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The Landscape Institute Awards 2015

President’s Award

Image ©: Grant Smith

Brentford High Street ‘making the connection’

This year’s President’s Award, given to the project that the LI President considers the most significant, goes to the winning entry in the urban design category, Brentford High Street ‘making the connection’. This was a project that set out to recreate connections to the elements that had made Brentford an important and enjoyable place and that had been eroded – its role as a market town and its connection to water. In particular, there was little awareness by users of Brentford High Street of how close they were to the River Brent.

Elements of the solution, created after imaginative community engagement, included creating a ‘moving high street’ using barges and delivery bikes, establishment of a pedestrian and bike route beside the water and revitalising riverside sheds so that they became attractive and intriguing to pass through rather than run-down and threatening. The team also designed a new marketplace square which proved very popular.

LI President Noel Farrer said, ‘The work crosses boundaries that will no longer exist once the scheme has come to fruition. The joy of this scheme is that it recognises good masterplanning practice, successfully identifying opportunities to reconnect places safely and legibly but also taking this all the way through to realisation. It focuses on the key challenges, the least safe bits and finally a new public square. Each is done with extraordinary creative skill and lightness of touch. Some pieces look as if it was always like that and, when a building gets in the way, the landscape architect has worked to turn it into a distinctive marker on the route rather than the previous unsafe foreboding obstacle.

‘It is this combination of stages of work and excellence at each stage delivering a route which will undoubtedly reconnect many people and change people’s understanding and perception of the area that appeals to me. Landscape is a holistic quest requiring rigorous consideration at all stages. I want landscape architects to feel empowered to do it all and feel they can contribute to all parts of the process. This is an example we can all learn from.

’ In the course of making his decision, Noel looked at the winning and highly commended projects from all the categories. He explained that his interest is in finding a project that is truly excellent, and that sometimes one may not prove to be a category winner because it does not fulfil all the criteria for that specific category to the highest level, but is still outstanding.

In looking at the projects, there were several that he felt stood out in addition to Brentford. He was very impressed by the projects in the Design for a Large Scale Development category. ‘The Olympic South Park is of course of an exemplary standard,’ he said, ‘but so is the highly commended project in this category. At Bristol Waterfront Grant Associates evolved a new housing scheme in such a way that it meets all its contributions to the wider city and the wider enjoyment of all. Housing is my passion and getting developers down this road this effectively is something we need to see in areas beyond the southeast, where it can be afforded. This is in Bristol and flies a flag for others to follow.

‘Littlehaven Promenade, winner of the Design for a Medium Scale Development category and also of the Fellows’ Award for Climate Change Adaptation, also caught Noel’s attention. ‘This flood-defence scheme in the northeast goes the extra mile and creates a soft, sinuous and beautiful response to what could have been a simple robust engineered solution,’ he said. ‘I welcome the seamless collaboration between engineering necessity and place making for all to enjoy.’

The other project that he was keen to highlight was ‘Bring your Brolly Day’, the project that won the Local Landscape Planning category by asking local residents in Charlbury to model the effect of a proposed solar farm, using their umbrellas. ‘I love that that this work has raised awareness of the role of the landscape architect with the community who now see the value of what we do,’ Noel said. ‘This was great and also fun!’

Design lead / urban design / landscape architect: Kinnear Landscape Architects; client: London Borough of Hounslow / Greater London Authority (GLA); public art consultancy: MAAP; artists: Simon Periton, Lubna Chowdhary; interdisciplinary urban practitioners: The Decorators; collaborating organisations: London Bike Hub, Brentford High Street Steering Group; structural engineer: Expedition; lighting design: Studio Dekka; contractor: Maylim

Adding Value through Landscape

Image ©: Erect Architecture / J & L Gibbons

Vauxhall Promenade of Curiosities, London

Vauxhall One worked with the RIBA, the Landscape Institute and the Garden Museum to commission creative urban and landscape design proposals, with the aim of reconnecting the disjointed parts of the neighbourhood, to build a better visual perception of Vauxhall beyond its roundabouts and roads and to create an identifiable pathway and narrative through the area, linking the railway arches, green spaces and public art into a distinctive place once again. Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens inspired the Promenade, a route between attractions. The Promenade is about seeing and being seen, at day and at night. Just as a cabinet acts as a framework for curiosities, so the Promenade provides such a framework for Curiosities along the route. It establishes an overall, modern and uncluttered language for the ‘missing link’ route and provides a coherent stage for the individual curiosities to be enjoyed along the way. It is the identifiable green pathway through Vauxhall.

The judges said
It covers green infrastructure and multi functional use of space and aims to reconnect the area with
its history in an artistic way.

Landscape architect: J&L Gibbons with erect architecture; client: Vauxhall One Business Improvement District; borough: London Borough of Lambeth; cost consultant: Artelia; ecology: Ecology Consultancy Ltd; selected implementation designers: Hugo Bugg, The Edible Bus Stop

Image ©: BDP

Highly commended
Manchester Garden City

The Manchester Garden City (MGC) project began in 2010 to address the lack of green space in the city centre. Employees of BDP realised that, through voluntary efforts and use of their collective expertise, a more liveable urban environment could be achieved. Volunteers teamed up with CityCo, a non-profit membership organisation of city centre employers, who were able to generate funding, materials, and volunteers. In early 2012 Manchester Garden City was officially launched by CityCo and a coalition of design and economic development interests was created.

The judges said
This submission is very strong in terms of its vision with regards to green space, use of derelict land, food production, ecology and interaction with nature.

