; artist/maker: Kieren Jones; business support: Retail Revival; contractors: FM Conway, Shades Group, All London Signs.

Highly commended
Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s first long-distance driving route, developed to present the varying landscapes from north Donegal to west Cork as one marketable and accessible tourism offer. The Paul Hogarth Company developed the brief with the concepts of ‘landscape’, ‘people’ and ‘place’ agreed as the unique selling point. As the world’s longest designated coastal driving route, the innovative Wild Atlantic Way is now widely celebrated and sits alongside the great driving routes of the world.

The judges said:
The scale of this project is impressive and has raised the profile of this beautiful landscape.

Landscape practice: The Paul Hogarth Company; client: Fáilte Ireland; ecologist: CAAS; research and writing: Elspeth Wills; project management and masterplanning: The Paul Hogarth Company
Highly commended
Life+, Hammersmith & Fulham, London

The LIFE+ climate proofing social housing project has delivered packages of low‑cost retrofit climate-change adaptation measures across three social-housing estates in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. By targeting social housing estates, the project has helped to reduce these relatively deprived communities’ vulnerability to climate change. The techniques used are also applicable to other types of development.

The judges said:
It is obvious that the role of the landscape architect has been critical in successful delivery.

Landscape practice: Groundwork London; client: Hammersmith & Fulham Council; Project funders: EU LIFE Programme, Hammersmith & Fulham Council, Greater London Authority; engineering support: Engineering, Design & Analysis, Environmental Protection Group; consultancy support: Green Infrastructure Consultancy, The Ecology Consultancy; community engagement: Groundwork London; contractors: Greatford Garden Services, Mitie, Warwick Landscaping, Organic Roofs, Groundwork London Green Teams; performance monitoring:
Sustainability Research Institute (SRI), University of East London
Highly commended
Larbert Woods, Forth Valley, Royal Hospital, Larbert

Larbert Woods is the UK’s first woodland-based rehabilitation programme for cardiac patients in hospital grounds. The brief was to transform and revitalise the woodland and green space surrounding Forth Valley Royal Hospital, bringing it back into sustainable management and realising the grounds as an asset for health improvement for patients, visitors, staff and local people. 

The judges said:
This has taken an important issue of the health benefits and given good value for money, in a modest but compelling way.

Landscape practice: Ian White Associates; client: NHS Forth Valley /Forestry Commission Scotland; landscape practice (interpretation and detail design): Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT); contractor: CSFT/Forestry Commission Scotland; additional stakeholders: Falkirk Council, Green Exercise Partnership (A partnership between Forestry Commission, NHS Health Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage)

Communications and presentation

B|D landscape architects Review Journal 2010–2015

B|D landscape architects was established in November 2008. In its first full year of consultancy it produced a ‘Yearbook’ that captured its thoughts, aspirations, competition entries and live projects in one 24-page A6 size document – a reminder of time well spent and an opportunity to remind existing clients and introduce potential clients to the possibilities in collaborating with B|D landscape architects. The yearbook was a success and was even published in a notable book ‘Visual Communication for Landscape Architecture’ in 2013. The practice decided to try to produce a yearbook each year and the submission for the LI Awards is a 5-year collective review of its time in practice since inception. University of Sheffield and Leeds Beckett University have used the book as part of their careers advice. The documents has resulted in a number of new commissions.

The judges said:
We chose this as our winner because we felt it set a high bar to professional leadership and promotion.

Landscape practice: B|D landscape architects; client: B|D landscape architects; graphic design: Passport; printing: Team Impression

Highly commended
HERE+NOW one-year publication, Edinburgh

To celebrate one year of activity as Scotland’s first not-for-profit landscape architecture and co‑design studio, Here+Now created the ‘HERE+NOW One Year Publication 2015’ in order to share its approach, tools, learning, projects and process during 2015. The aim was to promote not only the practice’s work but also the work of the landscape profession in general.

The judges said:
This was a refreshing insight into an innovative approach to community engagement.
Highly commended
GLVIA3 masterclasses and training events

The brief was to deliver training on the new publication GLVIA3 (guidelines for landscape visual impact assessment) published jointly by the LI and IEMA in 2013. The success of the training, which more than 600 people attended, has led to bespoke training for other professionals as far afield as New Zealand. The LI has adopted the approach as a template for other training sessions. 

The judges said:
The communications balanced the technical requirements of the work without letting go of the strategic goals the processes were aiming to achieve.

Landscape practice: WYG with Prof Carys Swanwick Hon FLI; client: Landscape Institute

Highly commended
Madrid + Natural

This project provides a bespoke strategic plan, supported by a programme of practical, nature-based solutions, in response to the effects of climate change on Madrid. The project demonstrates how other cities could tackle the effects of climate change in a practical way that would also improve the quality of life for citizens and visitors.

The judges said:
This is an impressive presentation of a vision for greening a major European city.

