Queensland Architecture awards shine spotlight on local towns

Sunshine Coast Council

Nambour Forecourt’s latest revamp has taken out not one but two awards at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) awards along with Sippy Downs Drive infrastructure upgrade and Landsborough’s Cribb Street.

Nambour Forecourt Revamp received 2022 AILA QLD Landscape Architecture Award for Small Projects and Regional Achievement Award for Sunshine Coast at the recent awards.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 10 Councillor David Law said he was proud to see council’s Design and Placemaking team members recognised for their efforts in transforming a declining regional civic space into a well-used and loved place.

“The tired space is now a hive of activity after being transformed from a walkway to the library that was hot and unpleasant to one that is cool, green and friendly and encourages people to congregate for events like Nambour Forecourt Live!” Cr Law said.

“Introducing bespoke shelters, a pop-up forest of trees surrounded by long tables, increased lawn space and a vibrant mural has created a space where people relax, dine, play, perform and just be.

“The project team were challenged with a small budget and short timeframe to plan, design, and deliver the revamped forecourt for the hinterland community.

“The result is a socially engaging, collaborative and, most importantly, fun area that will hopefully inspire other councils to entrust their landscape architects in similar projects.

“In collaboration with Sunshine Coast artist Alison Mooney a place-based design was delivered that responds to the social, cultural, environmental, and aesthetic aspects of the site.”

The AILA jury citation said when temporary activation of the space was needed in a way that would stimulate the imagination of the community, the Sunshine Coast Council [Placemaking] landscape architecture team was able to produce a response that was both practical and creative, with an obviously successful outcome.

Sippy Downs Drive Boulevard and entryway has received the Landscape Architecture Award for Infrastructure after close collaboration with the engineering design transformed the civil project into a bushland boulevard.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said it was great to see how this road project pushed the boundaries to become a gateway into a knowledge precinct.

“We needed to ask: how do we improve road vehicle safety while reclaiming our eroding bushland,” Cr Dickson said.

“From here our solution was to curate a road into a lush and vibrant boulevard which threads from the major highway and motorway into the forest-fringed Sippy Downs.

“The upgrade focused on social and environmental outcomes by prioritising pedestrians and native vegetation, which has significantly improved the road corridor.

“The jury citation stated that we have shown the benefits of taking on a collaborative approach, engaging all council disciplines, the community and key stakeholders to create a landmark boulevard that speaks to the community.”

In 2018 Sunshine Coast Council’s Placemaking team embarked on a journey to revitalise Landsborough’s main street. The activation of Cribb Street became a finalist in the Community Contribution category of the Landscape Architecture Awards.

The streetscape project demonstrates the transformative outcomes that can be achieved through creative and authentic collaborations between architects and local communities.

The main street has become a welcoming and loved space that has positively contributed to the sense of community, economic vitality, and resilience of the hinterland hub.

The Landscape Architecture Awards program provides a key vehicle to promote the achievements and work of landscape architects in Australia.

The Queensland Chapter is enthusiastic to reveal the official winners of each category in the state, with AILA QLD President Tessa Leggo expressing that this year’s entries reflected Australia’s tremendous and first-class landscape architectural sector.

“The breadth of the landscape architecture profession is clearly demonstrated in the diversity of the projects up for awards this year,” Ms Leggo said.

“Ranging from unique artist interventions to regional scale planning, landscape architecture is making a positive impact on how we interact with our spaces and places.

“Playgrounds and parks weren’t the only places to draw activity, with city revitalisations and cultural centres ensuring the needs of the community are met in evermore ways.

“We can and should be proud of how we are delivering private and public landscapes that are responding to our changing environment, addressing challenges faced by urban communities to provide adaptable and liveable cities.

“There is a layer of environmental awareness that is being inbuilt into the landscapes, whether that be an increase in biodiversity or tackling urban heat island effects, the result is a more resilient future for us all.”

In Queensland, 45 nominations were received, with 21 awards allocated across Awards of Excellence, Landscape Architecture Awards, and Regional Achievement Awards.

Both Nambour Forecourt Revamp and Sippy Downs Gateway will now proceed to the National Landscape Architecture Awards program.

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