Landscape architect: BDP; client and partner: CityCo Manchester; Manchester City team: BDP; CityCo Manchester: Manchester City Council; landowners/ funders: Town Centre Securities (Piccadilly Basin); Carillion’s Charity Fund (Thomas St. Pocket Park); Greater Manchester Police (Albert Bridge Gardens);  Manchester Cathdedral (Dig the City); Manchester City Council; other supporters: Daniela Coray Landscape Architect (St.John’s Gardens);  Groundwork (Dig the City/ Victoria Street Construction); volunteers/ community groups: Castlefield Forum; Northern Quarter Residents

Image ©: HCC Marketing Team

Highly commended
Services to Schools – Oakridge Infants School, Hampshire

The project involved the provision of services to the school over a number of years, to enhance the play value of the grounds and their educational potential. The school was involved throughout, putting learning through active play at the top of its agenda year after year. Work was achieved within a tight budget, but included the creation of a sensory garden and a play deck, as well as introducing additional windows to the school building to allow better views out.

The judges said
The submission shows how public-sector landscape architects continue to contribute 
to education.

Landscape architect: The Landscape Group, Hampshire County Council; client: Property Services, Hampshire County Council


Communications and Presentation

Image ©: Arup

Cities Alive – Rethinking green infrastructure

Cities Alive is a campaign that looks into the future of landscape architecture as a profession in conjunction with issues faced by cities and the rapid process of urbanisation. By rethinking green infrastructure, the research demonstrates that sustainable urban development cannot be achieved without recognising the vital role of the natural environment and its fundamental impact on economic prosperity, health and wellbeing. 
Cities Alive pulls together research which now presents clear evidence that our urban green infrastructure – the system of city parks, open spaces, city trees, urban woodland and waterways – performs essential ‘ecosystem services’. These include not just environmental benefits, such as mitigating the impacts of climate change, but also a wide range of social and economic benefits. It asserts that cities in the future will need to look vastly different to cities now. They will need to address the challenge of rapidly rising urban populations, adapt to the detrimental effects of climate change and provide much more integrated solutions for everything from energy provision to transport.
The judges said
Although this is not the first time that the importance of green infrastructure has been argued for in this way, this is a serious and very welcome corporate investment in thought leadership. 

Landscape architect: Arup

Image ©: The Paul Hogarth Company

Highly commended
Ballymena Public Realm Consultation

In order to consult fully with users of the town centre on the future of their public realm, the practice elected to prototype the town centre and listen to the views and ideas that resulted. It developed a calendar of events/ tests to provoke opinion and reaction, and then gathered and analysed the responses. The process resulted in the council becoming much better informed about issues including its own organisational challenges, opportunities and potential. There were shor-term benefits to the town from the activities, and longer-term from shared knowledge, ownership and experience.

The judges said
The project brought to life genuine landscape insights

Landscape architect: The Paul Hogarth Company; client: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; project manager: WYG; quantity surveyor: WYG

Image ©: Smiling Wolf

Highly commended
A Record of Lancaster

 ‘A Record of Lancaster’ was born to assist delivery of the ‘Lancaster Square Routes’ programme whose aim is to create high-quality public spaces in which people want to linger, increasing dwell time to encourage commercial, social and cultural gains. The Design Guide focuses on a new public plinth for Market Square and wider wayfinding for the City – which the design team also implemented. These then were incorporated into the Design Guide as case studies to evidence the design approach for potential future Square Routes design work.

The judges said
The result is delightful and classy – traditional but with crisp contemporary graphics, and lovingly executed with bronze casting.

Landscape architect: BCA Landscape; client: Lancaster City Council; designers: BCA Landscape and Smiling Wolf; wayfinding: Placemarque; contractor: William Pye

Design for a Small Scale Development

Image ©: Greysmith Associates

Derbyshire Street Pocket Park, London

Greysmith Associates teamed up with local arts centre Oxford House to find a new life for a previous dead-end used only for car parking and anti-social behaviour. This has been transformed to take advantage of its south-facing aspect, overlooking a park, and now includes outdoor café space and a shared pedestrian / bike route. The new pocket park has a range of sustainable urban drainage components aimed at reducing pressure on London’s sewer system. These include green-roof bike racks, attenuating planters, permeable paving and a central rain garden. Together the elements slow the flow of rainwater and allow it to soak into the ground, reducing the threat of flooding locally and in the wider area. The pocket park has enhanced biodiversity and offers an insight into the potential future aesthetics of the public realm. 

The judges said
A new precedent for integrated design, delivering a beautiful sustainable drainage system within a fully integrated civic space.

Landscape architect: Greysmith Associates; local authority: London Borough of Tower Hamlets;  community and arts centre: Oxford House; Pocket Park Initiative funding: Mayor of London / match funded by LB Tower Hamlets; main contractor: JB Riney; green roof shelters: The Grass Roof Company; attenuating planters: Thames Water Utilities; interpretation signboard: RBMP

Image ©: Churchman Landscape Architects

Highly commended
Macaulay Walk, London

This new street, created within the Clapham Conservation Area, is part of a mixed-use residential-led scheme. Set on a historic right of way, it runs alongside a former optical works, elements of which have been retained. It skilfully handles private and public elements, and is sensitively integrated within the wider setting of the Conservation Area. There is a bold and astute integration of green infrastructure, which takes full advantage of ‘borrowed landscape’.

The judges said
A rigorous design process and subtle curation shine through in this beautifully subtle scheme.