Landscape practice: Arup; client: Ayuntamiento de Madrid (City of Madrid) – Energy Agency and climate change department

Design for a small scale development

Rotunda Community Campus, Liverpool

On a piece of semi-derelict brownfield land next to Rotunda Community College, BCA Landscape designed a new campus to further the college’s objectives of providing training and qualifications for garden volunteers, improving community links, enabling wheelchair access and incorporating a kitchen garden to link with the college’s café. Through the garden, the project promotes the idea of growing and eating fruit and vegetables. 

With a modest initial budget, BCA Landscape worked closely with the client to tap in to additional funding from a cocktail of sources. 

The scheme has directly regenerated a forgotten and derelict area of land, while also continuing and enhancing outreach to the local community. It puts environmental education at the heart of the approach, while the extensive planting of scented flowers will attract pollinators that will kick-start a mini ecosystem.

The judges said:
This is a garden with a heart and soul and is not just an outdoor room but an outdoor house with a kitchen, living room, larder and playroom.

Landscape practice: BCA Landscape; client: Rotunda Community College; funders: Jo Malone London, Mersey Forest, Biffa, Atlantic Gateway, Liverpool Mutual Homes, and First Trans Pennine Express
Highly commended
Crossrail roof garden

Located in the North Dock of London’s Docklands, between the HSBC tower at Canary Wharf and the residential neighbourhood of Poplar, this garden sits on top of a new Crossrail station (not yet open) and the development above it. The designers based their design on the idea of biophilia (love of the living world’) providing a rare space where visitors can interact with nature at high level.

The judges said:
The landscape scheme is as much a part of the building as the elegant roof structure and addresses and embraces some difficult technical challenges.

Landscape practice: Gillespies, with support from Growth Industry; client: Canary Wharf Group; specialist planting consultant: Growth Industry; architect: Foster and Partners; collaborating architect: Adamson Associates; structural and M&E engineer: Arup; main contractor: Canary Wharf Contractors; landscape contractor: Blakedown Landscapes
Highly commended
New Ludgate, London

The landscape design for New Ludgate unites two distinct buildings by reintroducing a historic existing alleyway and incorporating a new public ground-level piazzetta, whilst additionally developing a south-facing roof terrace on the development’s fifth floor. This terrace has dense and colourful planting, setting the standard for terrace gardens through London. It provides important habitats for birds and bees, supporting biodiversity in the City.

The judges said:
Like a Paul Smith suit, it is immaculately tailored with a strong form complemented by a floral lining.

Landscape practice: Gustafson Porter; client: Land Securities; architect: Sauerbruch Hutton; executive architect: Fletcher Priest; engineer: Waterman; contractor: Skanska; lighting designer: Speirs + Major; cost consultant: Gleeds
Highly commended
A garden for Maggie’s, Lanarkshire

This is the latest in a series of Maggie’s cancer caring centres, designed to provide support for patients in a domestic and informal manner. The garden represents a significant evolution in the design of Maggie’s’ gardens, being based on research findings about the therapeutic effects of domestic-scale gardens.

This exceptional therapeutic environment has especial significance in Lanarkshire, which has one of the highest cancer rates in Scotland.

The judges said:
There is a beautifully restrained palette of materials chosen for colour, texture and warmth which complements the elegant building form and makes a sympathetic canvas for the sparkling light and shadows. 

Landscape practice: Rankinfraser landscape architecture; client: Maggie’s Centres; architect: Reiach and Hall Architects; structural engineer: SKM; M&E engineer: KJ Tait; lighting designer: Speirs and Major; main contractor: John Dennis

Design for a medium scale development

Piazza Gae Aulenti, ‘A new vibrant heart for Milan’, Italy

This landmark new square at the heart of the Porta Nuova Garibaldi development provided an incredible opportunity to create a new urban quarter, creating a space that would showcase the vision for Milan as an innovative, sustainable and people-oriented place. Sustainability was integrated into the heart of the design, ensuring longevity by enabling the piazza to be used for temporary art and cultural installations. The centre of the piazza is flooded, creating a dramatic 60m reflective water skin that becomes highly textured to increase the water’s vigour before it cascades down two floors, where not only does the sound mitigate noise pollution of surrounding roads, but also helps to integrate light and ventilation requirements.

The piazza’s sculptural seating showcases the potential for digital fabrication in the public realm. Light wells connect the square with the retail floor and car parking below, whilst also allowing light and air to penetrate the surrounding towers’ deep footprints.

The judges said:
An excellent response to the client brief with a strong masterplan concept that brings life to a successful people-focused urban landscape.

Landscape practice: AECOM; client: COIMA SGR; design architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli; lighting design: Castiglioni; waste management: Montana; executive architect: Adamson Associates; local architect: Tekne; quantity surveyor: J&A; water feature: Wed Fontane; local landscape architect: Land; MEP engineering: Ariatta/Buro Happold; facade consultant: Studio ingegneria Rigone; urban quality: Gehl Architects; structural engineering: MSC; fire protection: GTP; traffic consultant: ATM
Highly commended
Crawter’s Brook Park, Crawley, West Sussex

The brief was to provide a new public park in the Manor Royal Business District, which had been formed with the designation of Crawley as a new town. It emphasised the need to find new and more co-operative ways of looking after projects once they are completed and involving local people. Innovation in the design included incorporating photovoltaic cells and a battery in signs to power uplighters and the chipping of wood that was removed to create wildlife habitats.

