Some of the country’s finest deigns were on display as the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) revealed the winners of the 2021 Western Australia Landscape Architecture Awards.
AILA recognised eight Awards of Excellence and 12 Landscape Architecture Awards across 15 categories, highlighting projects which demonstrated the broad and innovative thinking of landscape architecture and bring value to the lives of all who pass through these spaces.
The jury commended recipients for their consideration and inclusion of traditional custodians and the broader community to deliver strong social and cultural outcomes.
AILA Western Australia (WA) Landscape Architecture Awards Jury Chair Tom Griffiths said the awards pushes the profession to new heights, encouraging more thoughtful work.
“This year’s award program received 25 submissions across 12 categories which provided a great snapshot of the influence that the profession of landscape architecture is having on our built environment,” he said.
“The projects ranged from crafted small gardens, to thoughtful research pieces and large-scale infrastructure and institutions. The delivery of such projects is challenging at the best of times and this year’s entries were all the more impressive having been delivered in the face of the unprecedented challenges of 2020.
“Entrants displayed creativity, collaboration, consultation and thoughtful design that led to a strong collection of projects that delighted the jury with their quality and depth. Western Australia has been delivering high quality projects for a number of years that have been gaining national and international attention.
“It feels like we are on the precipice of another evolution of the profession to meet the challenges of these important issues and use our collective talents to drive significant improvements in the design of the built environment.”
Deemed the best of the best by the jury, Kaju Yatka (Kalbarri Skywalk) was awarded the WA Medal, as well as an Award of Excellence for Tourism and Regional Achievement Award.
The project is an important new tourism initiative that provides access to the incredible landscape of the Murchison River.
The jury applauded the project design team for crafting an unforgettable visitor experience which re-established Kalbarri as a regional tourism destination, creating a world class tourism destination.
Winners also addressed the need to design spaces for people and social activation, setting the standard for environmental enhancement and public realm improvements.
AILA Western Australia President Shea Hatch said this year’s winners demonstrated the impact thoughtful placemaking in landscape projects has on communities and their local environments.
“Landscape architecture has a special role to play in the recovery of both our economy and our community post-COVID. These spaces are designed for the whole population to enjoy, as they celebrate our environment, respect cultures, create jobs and generate economic benefits which stretch well beyond the construction,” she said.
“Collectively, the winning projects put the surrounding community at the forefront of planning and execution, to create inclusive, immersive and liveable spaces that people want to engage with.
“Thoughtful integration, surrounding streetscape, safety, user experience and the existing essence of Western Australia’s terrain has all been considered by this year’s recipients throughout the design and construction phases of the projects.
“It’s a testament to the quality of these projects, which show the rest of the country what can be achieved when landscape projects respond to the needs of people and place.
“All winners should be commended for advancing the field of landscape architecture, both in Western Australia and across the country.”
AILA Western Australia Award of Excellence and Landscape Architecture Award winners will gain automatic entry into National AILA Awards, to be held later this year followed by the International Landscape Architecture Festival.