Landscape architect: Churchman Landscape Architects; client: Grainger; design and build contractor: Galliford Try; architect: Assael; structural engineer: Buro Happold; m and e engineer: Hurley Palmer Flatt; cost consultant: Davis Langdon

Image ©: Chris Swan

Highly commended
Arcadia Nursery, Edinburgh

This garden for a new nursery is realised in three distinct areas. The enclosed garden is a structured area that provides the nursery with many of its day to day requirements. Behind a secret door, a large walkway and tree house lead away from the normal confines into a woodland area. This bridges the gap to the organic and wild meadow area at the far end of the site. Most of the site is left untouched and the existing meadow is developed with a larger mix of native woodland meadow species. 

The judges said
The scheme cleverly replicates and adds value to the design concept of the award-winning nursery.
Landscape architect: erz; client: University of Edinburgh; architect: Malcolm Fraser Architects; structural engineer: AED; m and e engineer: Harley Haddow; arboricultural clerk of works: Blebo Consultants; ecologist: Applied Ecology; artist: Alan Kain; main contractor: Balfour Beatty

Image ©: Matthew Conlon Perry (Groundwork London)

Highly commended
Millshott Close, London

The riverside location was a tired, run-down and poorly designed space that suffered from a series of challenges. Groundwork London carried out detailed consultation with residents and other stakeholders to explore the desires and needs for the space and to design and implement proposals. Its design was based around water with flowing and curving lines referencing the Thames. A bit of fun was incorporated with ‘turtle mounds’ for informal play. There is a rain garden with a small boardwalk over it. De-paving under trees allowed further water permeation and opportunity for tree growth. 
The judges said
Millshot Close is a project that helps redefine what we mean by an amenity green space.

Landscape architect: Groundwork London; client: London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham; main contractor: Greatford Garden Services; subcontractor: Thomas Carvings Chainsaw Sculptors

Design for a Medium Scale Development

Image ©: Steve Burdett

Littlehaven Promenade, South Shields

Littlehaven Beach, the northernmost section of the South Shields coastal frontage was a neglected length of coastline, backed by a sea wall that was coming to the end of its serviceable life. The primary function of this project was to provide coastal defence, so a significant amount of the scheme was led by structural performance. South Tyneside Council commissioned OOBE’s team, including Broadbent Studio and E3 Ecology, initially to develop proposals to tender stage that would soften the hard engineering aspects of the scheme, enhance the design of the public realm and embed the scheme into the wider environment. The OOBE team’s proposals celebrate the site’s unique location where the River Tyne meets the North Sea. The functional, sustainable, coastal defences also offer a new way to celebrate and enjoy this section of coast as a family beach. The client has achieved its vision of adding a new dimension for tourism and improving protection against the risk of coastal flooding. 
The judges said
Littlehaven Promenade beautifully demonstrates the multiple benefits of landscape architecture.
Landscape architect: OOBE; client: South Tyneside Council; engineer: Royal Haskoning; artist: Broadbent Studio; ecologist: E3 Ecology; main contractor: Galliford Try

Image ©: LUC

Highly commended
John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University

The project gives back a heart to the University’s community and surrounding residential area. The high standards of design excellence set by the client have been successfully delivered across the scheme, and show how a highly constrained site, remaining operational throughout the works, can be transformed into an inspirational place for learning and enjoyment by the public. The restful and seemingly simple arrangement of hard and soft landscape elements belies the complex underground systems which have been carefully coordinated to reduce energy costs and demands on the existing public infrastructure.

The judges said
The public realm of the transformed Headington campus shows the real benefit of a landscape-led masterplan.

Landscape architect: LUC; client: Oxford Brookes University; architect and lead consultant: Design Engine Associates; project manager: Turner & Townsend Project Management; quantity surveyor: Turner & Townsend Cost Management; contractor: Laing O’Rourke; m and e engineer: Grontmij; civil and structural engineer: Ramboll; lighting design: Spiers & Major; access: QMP; planning: West Waddy ADP; paving and furniture: Vetter UK; concrete: Expanded UK; trees: Lorenz von Ehren; architectural metalwork: Gascoigne and Beever / Glazzard

Design for a Large Scale Development

Image ©: James Newton Photographs

South Park Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Built on the grounds of the London 2012 Olympic Games, South Park Plaza at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) was conceived as a 21st Century pleasure garden. This southern half of the park is defined by its eventfulness, creative programming and multi-cultural attractions. The South Park Plaza of QEOP was once almost entirely paved as the main concourse for the Olympic Games. The Plaza is now a place for events, entertainment, activity and discovery, with 11.3 hectares of open space, including the 12m wide, tree-lined ‘Arc Promenade’, a new spine and social centrepiece of the park, hung with spherical lanterns and linking a series of exciting spaces designed to inspire creativity in people of all ages. These flexible ‘Event Rooms’ are surrounded by a diverse ‘Planting Ribbon’, building on the plantsmanship started with the Games-time Olympic Park, and using tall textural grasses and perennials to create the feeling of outdoor ‘rooms’ of different sizes. 
The judges said
This combines numerous activities within a richly planted environment that both delights and entertains.
Project lead, design landscape architect: James Corner Field Operations; client: London Legacy Development Corporation; detail design and implementation: LDA Design; prime contractor: Skanska Landscape; contractor: Willerby Landscape; engineering services: Arup; cost estimating: Deloitte; water feature design: Fountain Workshop; event consultant: Groundbreaking; architecture: Make Architects; planting design: Piet Oudolf; playground consultant: Play Link; lighting design: Speirs + Major; detailed lighting design: Michael Grubb Studio; art/identity: Tomato; irrigation design: Waterwise Solutions 

Image ©: Grant Associates

Highly commended
Bristol Harbourside masterplan

The intent was to create a masterplan that regenerated a brownfield site at the heart of Bristol into a new vibrant, green quarter, reconnecting the city centre with the waterfront.  It included developing and delivering public-realm proposals for each phase of works. The design philosophy was to transform a derelict area into a vibrant place to live, work and relax, with an emphasis on improving connectivity. The project opens up and enhances key views in the context of the Cathedral and the waterfront and provides a variety of streets and public open spaces, integrating art and ecology.
The judges said
Impressive use of sustainability principles in an urban context, creating an intelligent and positive addition to the waterside.