The judges said:
It is a simple intervention with a light touch yet achieves a high level of design and quality using well-crafted simple elements and soft landscape features in an unexpected location in the urban fabric.

Landscape practice: Allen Scott; client: Manor Royal Business District; steering group: Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council and Sussex Wildlife Trust; engineer: Waterman Infrastructure & Environment; contractor: Edburton Contractors; subcontractors: Katsura Gardens; fabricators: Laddingford Engineering (metal work); Albion Architectural (concrete); Adam Kershaw (timber elements); and Arc Creative (interpretation).

Design for a large scale development

Royal Stoke Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent

Colour, the landscape practice, developed Dr Roger Ulrich’s globally replicated evidence that patients with green views recover faster than those without, require less strong drugs, less frequently, and that perceptions of treatment improve. Stress could also be reduced through interaction with nature, and staff retention improved.

The practice created departmental-specific models and also applied them to car parking, arrival and circulation areas to set the hospital experience and combined them with smooth functionality to minimise stress.

It liaised closely with clinicians and created: inside-outside experiences that brought nature deep indoors; strategic green movement routes including covered walkways; gardens for break out, contemplation and recreation for patients, staff, friends and families; green views for people spending long periods of time in wards, dialysis and oncology.

The judges said:
We are impressed that this scheme will clearly deliver many public benefits to the local population and has great potential to act as an exemplar to other healthcare schemes. 

Landscape practice: Colour; client: University Hospital of North Midlands NHS Trust; equity provider: John Laing Social Infrastructure; FM provider: Sodexho/ Project Co; contractor; Laing O’Rourke; quantity surveyor: Cyril Sweett; architecture: Ryder HKS; civil and structural engineering: WSP; traffic engineering: Scott Wilson/UBS; planning consultant: GVA Grimley
Highly commended
Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, Turkey

Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum is on a waterfront site, set on a series of levels in the resort’s hillside, surrounded by ancient olive groves and pine trees. The landscape vision was to create a seamless connection between the architecture and landscape that charts the romantic journey from Mediterranean pine forest and the garrigue shrubland, to olive groves and grassy plains.

The judges said:
The scheme is visually impressive with beautiful detailing.

Landscape practice: Scape Design Associates; client: Astas Holding; operator: Mandarin Oriental; project manager: Arup; architect: Metex; interior designer: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel & Partners; lighting designer: Metis; signage consultant: Jackson Daley; irrigation consultant: Irritech; kitchen designer: Humble Arnold

Design for a temporary landscape

The Hive at Kew Gardens, London

Following the success of the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, the UKTI and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew reached an agreement for the main sculptural piece of the pavilion, the Hive, to be relocated to Kew Gardens for a period of two years. 

An important element of the landscape design was to provide a setting for the Hive that would have a meaningful and functional legacy once the sculpture has been moved after two years at Kew Gardens. The landscape needed to provide Kew with an event space to hold external classes and talks, set within a landscape typology unique within Kew.

As the meadow develops and various plant species come into flower, the sounds and sights of bees within The Hive will be accompanied by real bees within the meadow, creating a multi-layered, multi-sensory experience.

The judges said:
The submission uses the temporary opportunity of the installation to engage thoughtfully with the purpose, and short and long term needs of the site.

Landscape practice: BDP; client: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; artist and creative lead: Wolfgang Buttress; principal contractor: Stage One; structural, electrical and civil engineer: BDP; structural engineer, the Hive: Simmonds Studio; acoustic consultant: Hoare Lea
Highly commended
Mobile Garden City, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

The Mobile Garden City responds to the growing pressure on land in big cities, where construction can dominate everyday life, by developing a community space and a growing hub on a piece of land lost between purposes. The Mobile Garden City has been instrumental in creating communal space and activities where local networks can grow. Through its design and concept, it succeeds in developing fledging communities of the Olympic Park, and offers a replicable model for ‘meanwhile’ sites amid the constant flux of modern cities.

The judges said:
This project provides an engaging space where connections can be developed between old and new communities.

Landscape practice: Groundwork London for Our Parklife with Public Works / Somewhere; client: London Legacy Development Corporation; design champions: (public works) Andreas Lang; (somewhere): Nina Pope, Karen Guthrie, Laurent Mot, Nic Laurent, (graphic design) Koby Barhad; structural advice on design for relocation: Blue Engineering; site development and enabling works: Chobham Manor LLP; landscape contractor/ design consultant; The Landscape Group

Science management and stewardship

The Crown Estate London Ecology Masterplan

In July 2015, The Crown Estate, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, Shaftesbury, the Howard de Walden Estate and The Portland Estate, announced that they had formed a unique collaboration to promote green infrastructure through an ecology project entitled ‘Wild West End’. The Crown Estate kick started Wild West End with the London Ecology Masterplan.

