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Landscape designers northern beaches
Areas may not experience the same levels of activity all year round, however, so we need to consider a plan that is flexible enough to accommodate the widest range of conditions. The countryside around the areas of interest is in the most productive state, with trees and vegetation that provide a warm, moist microclimate, suitable for soft vegetation such as clover. The final landscaping must be stylish, so that it’s at the very top of the list when the public start thinking about the kind of garden they would like to have.
Since the very first Major Greenwood from Canberra was built, I believe that the designing of public open spaces in Australian cities has often fallen into two camps: the “top-down” and the “bottom-up”.
If you were designing a garden for your home, you probably wouldn’t want to hire a landscaping firm – you’d go directly to the man in charge of making your lawn green – who may or may not specialise in landscape architecture.
Yet, when you choose your garden, you usually have to find a landscape designer – or a landscape architect, as they are technically called – who can get on with a variety of problems, and actually be part of the construction and maintenance process.
Mr Byrne, who is the principal of our practice Byrne Architecture, says that one of the challenges is to find a collaborative process. He is a proponent of the approach I call “bottom-up”, which involves developing a plan based on the public’s needs, and then developing it over time.
“It’s a landscape’s equivalent of a Town Hall,” says Byrne. “The only difference is that you don’t live there. When a Town Hall is designed, the architect spends the whole time getting to know the community. We have been putting a lot of time and thought into our beaches. You can’t hire a landscape architect to do that, but a landscape architect can develop the plan, and see where things go in a practical way. We need to ensure that it all fits in and meets the agreed specifications, but in a collaborative way.”
“When I start building a street, I look for the kind of spaces that people like,” says Byrne. “That’s my gut feel. But I need to come up with some concrete design. You need to know who lives in the neighbourhood. You don’t want someone to build on one side of the road and look at the other.”
Buildings and gardens need to be tied to their setting, and that’s a challenge. It’s like sitting in a car and making adjustments, says Byrne. “You need to be a very strong designer who can sit down and know all the laws, all the technology and then balance it to be as good as possible. There are a lot of balancing acts. You can’t ignore fire regulations, or building laws, but you can use all that information.”
At that point, the design would be the responsibility of the landscape architect or the contractor. At that point, “The designer is a kind of ambassador who tries to ensure that people work together. He wants to make sure the neighbour gets on well with the person next door and that they get along. That’s a unique skill. That’s what a landscape architect brings. It’s a delicate thing because sometimes you’re dealing with sensitive people who are involved in big decisions. They are trying to protect their investments. They can use that information to influence a decision.”
In Melbourne, a company called Exotica Projects has been a key player in the development of Melbourne’s suburbs. Founder, Max Rosenthal, has developed the design of some of the most recognisable Melbourne suburbs, such as Malvern. Rosenthal is best known for his “Melbourne boulevards” that involve large-scale amenity spaces – public and private – that characterise the big-scale suburban developments in Melbourne. A recent Rosenthal project in Melbourne’s suburb of Eltham was designed in tandem with the developer and architect. It was not the typical “flatland subdivision”, but an elevated parcel of land. It included a large amenity space for carpools, a large green space for recreational activities, terraces of four different heights to provide a range of seating options for families.
The planning model for the space is similar to the “landscape first” approach that Byrne takes. The design was based on areas that were identifiable, such as the two main boulevards. In Eltham, these are Williams Road and Parkville Crescent. This involved a series of square blocks, with a through-fare. On the arterial roads, there would be large public areas with attractive trees and landscaping, such as the central oval in Williams Road."Chtěl jsem, aby se design cítil přirozeně," říká Rosenthal. "Udělali jsme stromy a zelený prostor dominantním prvkem."
To zahrnuje konzultaci městského rámce městského designu, který je víceméně kódem, který poskytuje pokyny pro město. Jedná se však také o dokument, který neustále přezkoumává městská rada. "Jakmile jsme návrh schválili, spolupracovali jsme s vývojářem a architektem na vývoji hotového produktu," říká Rosenthal. „Návrh začal být dynamičtějším prostorem.