Landscape architect: Grant Associates; client/ developer: Crest Nicholson Regeneration; architect: Cullinan Studio; structural and civil engineer: Arup; m and e engineer: Hoare Lea; lead artist: Tim Knowles; quantity surveyor: Gardiner and Theobald; planning consultant: Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners

Design for a Temporary Landscape

Image ©: Mike Massaro

Urban Physic Garden, London

In the summer of 2011, a derelict space in central London became an imaginative urban garden that focused on medicinal plants and herbs that heal. The Urban Physic Garden was constructed through a large-scale community build that brought together more than 200 volunteers to share and develop their skills, from carpentry to gardening, to create a beautiful public space that sought to educate and inspire. Throughout the summer there were more than 100 events in the garden which hosted high-profile speakers, workshop facilitators, food events, filmmakers, musicians and theatre companies. Using the language and structure of a hospital and pharmacy, the Urban Physic Garden celebrated the medicinal potential found in our back gardens to promote health and wellbeing in urban environments. It evoked a living hospital with structural frames inspired by a pharmacy cross. These structures formed various garden rooms – or hospital wards – hosting relevant plants found in both herbal remedies and modern medicine. 

The judges said
This project stands out because it delivered successfully on both design and concept delivery yet provided significant community and social benefits on multiple levels. 
Landscape architect, designer and producer: Wayward; partners and funders: Bankside Urban Forest, Bankside Open Spaces Trust, The Tate Modern, Kings College, Living Medicine, Publica, Lake Estates, Openvizor, Carillion, The Peter de Haan Trust, and hundreds of volunteers and contributors

Image ©: BDP

Highly commended
UK Pavilion, Milan Expo 2015

In response to the Expo theme, the UK pavilion highlighted the plight of the honeybee and ways in which new research and technology are helping to address challenges, including food security and biodiversity. The landscape forms a core aspect of the scheme, covering around 60% of the site area. The landscape architect was instrumental in developing the artist’s concept from the initial competition stage through to completion on site.

The judges said
This temporary landscape is a wonderful demonstration of what can be achieved in delivering a message to society.
Lead landscape architect, architect and lighting designer: BDP; client: UK Trade & Investment; artist/creative lead: Wolfgang Buttress; project manager: AECOM; principal contractor: Stage One; soft landscape contractor: Heyland Landscapes; movement/circulation consultant: Movement Strategies; structural engineer, The Hive: Simmonds Studio; physicist and researcher: Dr Martin Bencsik, Nottingham Trent University; graphics: Squint/Opera

Image ©: Roof East - Urban Space Management

Highly commended
‘Roof East’, Stratford, London

The design for this roof-top park consisted of a series of recycled wooden pallets arranged and modified into raised plant beds, free-standing low green walls, seating and tables. In addition to the pallets, recycled car bodies were used as interesting, alternative tree planters, doubling as informal seating. The entire basis of the design focused on adaptability with all elements of the park capable of being re-positioned by a fork lift.

The judges said
This project is about recognising opportunity and making the most of forgotten space even in the most obvious places. 

Landscape architect: Groundwork London; client: Urban Space Management; main contractor: Greatford Garden Services; other organisations: LLDC; GLA; Chelsea Re-Use; Rooftop film club; Grow Up Urban Farms; Stratford Renaissance Partnership; London Borough of Newham; corporate volunteers: Interserve

Science, Management and Stewardship

Image ©: Land Management Services

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park park management plan 2014 to 2019

The commissioning and subsequent execution of a comprehensive management plan for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is of enormous significance for delivery of the Olympic legacy. The plan was required to set out how high- level planning strategies and policy would be delivered, as well as provide the framework for the preparation of operational and service-provider maintenance plans and specifications. Land Management Services designed and executed an extensive consultation and review programme both at the start of and during the commission, to ensure that it – and the client – understood this diversity of need. This process enabled the creation of a plan which could deliver at an appropriate level across all topics without compromising integrity. For example, the practice developed guidelines on restoration and mitigation to control and alleviate the impact of high-profile events delivery taking place in an immature landscape.

The judges said
An exemplar of landscape parkland management

Landscape architect: Land Management Services; client: London Legacy Development Corporation; ecology: Gary Grant Ecology; arboriculture: ACS Trees; engineering and structures: Alan Baxter Integrated Design; lighting and electrical: Hoare Lea; other contributors: LDA Design; The Landscape Group; University of Sheffield

Heritage and Conservation

Image ©Sarah Blee / J & L Gibbons

Walpole Park, London

Walpole Park, Pitzhanger Manor and its immediate setting, as well as being much-loved local facilities and landmarks, are of national importance including Sir John Soane’s legacy and significant archive of design drawings and ledgers. The park, registered of historic interest grade II, has remained substantially intact during its known history. The house and garden display an exceptional level of detailed involvement by Soane in their design, management and use. The landscape is also a very rare and characteristic example of the work of a previously under- appreciated landscape designer, John Haverfield the Younger. The project is innovative primarily in developing a fully integrated plan for restoration and interpretation of house and garden. Through the appreciation of rich documentary evidence, the veteran tree resource, designed parkland and landscape programme, interpretation and activity, the project has revealed and involved the community and experts in both the historic narrative and in realising contemporary everyday aspiration.