The masterplan targets were developed through consultation with the London Wildlife Trust, and target Westminster’s priority species. Through a holistic estate-wide approach, the masterplan provides a long-term, flexible strategy for enhancing landscape and ecological value through the delivery of multi-functional green infrastructure features that provide a range of ecosystem services. It links green spaces with new features to create a green corridor through the site.

Following the implementation of the masterplan, Arup’s project team have provided regular monitoring and quarterly reporting to track the success against the short term targets and review the projected trajectory towards the long term objectives.

The judges said:
An inspiring vision to deliver ecosystem service benefits straight into the heart of the capital city.

Landscape practice: Arup; client: The Crown Estate

Heritage and conservation

Pulham Gardens at Worth Park

A 1950s ‘new town’, Crawley is often derided for its lack of heritage. Following research it conducted, Crawley Council (CBC) became aware that Worth Park was an original James Pulham and Sons design, containing remnants of many features.

The project aimed to restore the near-derelict legacy within an improved setting, as well as improving the amenity value of the wider neglected park, substantially smaller than its original form. 
Allen Scott led the project, developing and guiding the restoration through HLF and LI design stages, working with the friends, county archaeologist, CBC and experienced crafts­people experienced in restoration.

The two most challenging problems were the restoration of the main fountain, which had not worked for 70 years, and the geologically correct re-building of the Pulham scenic rockery.

An overgrown, indistinct local park has become one of national interest. Major vegetation clearance coupled with significant ornamental and native planting have improved biodiversity, as shown by ecological monitoring. 

The judges said:
The quality of the restoration, and in particular the elaborate Pulham terracotta and rock work, shone thorough.

Landscape practice: Allen Scott; client: Crawley Borough Council; engineer: Waterman Group; quantity surveyor: PT Projects; project management: Glevum Consulting; main contractor: Blakedown Landscapes; specialist crafts: Pulhamite Reconstruction, Alan Bishop Associates; Pulham terracotta fountain restoration: The Fountain Company; camellia walk: Green Oak Carpentry; Pulham advisor: Claude Hitching
Highly commended
The restoration of Kennington Park Flower Garden, London

Kennington Park Flower Garden lies within the Grade II registered Kennington Park in south London which was originally opened in 1854. The project has revived the neglected and run-down flower garden, with its 1930s heritage as the basis of the scheme, thus creating a new resource for all generations to enjoy. The high degree of consultation meant that the community became involved with the garden, and took an interest in the meticulous research and a new pride in the history of the garden.

The judges said:
The submission is an exemplar for such projects and the project experience could usefully be captured as technical advice.

Landscape practice: LUC; client: Lambeth Council; client partner: Friends of Kennington Park; quantity surveyor: Huntley Cartwright; conservation architect: Rees Bolter; engineer: The Morton Partnership; CDM co-ordinator: Brian Bulfin Associates; landscape contractor: Gavin Jones
Highly commended
Felixstowe Seafront Gardens

Felixstowe has suffered from a declining tourist economy. A key site in its restoration strategy was the gardens, which were in a state of dilapidation with many elements comprising complex and often unstable assemblages. The gardens now comprise a series of interconnected spaces, rockwork and water features which together with ornamental planting, impart great diversity of visual interest.

The judges said:
The restored gardens are obviously enjoyed by many, and there are some super Trip Advisor reviews. 

Landscape practice: Mott MacDonald; client: Suffolk Coastal District Council supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF); employer’s agent: Concertus Property Consultants; project manager: Castons; cost consultant: Gleeds; artist: Valerie Osment; HLF application consultant: Lanarca; community liaison: Felixstowe Forward; Felixstowe strategic masterplan: David Lock Associates; principal contractor: Breheny Civil Engineer 

Policy and research

Trees and Design Action Group

The Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG), founded by Capita Lovejoy in 2007, draws together the knowledge and experience of all stakeholders involved in the urban tree agenda, and is a vehicle for the free dissemination of expertise and good practice.

TDAG has published two seminal research studies. Trees in the Townscape: A Guide for Decision Makers, published in September 2012, offers 12 action-oriented principles, spanning planning, design, works and management issues, that must be addressed for maximum economic, social and environmental returns. Each principle is supported by explanations of benefits and delivery mechanisms. 34 case studies provide real-life examples of the principles in action.

Trees in Hard Landscapes. A Guide for Delivery, published in 2014, explores the practical challenges and solutions to integrating trees in 21st century streets, civic spaces and surface car parks, detailing process, design and technical options. 

The judges said:
The guide encourages a collaborative approach across the planning, design and engineering professions.

Landscape practice, project and client team: Trees and Design Action Group Trust and Capita Lovejoy land planning team
Highly commended
The SuDS Manual

The landscape architect’s role in the collaborative approach to the design of SuDS (sustainable drainage systems) is strongly emphasised in CIRIA’s new C753 SuDS Manual (2015), which demonstrates that using the correct team upfront in the design of SuDS will support the delivery of multiple benefits. The manual promotes landscape architecture as playing a central role within interdisciplinary teams involved in the masterplanning, design and development of open space.