The judges said
The project demonstrates its relevance to contemporary landscape use while retaining and enhancing this important historic landscape.

Landscape architect: J & L Gibbons; client: London Borough of Ealing/ Heritage Lottery Fund; architect: Jestico + Whiles; conservation architect: Julian Harrap Architects; structural engineer: Ellis & Moore; services engineer: Kingshaw Associates; quantity surveyor: Artelia UK; historic landscape advisor: Sarah Couch Historic Landscapes; landscape manager: Land Management Services; interpretation designer: Ralph Applebaum Associates; contractors: Gavin Jones (Walpole Park), Longcross (The Rickyard)

Image ©: LUC

Highly commended
Restoration of The Level, Brighton

This project is the restoration of an important public park in a prime location within Brighton city centre, which had become neglected and with poor legibility. The park is now an important destination within Brighton and is a crucial piece of the dense urban infrastructure. The project aimed to promote the unique heritage whilst bringing the park into the 21st century; it has improved the health and happiness of many park users and also proved to be a catalyst for higher standards and a better environment for the entire city.

The judges said
It is particularly pleasing to see restoration of a 1920s park design, this period being less celebrated in landscape history.  
Lead consultant and landscape architect: LUC; client: Brighton & Hove City Council; quantity surveyor and cost consultant: MacConvilles; principal contractor: Gavin Jones 

Policy and Research

Image ©: Belinda Chan

Second edition of book Great City Parks (2015)

This book completely updates and expands the first edition published in 2001. It covers the 20 urban parks in North America and Europe that were surveyed in the first edition, plus a further 10 parks, many of which were constructed in the intervening years. It is based on repeat site visits and detailed interviews with the designers and/ or current managers of the 30 parks. It includes purpose-drawn scale plans of each park and photography specially commissioned for the book. It also includes what is possibly the most comprehensive bibliography on the subject. The provides insights into the planning, design, management, function and future plans for a human-made landscape type that will continue to provide opportunities for landscape architects to make significant contributions to increasingly urban-based populations.

The judges said
A valuable and long-term reference for a broad audience, including practitioners, key decision-makers, academics, students and the wider public. 
Landscape architect: Alan Tate; publisher: Routledge/ Taylor + Francis Group; interviews, photography and critique: Marcella Eaton; plans: Peter Siry and Shawn Stankewich; photography: Belinda Chan and Martin Jones

Image ©: Gillespies/National Grid

Highly commended
The Visual Impact Provision: Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment of Existing Electricity Infrastructure in Nationally Protected Landscapes in England and Wales

National Grid commissioned landscape professionals to carry out work to help it and 
its Stakeholder Advisory Group make informed decisions about which lines should be shortlisted for consideration. The third edition of the industry standard Guidelines (GLVIA3) became available in April 2013, just a few months before this project began. This project took the approach set out in GLVIA3 and developed a tailored framework for making judgements, especially about value and susceptibility, which was appropriate to the particular challenges of dealing with electricity infrastructure in designated landscapes.
The judges said
The study demonstrates wider applicability to other infrastructure sectors and providers.

National Grid independent landscape advisor: Carys Swanwick; landscape architects: Gillespies, LUC; client/ owner authority: National Grid


Image ©: Bridget Snaith

Highly commended
PhD thesis – The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Whose Values, Whose Benefits? A case study exploring the role of cultural values in ethnic minority under-representation in UK parks

This case study investigates the relationship between the cultural inscription of park spaces, spatial practices of park making by the primarily ‘Anglo’ groups designing this new city space, and the experiences, preferences and values of the ethnically diverse communities who currently live around the London Olympic site. It finds that while seeking inclusion, exclusionary values are unintentionally embedded in production and management of UK parks. It shows the cultural values embedded in UK spatial practices, their exclusionary nature, along class and ethnic dimensions, and reflects on 
the importance of cultural consciousness in spatial design in our increasingly multicultural cities.

The judges said
This valuable and detailed primary research offers a challenge to all parts of the profession 
to review their approaches and practices.

Landscape architect: Bridget Snaith; with thanks to LLDC and all the professionals and community members who agreed to be interviewed for the research

Local Landscape Planning

Image ©: Clews Landscape Architecture

‘Bring your Brolly Day’, Southhill Solar Farm, Charlbury

The proposal was to create a community-owned 5MW solar farm in the parish of Charlbury, West Oxfordshire, within the Cotswold AONB. Following a number of public consultations Clews Landscape Architecture developed a planning application with strong public backing but which was near unanimously rejected at committee. After this rejection, the practice met with the planners and came 
up with the ‘Bring Your Brolly Day’ idea to reengage the public, demonstrate visual impact and allow the community to be an integral part of the design process. The day was an overwhelming success with over a hundred participants of all ages (Charlbury’s population is only around 3000). Participants held up their umbrellas at the proposed height of the solar panels and were photographed from three directions. The photos of the event radically influenced the design process and allowed the community to decide what was acceptable; the revised scheme was re-submitted, supported by planners and was approved at committee in July 2014.

The judges said
A very imaginative community engagement project that directly involves the local community in the landscape.
Landscape architect: Clews Landscape Architecture; client: Sustainable Charlbury; planning consultant: Ethical Partnership; ecologist: Wychwood Biodiversity; heritage consultant: Jody O’Reily Consultant; solar supplier: SolarCentury

Image ©: Gillespies

Highly commended
Wind Turbines and Pylons: Guidance on the Application of Separation Distances from Residential Properties

Gwynedd Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council and Snowdonia National Park Authority have been receiving an increasing number of applications for single or multiple wind turbines that are not large enough to be considered a ‘wind farm’ but together or individually could have a significant impact on views from residential properties. The councils and park authority currently have little information to help inform their judgement when making decisions on whether or not a development should be given consent. To address this issue, they commissioned this study with the aim of achieving more robust, transparent and consistent decisions.

The judges said
An innovative project that provides a credible method for analysing the visual impact of wind turbines and pylons.

Landscape architects: Gillespies, LUC; client/ owner authority: National Grid; National Grid independent landscape advisor: Carys Swanwick

Image ©: Monmouthshire County Council

Highly commended
Monmouthshire Green Infrastructure Supplementary Planning Guidance

The brief was to develop green infrastructure Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to provide further details of policies and proposals within the Monmouthshire Local Development Plan. Delivering growth in Monmouthshire presents particular challenges, and embedding high-quality, multifunctional green infrastructure into development through the planning process to help create sustainable places is critical. The SPG is intended to provide practical guidance for developers and their consultants, statutory decision makers and consultees, and the general public/local community groups.

The judges said
A practical and very comprehensive tool to encourage consideration and application of green infrastructure in planning.

Landscape architect: Chris Blandford Associates; client: Monmouthshire County Council; project stakeholder group: Monmouthshire County Council; Brecon Beacons National Park Authority; Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Unit

Strategic Landscape Planning

Image ©: Gillespies

Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd and Snowdonia National Park Landscape Sensitivity and Capacity Study

Whilst the environmental, socio-economic and other benefits of new renewable energy, telecommunications and tourism development are fully recognised by the client group, there is currently insufficient guidance available to officers for them to assess the potential impacts to ensure that they do not result in unacceptable harm to the landscape, much of which is designated as National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The purpose of this study was to provide guidance in the assessment of the landscape and visual impacts of different developments with a view to protecting sensitive and distinctive landscapes from inappropriate development whilst encouraging a positive approach to the right development. It is aimed at multiple users including developers when making planning applications, local planning officers when considering applications and planning policy formation. A number of students have also requested copies of the report as an example of best practice.

The judges said
The study is beautifully presented and is written in an easily understood style, making it more likely that the recommendations will be acted on.
Landscape architect: Gillespies; planning and client bodies: Gwynedd Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Snowdonia National Park

Image ©: Cumbria County Council

Highly commended
CIVI: Cumulative Impacts of Vertical Infrastructure

The purpose of the study was to consider the cumulative impact of vertical infrastructure development holistically and to establish the current levels of impact being experienced across Cumbria and North Lancashire, in order to inform decision making on future development proposals. It was to build upon existing local landscape character guidance for the landscape baseline and to follow industry standard best practice approaches, providing guidance for planning officers on applying the assessment in practice, when considering proposals for vertical infrastructure and the need to conserve these special landscapes.
The judges said
Particularly strong in its technical research and analysis, and creative use of landscape assessment techniques.

Landscape architect: WYG; client: Cumbria County Council, with partners – Lancashire County Council, Lake District National Park Authority, Carlisle City Council, Allerdale Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council, South Lakeland District Council, Lancaster City Council, Wyre Borough Council; contractor: Scandor Landscape Contractors

Student Dissertation

Image ©: Daniele D’ari

Student: Stuart Malcolm, MSc landscape architecture, University of Edinburgh
Public Participation in Landscape Architecture: The Rationale and the Reality 

The concept of public participation in planning has gathered momentum over the past fifty years to the extent that most governments in the western world have augmented planning guidance and policy to include some form of public participation in the planning process. However, there has been considerable debate as to whether or not it can be a meaningful and relevant element in the process of shaping our urban and rural landscapes. This research project employs the method of participatory design as a form of research through design, to test the potential of public participation, and, in particular how it can be adapted to include communities in the design process. It begins with an overview of existing critical theory on the evolution of public participation and participatory design, examines current practice within the field of planning, proceeds with the implementation of a participatory design workshop and concludes with an analysis of the overall research project and recommendations for future practice.

The judges said
This dissertation demonstrated a high quality distillation of a sound research process and project.

Image ©: Yuhei Nakajima

Highly commended
Student: Yuhei Nakajima, Writtle College
Winter Participatory Landscape: ‘Designing a Bulgarian Ski Resort in a time of Climate Change’

This research looked at ways in which ski resorts could adapt as climate change means that there are fewer days of snow. It set out to understand how the experience of skiing and the deeper meaning of skiing activity as a means of being in a wilder context could be integrated into a regional ski-resort planning scheme. The research examined an actual ski resort which is said to have problems regarding ecological integration and following policy guidelines.

The judges said
A very good application of a broad and relevant subject area (climate change impacts and adaptation) to a niche topic area (ski resorts).

Image ©: Melanie Clemmey

Highly commended.
Student: Melanie Clemmey, MA student, University of Gloucestershire
An investigation into the invisible landscape of memory and experience and its potential applications to landscape site analysis and design development

This project explores the concept of an invisible landscape of memory and experience and its relationship to the physical landscape. As well as examining developments in place-making, urban renewal and industrial heritage from the perspective of professionals working in the urban environment, the research draws on insights from other disciplines to identify innovative approaches to exploring, collecting and mapping responses to the landscape. The project offered opportunities to experiment with creative mapping techniques, to assess how memory and experience might influence planning and design, and to consider ways of engaging with communities during the process.