The judges said:
Exceedingly thorough and applicable internationally.

Delivery team lead author: HR Wallingford; client: CIRIA (Construction Information and Research Association); delivery team authors: EPG Environmental Protection Group, EcoFutures/University of Sheffield, Grant Associates, Illman Young Landscape Design
Highly commended
The Bath Pattern Book

Bath and North East Somerset Council commissioned The Bath Pattern Book to provide public-realm design guidance for the city centre. The Pattern Book, which is the result of more than three years’ work, reinvents the idea of a city built around the pleasure to be found in sharing the public realm. It draws on archive evidence of the elements of the Georgian city and combines this with research into people-centred place-making and current best practice in pedestrian-priority public realm design.

The judges said:
Inspiring research, analysis and presentation result in a public-realm framework standing a step beyond other guides of its type.

Landscape practice: Landscape Projects; client: Bath and North East Somerset Council; co-consultants: Civic Engineers, Gehl Architects, Research Design Architecture, Spiers and Major, Working pArts
Highly commended
The Edible Roof: A Guide to Productive Rooftop Gardening

The objective of the four-year research project that resulted in this book, was to empower communities to establish their own urban rooftop farm projects, to promote healthier high-density urban lifestyles and to allow urban roof farms to contribute to the greening of the city. It addresses the unique challenges of urban farming on high-rise buildings, providing best-practice to help community groups establish roof-top farms on under-used urban roof spaces at minimal cost.

The judges said:
This has far-reaching potential for wider use in fast-growing, dense cities.

Landscape practitioner and author: Mathew Pryor, The University of Hong Kong; publisher: MCCM Creations, Hong Kong

Local landscape planning

Woodside, Firhill & Hamiltonhill Development Framework, Glasgow, informed by the ‘What Floats Your Boat’ charrette

The aim of this project was to establish a vision and development framework for the Woodside, Firhill, and Hamiltonhill areas of north Glasgow which are adjacent to the Glasgow branch of the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Vision, Development Framework and Masterplan were prepared in close liaison with stakeholders and the local community via a ‘charrette’ process and informed by a rigorous understanding of the area.

The key innovative approach was the intensive and creative charrette engagement process that involved a variety of engagement techniques, over an intensive four-day period, including a significant art outreach programme, and involved dialogue with more than 300 people.

Unconventional approaches such as the use of a paper boat as a symbol of change were successful. The process established priorities for the area, such as the importance of a cohesive green infrastructure area. An area of ‘vacant and derelict land’ has now been re-designated as a local nature reserve.

The judges said:
The project demonstrated an approach which ensured that the public were fully engaged and involved in an area of high deprivation in Glasgow.

Landscape practice: LUC; client: Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership (Scottish Canals & Glasgow City Council); architect: LDN; charrette facilitator: Kevin Murray Associates; art coordinator: Matt Baker; engineering and transport consultant: AECOM; ecological support: Envirocentre; socio-economic consultant: PBA
Highly commended
Assessing a Cornish sense of place

The public-space team, working with the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit, recognised the need for Local Landscape Character Assessment (LLCA) to underpin Neighbourhood Development Plan policies and piloted a methodology with the Roseland NDP through 2014. This included discussions, workshop sessions and training for volunteers, as well as advice on the content and wording of environmental policies in the wider neighbourhood plan.

The judges said:
We are aware of the shortage of staff in local authorities for this kind of work, and so the training programme made this entry stand out.

Landscape practice: Cornwall Council Public Space Team, Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit; client: Cornwall’s Parish and Town Councils who wish to carry out a landscape character assessment as part of a Neighbourhood Development Plan
Highly commended
Pellant Road Estate regeneration

When Allen Scott was brought in partway through the redevelopment process, it realised that the purely cosmetic changes that had been proposed would have little impact. Instead it proposed more radical changes, which include demolishing a large proportion of the existing concrete podium and a warren of underground garages. The demolished garages will be replaced with SuDS (sustainable drainage systems) paving, vegetated swales and safely lit car parking spaces.

The judges said:
This scheme introduced some very original designs which were the result of clear objectives and which were deliverable and realistic.

Landscape practice: Allen Scott; client: Hammersmith and Fulham Council; building surveyor and lead designer: GDS; project management: Mitie; BREEAM assessment: NuPlanet; ecologist: FOA Ecology; structural engineer: Cornerstone; quantity surveyor: Moony Kelly
Highly commended
North West Cambridge Development ‘creating a positive community’

AECOM was asked to create a benchmark for innovative and active 21st century living that was in line with the high aspirations of the world-renowned institution that is The University of Cambridge. The site is highly sensitive and in a city with extremely high standards and history. AECOM ensured that the project was developed hand in hand with the community. Innovations include the UK’s largest non-potable surface-water recycling network, which is integrated with enhanced ecological habitats, open spaces and cycling and walking routes.

The judges said:
This was an exemplar in how landscape architects can lead and influence the design approach and outputs for a significant new development.

Landscape practice (planning, landscape architecture, masterplanning, engineering, sustainability): AECOM; client: North West Cambridge Development, University of Cambridge; ecology: MD Ecology; transport engineer: PBA

Strategic landscape planning

South Downs National Park: view characterisation and analysis

The first of the seven special qualities of the South Downs National Park are defined as its ‘diverse, inspirational landscapes and breathtaking views’, but at the time of commissioning this study there was no evidence about what these views were or what makes them special. Therefore the purpose of this project was to provide evidence on views to ensure this aspect of the park’s special qualities could be understood, conserved and enhanced for future generations, resisting the pressures for development in this most populous part of the country.

The study forms part of the landscape evidence base for the South Downs National Park Plan and is actively being used to support development management decisions and assess the impacts of proposed land-use change.

The project produced a series of user-friendly interactive tools that are widely accessible to the general public, and could be used widely elsewhere to enhance accessibility and understanding.

The judges said:
This piece of work translates an esoteric statement into a means of objective evaluation of views, plugging a gap in the decision-making process.

Landscape practice: LUC; client: South Downs National Park Authority
Highly commended
Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators, South-east Wales

The Green Infrastructure Action Plan for Pollinators in South-east Wales (GIAPP) formed a component of Pollinators for Life, funded by the Welsh Government’s Nature Fund supporting landscape-scale projects to address the decline in biodiversity and provide benefits to the economy and communities through creating the environments that favour the creatures that help to pollinate plants. The GIAPP places an emphasis on the intrinsic value of pollinators to the public, aiming to provide a more colourful, artistic and functional environment.

The judges said:
It offers deliverable actions at every scale from personal to organisational.

Landscape practice: TACP; clients: Monmouthshire County Council, Blaenau-Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Torfaen County Borough Council; project manager: Mackley Davies Associates
Highly commended
Seychelles Strategic Land Use and Development Plan

The plan provides a spatial framework for the future of Seychelles to 2040, providing policy across a range of topics to guide development, inform lower-tier policy, including land use plans, and inform decision-making. The plan, approved in September 2015, comprises an integrated national strategic plan, a framework plan for the most populous island (Mahé), and a detailed masterplan for the capital city Victoria. The plans are supported by a suite of evidence-based documents covering everything from character assessment to security and disaster-risk assessments.

The judges said:
There was strong stakeholder and public engagement, and the results were clearly implemented in policy. 

Landscape practice: Arup; client: Government of Seychelles; Abu Dhabi Planning Council
Highly commended
Upland Commons of South-east Wales natural resources management plan

This is the first management plan for the uplands to focus on an ecosystems services approach. It covers 380km2 within five local authority areas and provides them, Welsh Government, Commoners Associations, Gwent Wildlife Trust, individual farmers and other stakeholders with clear spatially specific management proposals that can be implemented immediately to benefit local biodiversity, commoners and the wider landscape. It will form the prototype for the preparation of other Natural Resource Management Plans in Wales. 

The judges said:
This does the job really well. The solutions arrived at are robust and applicable to the challenge in hand.

Landscape practice: TACP; client organisations: Welsh Government, Torfaen County Borough Council, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, Brecon Beacons Natural Park Authority, Forgotten Landscapes Partnership, Monmouthshire County Council, Cardiff University, Gwent Wildlife Trust, Gwent Police, Natural Resources Wales, representatives from Commoners Associations; rural consultant: Cumulus Consultants

Student dissertation

Phenomenology within Design

By engaging in landscape research through the narrative of the design process, this paper charts a landscape architect’s account of the landscape of Plaszow, Krakow – the site of a former Nazi concentration camp.

Through engagement with the personal negotiations and decisions made through a first-person narrative, the author attempts to combine the key principles of landscape phenomenology with landscape architecture through both pragmatic and conceptual arguments. He focuses on the French school of post-structuralism, with discussions revolving around the theories of Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty and Derrida, and how they can be reappropriated in landscape architecture through the key example of Derrida’s ‘transcendental signifiers’. The argument posed is that the considerations of self and world developed by phenomenology have an important role in the evolving discipline of academic landscape architecture, especially in a dualized and conflicted place such as Plaszow.

The judges said:
The author went above and beyond the recommended reading to demonstrate a clear passion for his subject. 

Student: James Trevers; 
University: University of Edinburgh
Highly commended
Agency and Access: a systemic examination of vacant space access in Dublin

This study aims to define measures by which members of the public may achieve access to vacant space within the city of Dublin. It seeks to address the position of the landscape architect within the dynamics of top-down urban policy and the social realities that it creates and the efforts of grassroots initiatives to overcome these realities.

The study includes a series of interviews with specific actors involved in accessing vacant space within the city today.

The judges said:
The author demonstrates excellent underpinning research, with excellent referencing of key academic and neoliberal theory to inform the work.