The judges said
The dissertation is well edited and clearly structured. It demonstrates rigour and breadth.

Student Portfolio

Image ©: Fraser Halliday

Fraser Halliday, University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh College of Art

Fraser entered work from all five years of his study, which included time spent working in Berlin. He wrote, ‘I am intrigued to see how the future of public space unfolds, especially since we have adopted a far greater tolerance of bottom-up planning in the UK. In this way, I have learned to always take an approach to design that lends a degree of openness, or uncertainty to the final product.’ His final design project puts forward an alternative proposal for the development of Dresden. He wrote, ‘In particular, the aim is to activate a vibrant urban space through proposing a landscape framework that combines architectural specificity with degrees of tactical openness to create a robust yet flexible design capable of supporting the uncertainty of urban programming.’ The image shown here is from a project to design a park in Poland.
The judges said
Each project shows great sensitivity and an excellent understanding of the prevailing issues that he was seeking to address through planning and design. The outcomes are well judged, technically robust and appropriate to place.

Image ©: Rachel Brown

Highly commended
Rachel Brown, University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh College of Art

In the final semester of her fifth year, Rachel selected a site in Paris and wrote a brief that focuses on using the sitem an abandoned railway loop around the city, as a way on connecting the diverse and lively communities within the city. Her proposal was to create a green ribbon forming a full circle around Paris with a chain of related green spaces. It would, she wrote, ‘create an experiential journey with the unique charm of this beautiful site’. The image shown is from a project for Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.

The judges said
Rachel has an excellent grasp of the issues and challenges posed for different sites and is confident in working at different scales from strategic planning to detailed design.

Urban Design and Masterplanning

Image ©: Grant Smith

Brentford High Street ‘making the connection’

Brentford has a unique location where the railway, canal network and River Thames meet. This point of exchange, particularly the relationship to water, historically informed Brentford’s market town character. However, its identity has gradually eroded since the 1940s. KLA’s ‘make the connection’ projects seek to remake Brentford High Street as a successful, liveable town centre and reassert its sense of place and identity. The design philosophy is rooted in the involvement of local people and in doing so exploring the potential of their environment. Urban curation as practised by KLA is flexible and collaborative, allowing it to bring in artists and other facilitators to work with space and community as the project unfolds. The results are innovative urban interventions that address the complex contextual challenges of a place. 

The judges said
The project stood out for its thoughtful and distinctive approach to urban regeneration, based on urban mending and forging new connections.

Design lead / urban design / landscape architect: Kinnear Landscape Architects; client: London Borough of Hounslow / Greater London Authority (GLA); public art consultancy: MAAP; artists: Simon Periton, Lubna Chowdhary; interdisciplinary urban practitioners: The Decorators; collaborating organisations: London Bike Hub Brentford High Street Steering Group; structural engineer: Expedition; lighting design: Studio Dekka; contractor: Maylim

Image ©: Mikey Lee of Vauxhall One

Highly commended
Vauxhall Promenade of Curiosities, London – public realm framework

The Vauxhall Promenade of Curiosities rethinks an area where the public realm is dominated by vehicles and is difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to navigate. The main objectives of the public realm framework were to set standards, aspirations and a delivery strategy for a more sustainable, greener and delightful public realm, biased towards more sustainable modes of transport. The proposals are key to connecting communities separated by the railway viaduct and traffic. The concept proposals were inspired by local landscape history and narratives. 

The judges said
We especially liked the strong visual element of the report and its commitment to a long-term strategic approach to deliver a coherent development through a series of smaller projects.
Landscape architect: J&L Gibbons with erect architecture; client: Vauxhall One; cost consultant: Artelia; ecology: Ecology Consultancy; selected implementation designers: Hugo Bugg, The Edible Bus Stop

Image ©: Urban Initiatives Studio

Highly commended
Middlehaven Development Framework: A new park as the catalyst for regeneration

Urban Initiatives was initially appointed to prepare a development framework for Middlehaven in 2010. Its brief expanded to include design codes to support the framework and the council adopted both the framework and the codes in 2011. Subsequently the practice was appointed to prepare a detailed design and planning application for an urban park that it had proposed in the heart of the area, ‘Middlehaven Park’. It also developed the Urban Pioneers Programme and Prospectus which establishes a series of development plots overlooking the park and markets these to local builders.
The judges said
A radical attempt to deliver residential development on a site that was failed by traditional development models.

Lead designer: Urban Initiatives Studio; client: Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and Middlesbrough Council; development constraints, transport and detailed design: CH2M Hill; property market: GVA

Image ©: BDP

Highly commended
Avon River Precinct, Christchurch, New Zealand

The earthquake of 2011 damaged the heart of one of New Zealand’s largest urban areas. Post earthquake, the city and its community decided to rebuild a greener, more accessible city. Whilst the Avon River Precinct is only a small part of the overall rebuilding programme, its location at
the heart of Christchurch is a catalyst for wider city centre rejuvenation and has the ability to help set a strong design framework and raise the environmental standards of the whole of the inner city area. 
The judges said
The interdisciplinary landscape-architect-led design team worked effortlessly between the grand urban vision and the sensitive attention to detail required for successful implementation.