Student: Callum Watson; 
University: University of Edinburgh

Student portfolio

Peter Kennedy, University of Edinburgh

Helguvík Industrial Park, Iceland responds to a physical tactile tectonic field grain where delicate microclimates are in flux with large-scale industry growth. The project devises a way in which the industry itself can alter, hack and enrich the landscape grain for economic and ecological growth. In contrast, Plaszów Concentration Camp, Kraków focuses on a complex emotional grain alongside the physical grain of mass graves and killing sites, creating spaces that function as memorials to the past and facilitators for the future.

The judges said:
He shows real skill in digesting information and interpreting it into something engaging.
Highly commended
Callum Watson, University of Edinburgh

In his final year, Callum focused on two project areas. The first demonstrated aspects of landscape architectural design in relation to climatic instability and his  personal research explored how a landscape architect positions themselves in relation to the sociological dynamics within the urban development agenda of a city.

The judges said:
The portfolio is consistent throughout with beautiful well-designed graphics and presentation.

Urban design

Torpoint Vision, Cornwall

The Vision for Torpoint sets out a physical vision for the town, with a strategy and 50 ideas that point to how it could be improved. The vision will now underpin the town neighbourhood plan, providing a physical vision to inform planning policy – giving quality design a high profile in the process of regeneration. The aim is that the new image will help to support a new civic pride in residents.

The landscape team engaged more than 2000 of the 9000 residents in consultation, as well as studying economic indicators and the planning context.

The Vision advocates a flexible approach to regeneration so that the town can respond over time to changing economic circumstances. It puts the environment and sustainable design first and, by generating a positive momentum from the right projects being delivered in the right place at the right time, the impact on the town could be transformational.

The judges said:
This was a robust and deliverable project clearly supported by a fully costed and realistically phased business plan – a delightful piece of work.

Landscape practice: Clifton Emery Design; 
client: Torpoint Town Council 
Highly commended
Barton Park, Oxford

Barton Park will be an exemplary garden suburb designed for the needs of the 21st century; a perfect blend of high quality, healthy, urban living that is in harmony with its natural surroundings. It will provide up to 885 new homes, 40% social tenure, designed to a high level of sustainability. This includes the design of walkable neighbourhoods, multi-functional public open space, low-energy housing and a focus on naturalistic principles with high levels of biodiversity.

The judges said:
The early delivery of the landscape elements is a strength of the project, while it makes a virtue of a traditional approach inspired by projects in the Netherlands and is not striving to be an iconic proposal.

Landscape practice: Terence O’Rourke; client: Barton Oxford LLP (comprised of Grosvenor Developments Ltd and Oxford City Council); architect: Glenn Howells; town planner and consultation: AECOM; affordable housing and agent: Savills; transport, engineering and EIA coordination: WSP; strategy and sustainability: Urbed; QS and procurement: Arcadis; arboriculture: Lockhart Garratt; soils: Tim O’Hare Associates
Highly commended
The Aylesbury Estate Regeneration, London

Landscape played a pivotal role in reshaping the council’s Area Action Plan masterplan. HTA recognised the importance of the site’s existing trees, mapped them onto the existing masterplan and reconfigured it, using the location of the trees to indicate where new roads and open spaces should go. This was a distinguishing factor in the bid and subsequent planning applications, and has added value to proposals in economic, environmental and cultural terms.

The judges said:
This landscape masterplan is a rigorous and innovative piece of work for a highly controversial site.

Landscape practice: HTA Design; client: Notting Hill Housing Group; local authority: Southwark Council ; architects: HTA Design, Mae Architects, Hawkins Brown; civil/MEP engineering consultant: WSP; structural engineering consultant: Price & Myers; consultation specialist: Soundings
Highly commended
Colin Town Centre Masterplan

This is one of the most significant regeneration projects to have taken place in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement. The design and planning of a new town centre has not been undertaken in recent times and represents one of the most ambitious programmes to transform a problematic urban area. Consultation was key, and the people of Colin were involved in every step of the development of this landscape-led masterplan.

The judges said:
A rigorous consultation process was used to generate an ambitious and innovative vision for a new town centre within an existing housing area.

Landscape practice: The Paul Hogarth Company; client: Department for Communities (formerly Department for Social Development); client partners: Colin Neighbourhood Partnership, Strategic Investment Board; architect: Hall McKnight; planning consultant: Strategic Planning, environmental consultant/ quantity surveyor/ engineering consultant: WYG; traffic/ transportation consultant: JMP; social/ economic sustainability consultant: Sorhill Advocates; arboriculturalist: Philip Blackstock; archaeology consultant: Gahan and Long; peer review: Allies and Morrison Architects; project management and masterplanning: The Paul Hogarth Company

Client of the year

Nene Park Trust, Peterborough

Nene Park Trust is a registered charity and was established in 1988. The trust is entirely self-funded through rental income from park properties, concessions and investments at no cost to the taxpayer. The management of the trust is overseen by a Board of Trustees, representing local, regional and national organisations. 

In 2012 Davies White won a commission to work with the Nene Park Trust over the next five years, and has carried out a number of projects at Ferry Meadows. Adam White of Davies White says, ‘The Nene Park Trust understand the value of quality design and an engaged design development process. The first thing they said when we met in 2012 was they wanted a professional that was creative, skilled in strategic planning, delivery and aftercare management. They were clear they needed a landscape design consultant rooted in an understanding of how the environment works and what makes each place unique.’

When a landscape architect is able to say of a client that ‘The success of the projects would not be purely judged on whether they were delivered on time and in budget but on how they created healthy places, natural beauty and diversity, helped address climate change, respect landscape character and have a real quality in both the detail design and delivery’ the committee were able to unanimously award Nene Park Trust the Client of the Year title 2016.

The obvious trust and enthusiasm the client has placed in the landscape architect’s hands is refreshing and commendable. Community engagement is so often paid lip service to but in this instance the designs literally are user and designer led with the full support of the Trust.

Proposed by: Davies White

Fellows’ award for climate-change adaptation

Life+, Hammersmith & Fulham, London

Every year, the fellows of the LI give an award to the project that they feel best represents climate-change adaptation. This year, when making their choice, they were impressed by what had been achieved on a very modest budget in terms of environmental and social transformation in this project which was part-funded through the EU LIFE+ ‘climate proofing social housing landscapes’ programme.

They said, ‘There is a need for cost-effective retrofitting of the existing housing stock to be more widely recognised as an essential component of a comprehensive national and international response to climate change. This project will undoubtedly help promote this recognition by demonstrating in a very practical way what can be done.

‘This submission was convincingly presented with a very clear narrative. The communication skills of the team shone through. Energetic engagement with the residents succeeded in converting initial widespread scepticism into enthusiastic understanding and support.’

Landscape practice: Groundwork London; client: Hammersmith and Fulham Council; project funders: EU LIFE Programme, Hammersmith and Fulham Council, Greater London Authority; engineering support: Engineering, Design & Analysis, Environmental Protection Group; consultancy support: Green Infrastructure Consultancy, The Ecology Consultancy; community engagement: Groundwork London; contractors: Greatford Garden Services, Warwick Landscaping, Organic Roofs, Groundwork London Green Teams


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 
– Johanna Gibbons FLI (chair), J & L Gibbons
– Paul Best FLI, Hampshire County Council
– Ruth Holmes CMLI, The Royal Parks

Communications and presentation 
– Jim Smyllie (chair)
– Noel Farrer FLI PPLI, Farrer Huxley Associates
– Caroline Macfarland, CoVi

Design for a small scale development
– Andy Sturgeon (chair), Andy Sturgeon Design
– Andrée Davies, Davies White
– Chris Moss, Earthenware Landscape Architects
– Julia Watts FLI, Groundwork Hertfordshire

Design for a medium scale development
– Andy von Bradsky (chair), von Bradsky Enterprises
– Pol MacDonald CMLI, open
– Donncha O’Shea, Gustafson Porter

Design for a large scale development
– Brian Quinn (chair), Design Council CABE
– Célia Guerreiro CMLI, John McAslan + Partners
– Neil Mattinson FLI, LDA Design

Design for a temporary landscape development
– James Sale (chair), Pop Up Parks
– Holly Birtles CMLI, B|D landscape architects
– Mark Walton, Shared Assets

Heritage and conservation 
– Jenifer White CMLI (chair), Historic England
– Keith Challis, National Trust
– Lindsey Wilkinson FLI, consultant

Landscape policy and research 
– Anne Jaluzot (chair), GI planning consultant 
– Fiona McKenzie CMLI, EDP
– Richard Sumner CMLI, Natural Resources Wales

Local landscape planning
– Janet Askew (chair)
– Krishanthi Carfrae CMLI, GL Hearn
– Graham Woodward CMLI, Atkins

Strategic landscape planning
– Rosslyn Stuart (chair), RTPI
– Clare Brockhurst FLI, Tyler Grange
– Wendy Lancaster CMLI, Landmark Landscape Planning

Science, management and stewardship
– Naomi Oakley(chair), Natural England
– Robin Gray CMLI, Pennine Prospects
– Kate Lynch CMLI, Islington Council

Student portfolio 
– Dr Saruhan Mosler (chair), Writtle College
– Fraser Halliday, Harrison Stevens
– James Virgo CMLI, LUC

Student dissertation 
– David Booth CMLI (chair), University of Gloucestershire
– Jane Everitt CMLI, Groundwork London
– Ian Houlston CMLI, LDA Design
– Stuart Malcolm, LDA Design

Urban design and masterplanning
– Amanda Reynolds (chair), ar urbanism 
– Dr Phil Askew CMLI, LLDC
– Dr Nicholas Falk, URBED
– Felicity Steers CMLI, erz
– Wendy Wright CMLI, Waterman Group

Fellows’ Award
– Paj Valley FLI (Chair), Atkins
– Neil Williamson FLI PPLI, Consultant

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, TEP
– Paj Valley FLI, Atkins
– Jo Watkins CMLI, PPLI

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