Landscape architect: BDP; client: CERA (Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority); other organisations: CCC (Christchurch City Council); Te Ru¯nanga o Nga¯i Tahu; Opus International Consulting; Boffa Miskell; Land Lab; EOS

Client of the Year

Image ©: Elle Halley

The Land Trust

This new award was selected from nominations made by landscape practices, and judged by the awards committee. The Land Trust is a charity with influential partners, members and trustees. Its objective is to create and manage open spaces on behalf of and in partnership with local communities by creating new, accessible, spaces that will be valued and enjoyed by the community, and that will provide a quality setting for a range of health and wellbeing initiatives, community engagement, volunteering, education, training, environmental improvements and economic prosperity.
TEP made reference to three projects by The Land Trust in its submission. They are: Countess of Chester Country Park; Northumberlandia; and, Cronton Country Park. It wrote, ‘The Land Trust has demonstrated a willingness to engage landscape architects throughout its lifespan and always provides a clear project brief for organisations working with it... Schemes approved for Land Trust projects are large scale and adventurous... A strength of The Land Trust, when working at the concept stage of any project, is its ability to identify elements of “enabling” work early to allow landscape architects to work efficiently.’
The judges said
The submission demonstrates the commitment of The Land Trust to deliver high-quality projects and a willingness to work with partners and design teams to develop innovative solutions.

Proposing landscape architect: The Environment Partnership (TEP)

Fellows’ Award for Climate Change Adaptation

Image ©: John Short

Littlehaven Promenade

This project, which won the Design for a Medium-Scale Development category, is, the landscape architect says, ‘the first coastal defence project to pro-actively realign a seawall landward to intentionally increase the width of the natural beach providing a more sustainable line of defence. An innovative concept runs throughout the scheme with bespoke features including seats, artwork and branding ensuring the scheme reflects its unique location, heritage and culture.’ 
It has taken what could have been a purely engineering solution to the problem of erosion and has demonstrated how much landscape architecture can add by enhancing the design of the public realm and embedding the scheme in the wider environment. In this way, the much-needed replacement of a sea wall has also resulted in a seafront that is far more appealing to residents and visitors than its 
predecessor was.

The judges said
This is an unusual, refreshing response to coastal defence, involving a landward shift in sea defences, in the interest of long-term sustainability. The judges were impressed by the sensitive and collaborative design response to an evolving coastal issue.
Landscape architect: OOBE; client: South Tyneside Council; engineer: Royal Haskoning; artist: Broadbent Studio; ecologist: E3 Ecology; main contractor: Galliford Try 


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 
– Ece Ozdemiroglu (chair), eftec
– Peter Chmiel CMLI, Grant Associates
– Jon Berry CMLI, Tyler Grange
Communications and Presentation 
– Stella Bland (chair), Consultant 
– Matt Parker, Room 60 
– Natan Doron, Labour Party
Design for a Small Scale Development
– Peter Massini (chair) Greater London Authority
– Chris Moss, Earthenware Landscape Architects
– Neil Manthorpe CMLI, Atkins
Design for a Medium Scale Development
– Kathy MacEwen (chair), Kathy MacEwen Design and Planning
– Suzanne Simmon CMLI, CIRIA 
– David Finch CMLI, Churchman Landscape Architects
Design for a Large Scale Development
– Robin Buckle (chair), Transport for London
– Sybilla Hartel CMLI Gustafson Porter
– Phil Askew CMLI, LLDC
Design for a Temporary Landscape 
– Alison Minto (chair) Meanwhile Space CIC
– Alan Carter, The Land Trust 
– Pol MacDonald CMLI, OPEN
Heritage & Conservation 
– Dr Marion Harney (chair) University of Bath
– Zosia Mellor CMLI, Historic England
– Matthew Tickner CMLI, Cookson & Tickner
Science, Management and Stewardship
– Naomi Oakley (chair) Natural England
– Dr Peter Shepherd, BSG Ecology
– Krishanthi Carfrae CMLI, G L Hearn
Landscape Policy and Research 
– Katherine Drayson (chair) Greater London Authority
– Peter Neal FLI, Peter Neal Consulting
– Neil Sinden, formerly CPRE
Local Landscape Planning
– Professor Matthew Carmona (chair), The Bartlett 
– Rebecca Knight CMLI, LUC
– Clare Penny CMLI, Winchester City Council
Strategic Landscape Planning
– Professor Robert Tregay FLI (chair) LDA Design
– Karin Taylor CMLI, National Trust
– Rosslyn Stuart, RTPI, The Ecology Consultancy
Urban Design and Masterplanning
– Alan Thompson (chair) A P Thompson
– Ian Hingley CMLI, Urban Movement
– Sion Thaysen CMLI, Allen Scott
– Avra Ploumi-Archer CMLI, Space + Place Design
Student Dissertation 
– Joshua Zeunert (chair) Writtle College
– Mayda Henderson FLI, Gillespies
– Lindsey Wilkinson FLI, RHDHV
– Jacqui Jobbins, CSA Environmental Planning
– Bethany Gale, BDP
Student Portfolio 
– Ian Houlston CMLI (chair) LDA Design 
– Trudi Entwistle, Leeds Metropolitan University
– Freddie Egan, Consultant
Fellows’ Award 
– Paj Valley FLI (chair), Atkins
– Neil Williamson PPLI FLI, New Forest District Council
Awards Committee
– David Withycombe CMLI (chair)Land Management Services
– Nicola Hancock CMLI, TEP
– Rob Beswick CMLI, B|D landscape architects
– Anne Evans CMLI, Anne Evans Landscape Architects
– Paj Valley FLI, Atkins
– Jo Watkins PPLI CMLI, Consultant

The Landscape Institute is grateful to the sponsors of the awards. They are:

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